Empower and Free Your Mind with a 5 Minute Meditation

  • YogaToday
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Empower and Free Your Mind with a 5 Minute Meditation

You need less time than you think to feel the benefits of meditation. 

5 minutes a day, every day for one week, is all you need to start a meditation practice.

Like so many of us, I struggled for years with an active mind, too many of life’s demands, and the feeling I could never have enough time to fit in a meditation practice. I also never took time for self-care, and like many others, would put everyone else’s needs first, ignoring my own. On top of that, being self-employed took even more of my time and mental space, and I found it difficult to shut off my mind and sit still in silence for 20 or 30 minutes, while other people, it seemed, were able to meditate for an hour or longer. I felt like a failure. Who has the time to even try when it seemed so time-consuming and overwhelming just to get started?

To make it worse, I grew up with a father that woke up at 4:00 a.m. without an alarm to meditate every single day. I would get up for school each morning to find him wrapped like a human pretzel and freshly meditated before I had even poured my breakfast cereal. And, yet, I still could not meditate. I witnessed and read about all of the benefits of shutting off your mind and allowing silence each day. I tried different guided meditations, but my mind would inevitably wander, and I felt I was failing at being silent

ADHD is at an all-time high and we are more plugged into our phones than to ourselves. So, I realized I needed to find a way to beat myself at my own game of avoidance and excuses. I found a simple and fast way to be able to meditate every day.

The benefits of meditation on your mind, body and soul

There has been an endless amount of scientific research proving the effects of meditation on your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Here are just a few:

● Supports mood regulation

● Helps with anxiety and depression

● Brings down inflammation in the body

● Reduces the stress hormone cortisol

● Increases positive emotion

● Decreases pain

Who wouldn't want to receive these benefits? So, I found an easy way to commit to a daily meditation practice by doing it for 5 minutes each day. I like getting the most bang for my buck, so to speak, and this was the way to get the most benefit in a short amount of time. Now I find it easy to meditate longer if I have the time. Want to try?

An easy 5 minute meditation to do every day for one week.

Are you curious about finding out if it is that easy? Do you want to see if you can feel better, more relaxed, and peaceful? Try it every day for a week and see how you feel. Even just the act of committing to yourself will give you a greater feeling of peace and accomplishment.

I like to feel good, and there are too many things in our daily lives that can rob us from that feeling. In my meditations, I like to not only calm my mind but also boost my mood. So, have a little fun! You owe it to yourself. If you are advanced or a beginner, 5 minutes is all you will need!

● Find a quiet place with no distractions. Usually, first thing in the morning works best before the rest of your world knows you are up and demands your attention.

● Get comfortable in a lying or seated position. The seated position most used in yoga is the lotus which is a cross-legged seated position with your back straight and hands comfortably resting on your lap or knees.

● Close your eyes and take a quick scan of your body. Let go of any tension you are carrying. The neck and shoulders seem to be the biggest culprit of holding stress.

● Now start to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Count 10 breaths. Your mind may wander and that is OK. Just keep breathing.

● Begin saying thank you for all that you are grateful for in your life or say things you love that make you feel amazing like, “I love it when I have free time to run on the beach,” or “I love it when my daughter bear hugs me and won’t let go,” or “I love it when I get free money.” Ha-Ha! Say whatever gets YOU excited!

● Set an intention. Example: “My intention today is to only have experiences with positive people.”

● Lastly, fill your body with your favorite color. It can even be sparkly pink rainbows, unicorns, or the color of the ocean.

● Say thank you to YOU and start your day!

Tools you may need:

  • Yoga mat
  • Candle
  • Your favorite crystals
  • Meditation music
  • Quiet space

Helpful resources to get you started meditating.

If you find it hard to sit in silence or feel the distraction of a timer about to go off, there are a couple of options available to you. I like to have soothing sounds to meditate to like Buddhist sound-bowls or waves crashing. We all have different sounds we enjoy to help create relaxation in our minds.

One option I like is the “5 Minute Meditation Timer: Collection for Stress Relief and a Calm Mind”.

If you like apps, my favorite meditation app is Insight Timer. It was voted app of the year by Time Magazine. Insight timer has guided meditations that can be set by time. You can do personal challenges and listen to talks by the world’s top mindfulness experts, psychologists, neuroscientists, and meditation experts. This app is real a gem for all levels.

There are so many options out there these days that it has never been easier to find what works best for you from the comfort of your own home. Hopefully, some of these suggestions will help you get started.

Meditation strengthens yoga practice: Yoga is the equivalent to our bodies of what meditation is to our minds.

While talking about meditation, I cannot ignore the important relationship it has to yoga. Yoga is beneficial for our bodies in the way that meditation is to our emotional well-being. That realization came from tried-and-tested determination, because I was not a quick sell on yoga. I got bored every time I tried a yoga class. 

I spent more time watching the clock and the ceiling than I did being present in my body. I tried almost every new kind from ancient to modern. Bikram was almost my last attempt. After laying in a pool of my own sweat and breathing in the heavy odor of a warm hockey bag, I thought I could not find a connection with yoga. It was just like the struggles I had with meditation.

That realization came from tried and tested determination not to give up because I was not a quick sell on yoga.

I got bored every time I tried a yoga class. I spent more time watching the clock and the ceiling than I did being present in my body. I tried almost every new kind of yoga, from ancient to modern.

Bikram Yoga was almost my last attempt. After laying in a pool of my own sweat, breathing in the heavy odor of a warm hockey bag, I thought I could not find a connection with yoga. It was just like the struggles I had with meditation.

Then I found hot flow yoga. It was the combination I was waiting for: fast-paced, constant movement, and fun. My experience with other types of yoga certainly does not mean you will have the same. We all need different things in our yoga and meditation practices. It is about finding your own personal rhythm and preferences.

Yoga heals and transforms our bodies.  

Yoga is one activity that is low impact yet is a powerhouse in its results. Yoga improves flexibility, muscle tone, and mobility. It has also been known to raise your heart rate, lower blood pressure, and alleviate symptoms of diabetes and joint pain. Yoga has an incredible ability to heal your body. It builds community and a spiritual connection with ourselves and others. It is an all-around healthy, happy, and connected activity that makes you feel amazing.

There are so many inspirational stories that show the complete transformation that yoga and meditation have had on people. One incredible story is about a woman named Jessie Golden who was suffering with an undiagnosed ailment for years. She was riddled with pain, stiffness, and swelling in her joints. She was finally given a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis to explain her extreme symptoms. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases are on the rise and inflammation in the body is one of the major contributors. 

Yoga is known to bring down inflammation in the body. So instead of submitting to steroid treatments and drugs for the rest of her life, she turned to yoga and refused to give up. Today she is inspiring hundreds of thousands of men and women with her story and transformation. You can find @jessiegolden on Instagram and see for yourself.

For so many years, there has been a conflict between Eastern and Western beliefs. The good thing today is that science is finally starting to prove what has been known about yoga and meditation for centuries. So, if you need proof from science, there are thousands of studies showing the benefits. We all struggle with not having enough time, running after our kids, having deadlines for work, studying for school, and committing to social obligations and family commitments. The catch is, we cannot be fully present or available for any of that if we do not make time for ourselves. It takes 21 days to build a habit. That is only three weeks for a lifetime of benefits for you, and it only takes 5 minutes a day to start. 

   It is time to make yourself a priority!

   


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