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How to Begin a Formal Mindfulness Practice

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It is one of the most powerful practices and rituals in my life, and also the most challenging. It requires dedication, consistency, patience and curiosity. It is a practice of paying attention {to breath, or a concentration point}, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally. It is simple, but not easy.Here are principles of mindfulness to help guide your practice:

Find a Comfortable Seat

  • Experiment with your preferred meditation position
  • Use props (bolster, block, chair, blanket, wall)
  • Suggested positions: Sukhasana (easy pose/sitting cross-legged), Padmasana (full or half lotus), Virasana (hero pose), Svasana (corps pose)

Sit Tall

  • Posture powerfully conveys body language and intention, inwardly and outwardly
  • Jon Kabat- Zinn recommends to sit in a posture that reflects & embodies dignity
  • Attention to heart and shoulders, open your chest and relax your shoulders

Remain Still

  • The mind seeks and overindulges in distractions, especially when you are beginning- the goal is to maintain still with minimal adjusting, fidgeting or breaking focus
  • Make adjustments if necessary, but give it no more energy or momentum than needed

Start Small & The Perfect Condition

  • Make small changes and build incrementally- small & sustainable changes
  • Set a timer and start with 5 minutes (then progress slowly) or a guided meditation
  • If you wait for the perfect time or condition, you will never start- you just need to start
  • You cannot meditate ‘wrong’ – the conditions you need to be mindful and happy are not outside you, you are already equipped

  • By

    Kate Landreth

  • Published

    Dec 14, 2022

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