We hope you’ve read and enjoyed Part I (Body) and Part II (Breath) of our three part series on how yoga boosts mental health–how a personal yoga practice can bring calm and equanimity to a stressed out world. Here is the third and final simple technique that you can practice to experience the transformative effects of yoga in your life.
One purpose of meditation is to recognize the patterns in our brains that aren’t serving us and replace them with beneficial new patterns. The practice of meditation is cumulative, so just doing a little bit every day is more beneficial than doing it only once in a while. Two minutes is enough to start!
- Find a comfortable way to sit where your spine is tall. (This can take practice too!)
- Think of an intention for your two minute meditation. An intention is just a word or short phrase that you want to bring into your life. It can be general like calm, open, relax, or more specific to you, perhaps forgive, heal, or move on.
- Start your timer for two minutes.
- When you inhale let your intention feel like it’s filling into the center of your body. When you exhale let your intention spread out through the rest of your body. Continue to connect your intention from your mind into your breath and into your body until your timer goes off.
- When you notice your mind wander away from your intention, just ask it to come back to the positive thought and your breath.
- When two minutes starts to feel easy you can lengthen to five minutes, and then ten, fifteen, and twenty. Twenty minutes is a great place to get to, but it is a really challenging place to start. Start with two, and don’t rush!
Meditation represents our future. Our actions will follow our thoughts, so if we take time to clear out the clutter in the mind and give it positive intentions, we can clear out a path for our future.
Through practicing small daily awareness of our bodies, minds, and breath, we can create space for our own healing, whether that’s coping with depression or anxiety, family challenges, or just finding a little bit of peace in a hectic world.