Find Mindfulness this Autumn: Meditation for Beginners 

As the seasons change you may find you feel a shift in your energy. For some, autumn’s earlier sunsets and dramatic weather bring renewed energy, for others, it can be a struggle as the days shorten and energy can be low. Our motto is ‘be out there’ and we believe that putting your well-being first can help boost you mentally and physically.

A great way to help stay balanced and positive throughout the darker months is to start meditation, to achieve mindfulness and reflection. Although to some of us, the thought of meditation may seem daunting once you have mastered the basics, you’ll be able to meditate anywhere and it can easily become part of your daily routine. 

Guided meditation is a good way to start as you will get a first-hand understanding of the practice from a practitioner, be that online or in person. Here at Salcombe Sea Wear, we believe nothing quite beats a guided meditation session here in the South Hams, so we have asked Jules from Blue Dog Yoga Salcombe, for advice for meditation for beginners, see her tips below.

 Why Meditate? 

Yoga and meditation can be used to jump-start a positive habit that can alleviate negative emotions and promote mental relaxation. It helps to give the mind a break from the relentless daily stresses, pressures and tensions of leading busy lives in a world where high-tech means we’re constantly “on and available”.  Like any good habit, meditation needs commitment to practice and time set aside so it becomes part of our daily life. 

Through mindfulness and invoking conscious breathing, we divorce ourselves temporarily from daily life and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system to relax the body, slow the heart rate and ultimately calm the mind. 

The benefits of meditation, apart from giving the mind a break and reducing levels of anxiety and stress include improved memory, and sleep patterns, reduced inflammation in the body and lower blood pressure.

Tips For Meditating

Find a quiet, calm, uncluttered space where you won’t be disturbed. If possible do your meditation at the same time and in the same place each day to help establish your meditation routine. Your space might include a blanket, a block or cushion to sit on and a blanket to keep you warm. Start by setting a timer and meditating for just a few minutes, gradually increase the length of time as you become more comfortable with your new meditation habit.

You can choose to meditate by focusing a soft gaze on an object such as a candle flame, a flower or even a photograph of something you love such as the face of a pet or something else that inspires you. 

Alternatively, you can choose to close your eyes and focus on one of your senses. Dharana is the term used for concentration and if we focus on one sense, whether that’s listening to the quality of the breath – deep inhales and longer exhales, or even listening to a guided meditation, we can reflect a steady focus inwards shutting out the external world for a few precious minutes. Learn to use your senses to the full. Notice consciously what your senses tell you. For example, notice what you are feeling. Perhaps you’re feeling anxious or irritated or perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed. Don’t judge yourself, just notice the feelings that come up as if you were a casual observer. Step outside of yourself and have compassion for the person that you observe.

Practice Gratitude

Set aside time to express gratitude for at least one thing in your life; your body, strong legs, strong arms, the gift of your sight, and your health as a few examples.

Gratitude for your friends, family and people you love. And then acknowledge compassion and gratitude for someone or something that you perhaps struggle with who might have their own set of problems and challenges. Try to perceive the beauty in everything and everyone. 

Think of things that make you happy. They don’t need to be big things! perhaps it’s that book that you’re reading, that cup of coffee that you’re looking forward to, the class that you’re attending after work, and so on. Acknowledge the blessings in your life

Mantras

Mantras help to distract the mind away from the negative emotions that threaten your mental peace. Chanting a mantra can help to release the mind and bring a sense of oneness, particularly when done together in a meditation class.

You may choose to chant a mantra softly to yourself. This can be a few simple words which are precious to you. For example, “Peace, Love, Kindness and Joy” or quite simply AUM, pronounced “Om” which is the sound of the Universe. 

So Ham means “I am” in Sanskrit and Om Namah Shivaya is a powerful healing mantra. 

In summary, meditation encourages us to live in the present, the only moment that truly exists; not allowing ourselves to dwell on the unchangeable past, nor looking into the future that doesn’t yet exist.

If you would like to find out more about meditation or Vinyasa Yoga here in Salcombe visit their website  http://www.bluedogyoga.co.uk/.

 At Salcombe Sea Wear we believe that your well-being is important and have built our range around activities that help us stay positive and mindful, whether it’s yoga, running or warming up after cold water swimming, we want you to, be out there, energised and positive. 

Namaste 

The Salcombe Sea Wear Team X Blue Dog Yoga

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