Meditation isn’t just for new-aged hippies. It is simply a tool to get to know yourself better. It’s about getting comfortable with being still, with being with yourself and with your body. As a nutrition expert who is interested in the power of meditation, I turned to someone whose expertise lie in training the mind: Tara Brach is a Buddhist Meditation expert and says:
“Meditation is commonly described as a training of mental attention that awakens us beyond the conditioned mind and habitual thinking, and reveals the nature of reality…Presence is a mindful, clear recognition of what is happening—here, now—and the open…We practice meditation by receiving all the domains of experience with a mindful, open attention. These domains include breath and sensations; feelings (pleasant, unpleasant and neutral); sense perceptions, thoughts and emotions; and awareness itself.”
This mindfulness can be directly applied to how we treat our bodies and the food we consume. Being more mindful in just this one area of your life, even just for 10-15 minutes, is likely to create ripples of change that spread throughout the rest of your activities. To begin a meditation practice, I like this simple meditation:
- Sit on the floor with your legs crossed and your palms face ups on your knees. Feel free to sit on a pillow, mat or towel.
- Pick a time, it can be morning or night, which ever you prefer. Set your alarm for 5-10 minutes (whichever you are most comfortable with to start)
- Close your eyes and slowly breath in through your nose and out through your mouth
- The goal is put your attention on every breath, feel the air come into your lungs and out through your lips.
- Your mind will wander, that’s ok! Just keep bringing your attention back to your breath
- Some people find it helpful to say a “mantra” which is just a short sentence you repeat silently in your mind. Feel free to create your own, but to get you started try: I am Strong. I am courageous. May I accept myself just as I am. May I be peaceful and at ease. May I be happy.
- Don’t judge your practice — rather, accept what unfolds and trust your capacity to awaken and be free! If you miss practice for a day, a week, or a month, simply begin again.
Taking just 10 minutes every morning to sit quietly and focus on your breath, you create a sense of comfort in being with yourself, making it that much easier to take care of yourself! Tara Brach also has free guided meditation downloads available on her website if you would like to go deeper into a meditation practice.
Have you ever tried meditation? Is it something you can see yourself incorporating into your daily routine?
Interested in mindfullness? Subscribe to my newsletter! In February we’ll be discussing the importance of savoring and being present with your food.