How to Do Body Scan Meditation & 5 Ways it Benefits Your Health

How to Do Body Scan Meditation & 5 Ways it Benefits Your Health

Ever had that moment when you feel incredibly stiff, tense and sore with no clear explanation why?

It’s frustrating, ey!

For many years, I’ve suffered with pain and tension in my upper and lower back. I’ll often wake up to immediately notice the stiffness and tension in my body. almost like my body is constantly screaming at me.

But why? Was it due to:

  • Poor posture at work?
  • Exercising too much?
  • Chronic Stress? or
  • Sleeping in a bad position overnight?

If I’m honest with myself, it’s probably due to all of the above.

funny back pain meme

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably tried it all: massaging it out, stretching or even ignoring it in hopes it will go away.

But so far, nothing has worked.

Body Scan Meditation is definitely something that can help and that you should check out. Here’s why!

 

How Body Scan Meditation Combats Built-up Stress

For many of us, chronic stress doesn’t only have mental and emotional symptoms. It can also show up physically in our bodies.

When you’re stressed, you may notice that you become more susceptible to headaches, shoulder tension and back pain, heartburn and more.

And, given we’re used to living in a highly stressed-state, we don’t often connect the dots between our physical discomfort and our emotional state.

This is why regular body scan meditation can be useful and effective because it not only allows us to tune in to our bodies, but also helps to release built-up tension. 

Let’s now explore the basics of Body Scan Meditation including what it is, how to do it and also 5 ways that it benefits your health.

 

What is Body Scan Meditation?

Body scan is a type of meditation that involves mindfully exploring your body from head to toe to tune into the sensations present in different parts of the body.

This enables you to become aware of hidden tensions you may have been ignoring and can help to alleviate them.

There are some different ways you can scan over your body depending on what you prefer. I’ll run through each of these below.

 

Body Scan from Head to Toe

The most common type of body scanning is to start from the crown of your head and gradually make your way to your toes.

Scanning your body from head to toe is said to be more relaxing and grounding, and can result in feeling sleepy afterwards.

 

Body Scan from Toes to Head

Scanning your body from the bottom-up is said to be more energising and uplifting compared to scanning top down.

Personally, I have not experienced much difference whether scanning top-down or bottom-up, but it’s always worth trying both and seeing which style feels better for you depending on your goals.

What is body meditation

Scanning the Body in Stages

You can also scan the body in stages. For example, you can start by scanning your entire head. Then gradually move down to your neck and throat. Then focus on your torso as one whole section. Next, scan each arm and then gradually scan each leg individually.

The concept behind this is to scan each section of your body individually to really hone down on any specific parts of your body.

 

Scan Slowly or Quickly

Depending on the amount of time you have available, you have the option of doing a quick or slow body scan meditation. You can choose to spend 15 minutes slowly scanning through your body, or do a quick check in over 5 minutes.

The choice is yours!

 

Scan Only the Upper Body

Have you noticed that when stressed your shoulders and back start seizing up?

Yep! It’s a pretty common symptom.

For most of us, we store a lot of our stress in our upper body. That’s why doing a scan focused solely on your upper body can still be very beneficial and help to release the majority of your tension.

 

Targeting Pain in the Body

Although most meditations encourage you to avoid striving for a particular expectation or outcome, with body scan meditation you can aim to target key areas of discomfort.

This allows you to let sensations come to the surface and hone in on what feels bad.

By being mindful of the areas you feel pain and breathing into them deeply, your body can start to troubleshoot and focus on alleviating them.

The Benefits of Body Scan Meditation

What are the Benefits of Body Scan Meditation?

Although there are many known benefits of body scan meditation, here are my top 5:

  1. Helps you cope better with stress and anxiety, whilst also reducing their symptoms
  2. Reduces the impacts of chronic stress on the body
  3. Leads to greater self-awareness and compassion
  4. Reduces pain and tension in the body
  5. Helps you feel grounded and centred

Let’s explore each of these in more detail.

 

1) Using Body Scan Meditation to Relieve Stress & Anxiety

A great thing about body scan meditation is that it prompts us to lean into bodily sensations, rather than becoming paralysed with or battling our thoughts due to stress.

This prompts us to take a moment to ourselves to pause, reflect and deal with stress in a healthy way. It also gives our body a chance to release any built-up tension rather than ignoring it in hopes that it will eventually go away.

 

2) Body Scanning Can Reduce the Impacts of Chronic Stress

Chronic stress is very unhealthy for our bodies.

It not only results in the release of cortisol and adrenaline which depletes our system resources, but also negatively impacts our mental health.

Giving our bodies time to shift from being in a stress response (activated by the Sympathetic Nervous System) to the relaxation and recovery response of the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS), has dramatic effects within the body.

Bringing the body back to a state of homeostasis can reduce muscle tension, kick-start our digestive systems and bring attention to discomforts, pain and tiredness that were being masked by our stress hormones.

You may also notice that your breathing slows down, saliva production increases, your eyes start watering and your stomach may even start gurgling or making noises.

These are common symptoms of relaxation.

A Benefit of Body Scan is Self Compassion

3) Improve Self-Compassion and Awareness 

When performing any meditation, you may notice something feeling bad or uncomfortable in your body. You may even get frustrated or impatient when your mind wanders or you don’t notice the pain subsiding.

But practicing body scan meditation can help you approach these situations with gentleness and acceptance.

As you practice this technique more and more over, this newly gained self-awareness and compassion can start to trickle its way into your everyday life as well.

 

4) Reduce Pain and Tension in the Body

As we have already mentioned, regularly checking in with our body can help us identify aches and pains early on – before they become too serious.

By letting your body show you where tension exists, you’re able to focus on it and let your body heal itself. Consciously breathing into these areas can create a sense of space and openness throughout the body.

This can stop your body from screaming at you multiple times during the day to get your attention. By scanning your body on a regular basis, you’re showing that you care and are very much aware of what is going on.

 

5) Body Scanning Helps You Feel Grounded

Throughout our day we often find our body doing one thing while our mind is doing another.

A body scan meditation can help to sync our mind and body, pulling us away from the noise in our mind and back to the present moment.

 

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    Body Scan Tips for Beginners

    Because body scanning is often thought to be therapeutic, many try to force relaxation to happen. But doing this, often leads to frustration:

    “OMG why can’t I get my shoulders to relax! No matter what I try it’s not working!”

    Rather than taking this approach, try to treat body scanning with a tolerant and loving curiosity towards your body. Also called “non-judgemental acceptance”.

    If the pain or discomfort coming up is really bad, do you best to focus your attention on it and breathe deeply into that space, then let it go.

    This may sound weird for some people:

    “Isn’t it impossible to breathe into other parts of the body, outside of your lungs?”

    (Don’t worry – I used to think this too).

    Technically, yes.

    But with meditation, your key aim is to visualise the breath directing to that area. Use your imagination to picture the area opening up and releasing tension in a soothing way.

     

    How to Do a Body Scan Meditation

    If you’re interested in learning how to do a body scan meditation for the first time, you can check out our short video below.

     

    In this video, I guide you through the basic steps of Body Scan Meditation, so you can digest the concepts simply and easily.

    In Summary, here are the very basic steps:

    1. Close your eyes
    2. Breathe deeply & slowly
    3. Visually scan from the top of your head and down your body.
    4. Notice if you feel any feelings, sensations, or discomfort in your body.
    5. When you encounter areas of tension, focus your attention and continue to breathe deeply.
    6. Try to visualise your breath soothing that area and the tension leaving your body.
    7. If you get distracted by thoughts, return your attention to the area of the body where you last left off.

    Keep in mind that at this stage of the meditation you’re not trying to change anything. You are simply building a picture of how the body feels right now, in the moment.

    Your brain will make judgement calls such as “This feels bad”, “This feels good” and “If I do this, it feels better.” By staying focused and mindful of the sensations, we accelerate this process.

     

    How to Release Built Up Tension in Your Body

    After you’ve completed your body scan meditation, you can look to release the tension more directly through upper or lower body stretches.

    You can also relieve tension by contracting and releasing certain muscles, as I show you in the video above.

    Some yoga poses are also great for targeting certain areas of tension. Here are some examples you can try below:

    • Standing forward bend
    • Cat-Dog Pose
    • Downward facing dog
    • Triangle pose
    • Childs pose

     

    Start a Regular Meditation Routine & Experience The Benefits

    If you’d love to learn more about meditation and how to create a meditation routine to experience the greatest benefits from your practice, ensure to check out our Journey to Calm Meditation Course.

    Icon Journey to Calm Course

    In this course, you will learn how to meditate and tips for beginners when building a routine.

    I will also teach you about other natural techniques you can do to relieve stress and anxiety symptoms and boost productivity during our day.

    Click Here to Learn More about the “Journey to Calm” Course

     

    As another alternative, you can also start with our FREE/Lite Meditation e-Course for Beginners.

    In this FREE email course, you will gain an insight into the basics of meditation and why it is a valuable exercise to add into your daily routine.

    Start the mini course by entering your details below.

    How to Build a Meditation Routine | 5 Easy Tips for Beginners

    How to Build a Meditation Routine | 5 Easy Tips for Beginners

    Building a new habit is hard.

    That’s why building a meditation routine can also challenging. Trust me, I know.

    On the first day, you start strong.

    You get up early and feel pumped with a great sense of achievement after completing day one of your new meditation routine.

    “That wasn’t THAT hard!” you think to yourself as you excitedly prepare for the rest of your day.

    The second day arrives. You wake up on time and feel great.  Similar to day one, you smash through your meditation session. “Cool, this meditation thing is going to be a breeze.”

    Then day 3 and 4 hit.

    Your alarm goes off but you feel tired. You had a late night last night, so hit the snooze button –“Just 5 more minutes”.

    Shortly, this 5 minutes extends to 10, then 15 minutes and suddenly you wake up realising “Shit, I’m late!”

    Waking up late after snoozing alarm

     

    There’s no way in hell that you have time for meditation today, so you make a promise to yourself that you’ll kick start it tomorrow.

    Tomorrow comes, and a similar pattern appears.

    Your alarm goes off. You hit the snooze button. Your goal of getting up early to meditate has started to slip. That inner voice in your head is so powerful, and although you really wanted to build a meditation routine, it keeps winning.

    A week or two has now gone by. Your meditation sessions have been sporadic, and you’ve started convincing yourself that:

    • “Maybe meditating in the morning isn’t for you”
    • “You can’t do it because you’re not a morning person”
    • “You didn’t notice that much benefit any way” or even
    • “You’re too busy, let’s try again another time.”

    As I mentioned, learning how to build a meditation routine is not a walk in the park. But this is the same for building any other new habit.

    In this article, I will share 5 tips to help you build a meditation routine and get started.

     

     

    1) Know Your Why

    One of the best tips I can give you when building any new habit is to know your WHY.

    If you do not have a clear reason as to why you’re wanting to stay consistent with meditation, the war is over before it’s even begun.

    Having a clear “why” helps you overcome many of the excuses that your mind will throw you throughout the journey.

    Our bodies are like machines. They love routine and can be resistant to change.

    The trick is to survive and push through the first week, which is often the hardest and most challenging part of learning a new habit.

    During this time, your body will do everything in its power to resist, but you can beat these excuses and challenges with a strong why.

    For example, you may want to start a meditation routine to:

    • Feel less anxious and stressed during your day
    • Have greater focus, decision making and performance at work
    • Reduce the effects of chronic stress on the body
    • Create a safe haven to unwind, relax and reflect before your busy days begins
    • Become more self-aware by tuning into your body
    • Be more spiritual or religious

    Whatever your reason, keep it close to your heart.

    Each morning as you wake up, remind yourself of WHY you are doing this and why you want to persist.

    Once you make it over the hurdle of the first 1-2 weeks, you’ll notice that each day gets easier and your body will adjust to the new routine.

    And, I can tell you from experience – the juice is worth the squeeze.

    Is Meditation worth the effort

     

    2) Meditate at the Same Time Every Say & Stick to it

    When it comes to building any new habit, commitment and consistency are two of the most important things to strive for.

    Start making meditation a non-negotiable in your day.

    Commit yourself to a certain time in your day and stay consistent with it. That is the best way to build a meditation routine from home.

    Avoid meditating sporadically and inconsistently. This will only cause you pain and is unlikely to bring you the benefits you’re after from your practice.

    As you continue to meditate at the same time for consecutive days, your body will start to adjust. Eventually, you’ll find yourself waking up naturally at your desired time to start your meditation routine.

    But like everything, it can take time to get there.

     

    3) Identify the Type of Meditation You Like

    The great thing about meditation is that there are many different types of meditation and meditation styles that you can try.

    This means that you can choose a meditation that is best suited for your preferences and goals.

    For example, If you:

    • Want a relaxing or stress-relieving meditation you may prefer body scan meditation or mindfulness
    • Are someone who likes music and vocals, you may like to try Mantra meditation.
    • Struggle to sit still and can’t sit on the floor, moving meditations such as Thai-chi or yoga could be great options for you

    When wanting to build a meditation routine, it’s important to identify a style that you like and find enjoyable.

    Doing otherwise, will only cause you to procrastinate and dislike your practice. We don’t want that!

    Meditation routine _ Choose a meditation style you like

    4) Make it Fun

    If you treat meditation like a chore, it’s going to feel like one.

    Rather than seeing it as another thing to tick off your to-do list, make it fun. Use your meditation practice as a chance to tune into your body and explore your mind.

    You may like to listen to meditation music to settle the mind or do some stretches to relieve built up tension in your body.

    Be kind to yourself. Avoid setting expectations or beating yourself up if your attention wanders.

    Just enjoy the moment for what it is and go with the flow.

     

    5) Mould it to Suit Your Lifestyle

    There is often a misconception that you need to meditate for a certain length of time and at a certain time in your day to experience any benefits.

    That ain’t true!

    Unlike what many think, it is important to fit your meditation routing into your existing lifestyle. Too much change at once will only make creating the habit even harder.

    1. Does the thought of getting up earlier than your usual time scares you? Ok. Opt to meditate in the evening before bed.
    2. Need to take care of the kids and get them ready for school around 8:00am? Great, wake up 15-minutes earlier and do a 10-minute meditation.
    3. Do shift work or night shift? Ok cool, find a time to meditate during the day or after you wake up

    Whatever your situation or lifestyle is, make it work. There are endless possibilities on what you can do.

    It’s up to you to experiment with meditating at different times in the day and discover what works best for you and your lifestyle.

    In addition to finding the right time to meditate, there’s also no rule for how long you should meditate for.

    If you’re a newbie, 5 minutes is a great length to strive for. Then as you progress and meditate more regularly, you can gradually extend your sessions to 15-20 minutes.

    You can’t base your expectations on what someone else may be doing around you. Instead, mould your meditation routine to suit your lifestyle and what is realistic.

     

    How to Build a Meditation Routine

    If you would like some help, guidance or accountability whilst building your meditation routine, I can definitely help you out.

    We offer an online course specifically tailored to beginners to help them learn:

    • How to meditate
    • How to get comfortable with the right meditation posture and pose
    • Handy meditation resources for beginners to support your journey
    • How to use meditation to relieve stress and anxiety
    • And best of all: How to actually BUILD a consistent Meditation Routine

    In this course, Journey to Calm, I share important tips when meditating as a beginner and also guide you through 14 days of meditation, including guided meditation, to help you start simply and seamlessly.

    Icon Journey to Calm Course

    Learn more about the 14-Day Journey to Calm Meditation course here.

     

    If you’re wanting to start your meditation journey, also ensure to grab your FREE copy of our Meditation for Beginners Checklist.

    In this checklist, I break down the basics of meditation into 7 simple steps that you can follow from home.

    It’s a great place to start if you’re new to learning about meditation.

    Enter your details below so we can shoot your copy directly to your inbox!

    How to Be Mindful (without meditation) – 5 Simple Tips

    How to Be Mindful (without meditation) – 5 Simple Tips

    Heard about mindfulness but not sure how to be mindful without meditation?

    If meditation isn’t really your thing, there are many other activities you can do to feel more mindful during your day.

    When I was starting my journey with mindfulness, meditation was the first technique I tried.

    But, despite what some may think, in the beginning, I actually really struggled with keeping a consistent meditation routine.

    That’s what prompted me to look into other ways to be mindful, without having to sit down to meditate.

    If you’d like to learn more about what I did to become more mindful during my days, ensure to grab your copy of our Mindfully Happy Handbook. 

    I describe this handbook i more detail towards the end of this article.

    Here’s a summary of mindfulness activities you can check out, and I’ll explore them in more detail below:

    1. Being Mindful During Exercise
    2. Mindfulness Whilst in the Shower or Bath
    3. Mindful Deep Breathing
    4. Mindfulness Whilst Doing Chores
    5. Mindfulness Whilst Eating

    These days, there are so many things that we do out of habit and on auto-pilot.

    But, what if we could instead tune into these routine tasks and notice the sensations we feel during them?

    What if we could use them as a way to be mindful, without having to really think about it or formally sit down to meditate? 

    That would be awesome, right? I think it’d be pretty darn handy!

     

    1) How to Be Mindful During Exercise

    In my opinion, exercise is a very underrated activity when it comes to mental health. It is also a great activity for mindfulness.

    A simple way you can be mindful during exercise is by paying attention to the sensations of running.

    For example, as you’re running, consider:

    • How does it feel?
    • What do your foot steps feel like on the pavement?
    • What is your breathing rhythm? Fast or Slow?
    • What song are you listening to? Does it have a beat?
    • Can you hear any nature or animal sounds? etc.

    Paying attention to the present moment when you’re running is a simple way to be more mindful, without meditation.

    How to be mindful in the shower

    2) How to Be Mindful in the Shower

    If you’re wanting to learn how to be more mindful without meditation, the simplest way to start is in the shower.

    At the end of the day, most of us (again, i repeat, most of us) shower at least once a day. This makes it the perfect opportunity to have quality quiet time to yourself.

    Why not make the most of it?

    The shower is a great time to be mindful, you have time to tune into the present moment and just enjoy it for what it is.

    Whilst in the shower:

    • Take a moment to pamper yourself.
    • Feel the sensations of the warm water on your skin
    • What does your soap smell like?
    • How does the running water sound?

    Enjoy tuning out of everything else that may be going on in your mind, and just focus on the immediate sensations you experience in that moment.

    (I must admit…I’m now kind of craving a shower!)

     

    3) Mindful Deep Breathing

    Deep breathing is another great way to be mindful, especially if meditation and/or exercise are not your favourite thing. It is also a very simple technique to learn – which is awesome!

    Deep breathing involves taking a moment to focus on your breath, slow down your breathing and ensure that you are taking some deep breaths into your body.

    Strive to let go of any past or future thoughts that are running through your mind, and instead focus on the sensations associated with breathing.

    For example,

    • How does the air feel flowing in and out of your body?
    • Is it warm or cold?
    • How does the expansion of your diaphragm feel?

    There is something naturally calming about focusing on your breath. This is why it is such a great and simple mindfulness technique to learn.

    If you’d like to learn more about deep breathing techniques, ensure to check out the following article.

     

    How to be mindful whilst eating

    4) How to Eat Mindfully

    • How often do you sit an watch TV whilst eating your dinner?
    • How often do you gulp down lunch whilst continuing to work at your desk?

    These days, many of us have forgotten what it is like to truly tune into, and treasure, the food that we put into our mouths.

    Yet, eating is one of the most rewarding, sacred and pleasurable things we get to do in our day... especially when eating something you love. For me, that’s chocolate!!!

    Mindful eating has many benefits.

    It can prevent overeating because we naturally become more conscious of what we’re putting into our mouths and gives our gut and brain more time to signal that we’re full.

    This reduces our likelihood of unwanted weight gain because we naturally start to eat less.

    To eat mindfully, the key thing to do is to slow down and savour your meals. Also try to eat without being surrounded by distractions or things that lure your attention away.

    Try and avoid the habit of automatically turning on the TV when eating dinner. Maybe even take your lunch into a seperate room or eat it outside, rather than at your desk.

    Consider the colours, smells and texture of your food as you eat it. Take one bite at a time, chew slowly and savour the flavours.

    • Is it smooth or crunchy?
    • Does the food melt in your mouth?
    • Are you eating something sweet or savoury?
    • How does it make you feel? (Eg. relaxed, refreshed, satisfied, hungry, full)

    Every time you catch yourself getting distracted or starting to rush your eating, pause and take a breath. Then go back to noticing your food.

     

    5) How to Be Mindful Whilst Doing Chores 

    Although this may not be as pleasurable as having a shower or eating some chocolate, you can also be mindful whilst doing your routine household chores.

    Yep! That’s right.

    Even activities such as cleaning the dishes can be mindful activities.

    Again, it’s all about focusing your attention on what you’re doing in that present moment, and acknowledging the sensations that come from it.

    So for example, if you’re washing the dishes, you may tune into:

    • how hot the water is
    • the repetitive movements you make
    • the rhythm of washing your dishes

    It could even be enjoyable to play some music as you work your way through it.

    Doing dishes doesn’t have to be boring! Make it fun by using it as an opportune moment to detach from existing thoughts, worries or concerns and instead, be mindful of what you’re doing.

     

    Want to learn more about how to be mindful, without meditation?

    Grab a copy of our Mindfully Happy Handbook.

    Mindfully Happy Handbook Product

    The Mindfully Happy Handbook

    This Mindfully Happy Handbook was created to help people, like you, live a happier and more fulfilled life.

    Within this 20+ page handbook, I will introduce you to the simple but powerful principles of mindfulness, gratitude, positive mindset and mindfulness meditation.

    To feel truly happy with ourselves and our lives we must start from the inside out.

    We must learn to overcome all the obstacles that have been holding us back from achieving our true potential, including limiting beliefs and negative thoughts.

    Click here to read more about the Mindfully Happy Handbook.

    Coronavirus Meditation Series | Find Relief During the Outbreak

    Coronavirus Meditation Series | Find Relief During the Outbreak

     

    Goodness me….With everything going on lately, it literally feels like the world is about to end.

    People losing their jobs.

    Businesses closing down.

    Shops closed.

    And many held in isolation all over the world.

    The Coronavirus has definitely had its impact on all of us and truth be told, I worry about the impact that this is going to have on people’s mental health.

    In Australia alone, we already average about 8 suicides a day!

    And with the wide impact of the Coronavirus, I predict the numbers spike dramatically this year.

    A very scary time ahead indeed….

    That is why I have developed a 10-day Coronavirus Meditation Series to help you keep calm and grounded during isolation.

     

     

    About the 10 Day Coronavirus Meditation Series

    The 10-day Coronavirus Meditation Series is designed to help you create a safe space where you can:

    • Relax your body
    • Unwind
    • Detach from any past or present concerns
    • Detach from all the stress and uncertainty around you and
    • Be present in and enjoy a moment of peace

    I hope that these short 5-10 minute videos will help you to find a greater sense of calm, relaxation and sanity during this highly stressful, saddening and uncertain time.

    For many, self-isolation can be really difficult.

    That is why it is now more important than ever to keep yourself occupied and discover new ways to keep yourself entertained and in good mental health.

    And what better idea than to spend the time learning a new skill, such as Meditation.

    In addition to helping us cope during the Coronavirus outbreak, Meditation can also improve our mental health and wellness in the future too.

    AND the great thing about meditation is that it requires very little to get started.

    Meditation can be done at home and only demands that you have access to yourself and a distraction-free, quiet meditation space.

    There are so many benefits of meditation, which is why meditation is a practice that is growing steadily all over the world.

    For the purpose of this article, I’m only going to speak about the benefits of meditation in relation to dealing with the Coronavirus Pandemic.

     

    Benefits of This Coronavirus Meditation Series

    This series will benefit you significantly by:

    • Teaching you the basics of meditation in daily, short and easy to digest videos
    • Creating a safe space where you can unwind, relax and detach from the stressors surrounding your right now
    • Allow your body to refresh and regenerate
    • Activating your Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) which is important for countering our natural stress response.

    By activating your PNS, you are able to reduce the release and circulation of stress hormones in your body.

    When not managed effectively, these stress hormones (Adrenaline & Cortisol) can create havoc in your body.

    They can lead to chronic stress, weaken your immune system and cause detrimental impacts to your health in the long term.

    If you’d like to take part in our 10-Day Coronavirus Meditation Video Series, ensure to check out and subscribe to our Youtube Channel.

    That way you can stay up to date with new videos as we release them as well.

    For your convenience, I have also included links to all of the videos and a short description about each of them below.

     

    WEEK 1

    Day 1: Why Meditation is More Important than Ever, Right Now!

    Meditation Video Series - Day 1

    In this video, I talk about why Meditation is more important than ever right now.

    Meditation can help you find a sense of grounding, peace and quiet.

    It can also help you escape the constant bombardment from the media and other sources that continue to cause additional stress, anxiety and fear.

    I end the video with a short1-minute Mindfulness Meditation to give you and insight and taste of what we will be covering in the upcoming videos.

    Click here to watch the video.

     

    Day 2: Getting Your Posture Right & a 2-Minute Guided Mindfulness Meditation

    Coronavirus Meditation Video Series

    In this video, I talk about the importance of feeling comfortable while you meditate, especially when learning.

    Feeling uncomfortable during meditation is never good because it distracts your attention away from your item of focus.

    This means that you will never experience the greatest benefit from meditation because your attention is divided.

    Forcing yourself to sit in discomfort is not goo either because it can cause you to despise and procrastinate with your practice.  We don’t want this!

    That is why, I want you to focus mostly on being comfortable rather than contorting into a specific meditation poses or posture. If you’d like to read more about the best Meditation Poses for Beginners, check out our Meditation Poses Guide.

    At the end of this video, I also guide you through a quick 2-minute Mindfulness Meditation.

    Click here to watch the video

     

    Day 3: A Intro to Deep Breathing & a 3-minute Guided Mindfulness Meditation

    Coronavirus Meditation: Deep Breathing for Meditation

    In this video, I talk about the importance of deep breathing and how it can promote greater relaxation during your meditation practice.

    Deep breathing is also fabulous because it is a natural technique that can help to relieve stress and anxiety symptoms too.

    We then, finish off the video with a short 3-minute guided meditation, focused on your breath.

    Click here to watch the video

     

    Day 4: A 4-minute Guided Mindfulness Meditation

    Day 4 of the Meditation Series for COVID-19

    In this video, I run you through a 4-minute guided Mindfulness Meditation.

    Simply, Mindfulness Meditation relates to focusing your awareness on the present moment. It involves calmly observing and accepting your current thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations as they arise.

    You want to acknowledge your thoughts, but not get involved in them or judge them. Instead, just accept them as they, let them go and return your attention to your breath.

    The rest of the videos from here on are more about the meditation, therefore there will be less discussion.

    Click here to watch the video.  

     

    Day 5: A 5-Minute Guided Body Scan Meditation

    Meditation Series - Coping with COVID 19

    In this video, I run you through a 5-minute guided Body Scan Meditation.

    Simply, Body Scan Meditation is a great technique to help release any tension in the body, that you may not have been aware of our have been ignoring.

    Body scanning involves gradually paying attention to parts of your body in a relaxed sequence from head to feet, or reverse from feet to head.

    You close your eyes and tune in to how your body feels, with the intention of identifying tense areas and then relieving them with breathing, tense-release techniques or stretching.

    Click here to watch the video.

     

    WEEK 2

    Day 6: A 5-minute Guided Mindfulness & Gratitude Meditation 

    Meditation for Coronavirus - Day 6: Gratitude Meditation

    In this video, I provide a quick reflection of what we covered last week in terms of posture, deep breathing and mindfulness meditation.

    I also talk about the power of Gratitude Meditation, and why practicing gratitude during your meditation practice can have a powerful impact on how you start your day. It’s always beneficial to focus on the positive in your life, rather than the negative.

    We the end the video with a short 5-minute Guided Gratitude & Mindfulness Meditation.

    Click here to watch the video

     

    Day 7: A 6-Minute Guided Body Scan Meditation

    Day 7 - Meditation Series

    In this video, I run you through a 6-minute guided Body Scan Meditation to give you more time practicing this technique. I also take you through some tension-relieving upper body stretches to help remove some stiffness in your body.

    If you are finding it difficult to identify areas of tension, or relieve specific areas of tension, don’t worry! This stress relieving technique can take some time and practice to master.

    Let me know of any areas you are struggling to relieve tension in and I’ll ensure to share some stretches and tips that can help you.

    Click here to watch the video 

     

    Day 8: Handy Meditation Resources for Beginners

    Handy Meditation Resources for Beginners

    In this video, I highlight some simple and inexpensive Meditation Resources that are great for beginners to start out with on their meditation journeys.

    They can help to improve the quality of your meditation by increasing comfort and setting the tone of your practice. This can help you to reap greater rewards from your meditation practice.

    Click here to watch the video

     

    Day 9: A 6-Minute Guided Mindfulness Meditation

    COVID-19 Meditation - Day 9 - Mindfulness Meditation

    In this video, I run you through an 6-minute guided Mindfulness Meditation to help you build your meditation practice.

    I hope that you are now starting to feel more confident with meditating from home and getting more comfortable and familiar with some of the basic foundations of meditation.

    Click here to watch the video

     

    Day 10: How to Build a Rewarding Meditation Routine

    Day 10: How to Build a Rewarding Meditation Routine

    In this video, I highlight the importance of building a meditation routine, including what you can do to get started.

    The things to remember, is that just like any other habit, learning how to meditate takes time, consistency, commitment and self-discipline.

    If you don’t have either of those things, you’re going to find it hard to meditate successfully each day.

    But… the juice is soo worth the sqeeze guys.

    So for a little bit of time and dedication now, you can save yourself so much energy, stress and anxiety in the future.

    Click here to watch the video.  (COMING SOON…)

     

    What These Videos Don’t Cover…

    Keep in mind – these videos only cover the absolute basics of Meditation.

    If you’re wanting a step-by-step guide on how to meditate, including correct meditation poses & posture and building a meditation routine, you should check out our “Journey to Calm” Meditation for Beginners eCourse.

    In this course, I give you all the detail that you need to build a successful meditation routine from home in 14 days.

    Get started today, by clicking the link above.

    Icon Journey to Calm Course

    If you’re not quite ready to jump into our complete, Meditation for Beginners Course, why not register for our FREE Introductory Meditation Course.

    In this course, you will learn about the basic concepts of meditation.

    This includes:

    • it’s benefits for our health
    • How it can help with relieving stress and anxiety and
    • Why it is so important to build a meditation routine.

    Get started with the FREE Meditation e-Course today by entering your details below. 

    I look forward to seeing you soon in one of our videos.

    Have a beautiful day and keep safe and stay healthy.

    How to Reduce Back Pain During Meditation

    How to Reduce Back Pain During Meditation

    When I started my meditation journey, back pain was one of the greatest obstacles I faced.

    Not only did I find it difficult to reduce back pain during meditation, but I just couldn’t seem to get comfortable in general.

    I tried wiggling my legs, itching, scratching, swapping legs, stretching during meditation, and even tried sitting on a bundle of household cushions.

    But none of these methods worked for me.

    I felt disheartened.

    Was it just me struggling with back pain during meditation?

    I would see all the images of people looking ultra relaxed and cool in their full lotus meditation poses and I couldn’t help but think that maybe there was something wrong with me or I was doing it all wrong.

    Meditation meme

    You’re Not Alone in This

    At times I felt like throwing in the towel BUT, after some basic research I realised that I wasn’t alone with this.

    And gosh I’m glad I didn’t give up.

    I discovered that experiencing discomfort during meditation was a really common thing.  With many complaining about pain in their hips, knees, ankles and back.

    The problem with back pain, is that it is a common barrier preventing beginners from building a consistent meditation practice.

    instead, they find themselves procrastinating and not enjoying their practice.

    We don’t want this!

    Over my meditation journey, this is what I’ve learned. 

    1. It’s normal for meditation to feel weird in the beginning
    2. It’s normal to experience some discomfort in a new pose
    3. There are many different meditation poses you can try to suit your body
    4. There are many different product solutions that can help

    If you’re struggling to get comfortable during meditation, don’t throw in the towel just yet.

    Hear me out and stay with me throughout the course of this article.

    I’m confident that at least one of these tips could help you with your problem – reducing back pain during meditation. 

    Let’s explore them in more detail below.

    Experiencing Back Pain During Meditation

    5 Reasons Your May be Experiencing Back Pain During Meditation

    There are many possible reasons why you’re experiencing neck and back pain during meditation.

    For example, you can be experiencing discomfort due to:

    1. Poor flexibility or reoccurring stiffness
    2. A historical injury
    3. Weak core muscles
    4. Having poor posture to start with.
    5. Choosing the wrong meditation pose for your body

    The reality is that for many of us, especially in the Western world, we are no longer used to sitting on the ground cross legged. Most of us graduated from this behaviour post-primary.

    Yet, in many Asian and Eastern countries – sitting on the floor cross legged for long periods is common practice.

    This is why we have to consider where our bodies are at, before we even start our meditation journeys.

    Let’s explore these individually.

     

    1. Poor Flexibility 

    A person who is greatly flexible, will find it much easier to contort into the more advanced meditation positions compared to someone who is not.

    If you force your body into certain meditation poses before you’re ready, you’re going to experience pain regardless. And this is not good!

    If flexibility is something you need to improve, that’s ok.

    Just focus on improving your flexibility little by little each day until you’re where you want to be.

    Start first with the more basic meditation poses, before you even look at the advanced styles. I promise, you will notice a drastic reduction in the amount of pain you feel during meditation.

     

    2. Past Injuries 

    Alongside flexibility, a person with prior neck, back, hip or leg injuries will need to seek out poses that are less physically demanding.

    Prior injuries can reduce movement in your body and also increase stiffness in the morning.

    We want to work with this, not against it.

    There’s no reason to force yourself to be uncomfortable. If you notice any sharp or aching pain whilst in a meditation pose, stop and change your positioning!

    3. Weak Core Muscles

    Many of us are no longer required to use our core muscles to support our upper bodies as much as we used to back in the day. These days, we’ve become accustomed to sitting at chairs and adopting bad posture habits overtime.

    I know for me, it took me a while to feel comfortable sitting in a seated meditation pose with my back unsupported.

    Due to having weak core muscles, I’d find myself slouching, overarching or straining my back muscles to hold myself up straight.

    Maybe you’re experiencing a similar thing?

    The trick is to practice.

    Meditation does takes practice – just like going to the gym.

    We must gradually strengthen our core muscles overtime by staying consistent and doing exercises that work muscles we’ve become unaccustomed to using.

    Bad Posture can contribute to lower back pain during meditation

    4. Poor Posture Habits

    Another common reason for experiencing back pain during meditation is related to poor posture habits.

    When meditating, it is common for people to slouch or overarch their backs due to certain muscles overcompensating for others. This can lead to a lot of problems.

    Slouching and overarching has the tendency to strain certain muscles in your back or neck, and can also bring your spine out of alignment.

    The positioning of your head in relation to your spine and pelvis is also important.

    Many forget about the angle of the pelvis during meditation, but it is actually one of the most important aspects of posture to consider. 

    Having your pelvis tilted too far forward or too far back, can impact the natural alignment of your spine. It can also be one of the key triggers for back pain and strained back muscles.

    I talk all about the importance of alignment and meditation posture in our Meditation Poses for Beginners Guide.

     

    5. You’ve Been Choosing the Wrong Pose for Your Body

    When getting started with meditation, many beginners try to progress too quickly.

    They jump ahead and skip the basic poses, and instead try and force their bodies into poses that look “cool” or are “instagram worthy”.

    Don’t do this…

    Meditation is a journey, not a destination.

    Take your time! There’s no need to rush.

    Start with a basic pose, and if that’s comfortable, great! Stay with it for a few weeks and then try another.

    Finding the right meditation pose is all about trial and error and discovering what is most comfortable for your body.

    There are many different poses you can try and choose from.

     

    3 Simple Things You Can do to Reduce Back Pain During Meditation

    To reduce back pain during meditation, there are several paths you can take.

    1) Try an Alternative Pose

    As mentioned above, if you’ve been experience back pain during meditation in your current pose, a simple solution is to change your pose.

    There are numerous different poses available to try that may be better suited to your body to the one you’re currently doing.

    For example there’s:

    • Corpse Pose (lying down on the floor)
    • Cross legged
    • Quarter Lotus
    • Half Lotus
    • Full Lotus (Advanced)
    • Kneeling 
    • Standing 

    If you struggle to stay still, you can also do meditation whilst moving (Eg. Walking, Tai-Chi, Yoga etc)

    There’s honestly so many different options guys.

    For me, I alternate between corpse pose, quarter lotus and half lotus depending on the time of day, my flexibility at the time and any lower back pain I experience.

    I explain all of these poses and more in the Meditation Poses for Beginners Guide. 

     

    2) Use a Meditation Mat or Cushion For Added Comfort

    Something that had a SIGNIFICANT IMPACT on my lower back pain during meditation was purchasing a Meditation Cushion.

    Meditation Cushion for Back Pain-min

    Although I procrastinated buying a meditation cushion for ages, when I finally bit the bullet, it was so worth it.

    Meditation cushions are great because they help to tilt your pelvis on the right angle, to promote the natural curvature in your spine.

    They also provide added cushioning to your sessions which is much more comfortable compared to sitting on the floor.

    In this article, I explain meditation cushions in detail if that’s something you’re interested in.

    Here’s a link to the Meditation Cushion I personally use, in case you’re looking to get one for yourself.

    It’s great quality, does the job and I’ve had no problems.

    Yoga Mats can also be a great alternative.

    Similar to a meditation cushion, yoga / meditation mats can improve the comfort of your practice by preventing you from sitting or lying directly on the floor.

    They add a touch of cushioning and are very versatile. You can use your meditation mat for yoga and stretching exercises too.

    Using a Yoga Mat or Meditation cushion can help to reduce back pain

    3) Do Some Simple Yoga Exercises / Stretched Beforehand

    A third tip you can try to reduce back pain during meditation is to do some simple Yoga exercises of stretched BEFORE you start your meditation practice.

    Some of the stretches that I like to do are:

    I include a whole list of stretches and yoga poses you can try in our Meditation Poses for Beginners Guide. 

    Definitely grab your copy of the above guide if you’d like some guidance on:

    • The Different Poses for Beginners & which one is best suited to you
    • Stretching / Yoga exercises you can do before meditation
    • Meditation Posture tips and recommendations
    • Tips and recommendations on Meditation cushions, meditation mats or other products that can help to reduce back pain during meditation

    Click Here to Get Your Copy Today!

    Journey to Calm - Meditation Poses Guide

    In Summary,

    As you should now be aware, you’re not alone in experiencing back pain during meditation.

    It’s actually really common.

    Of the above topics covered, you may have already noted down some things that may be contributing to your discomfort.

    1. Poor Flexibility
    2. Past injuries
    3. Weak Core Muscles
    4. Poor Posture Habits
    5. You’ve been choosing the wrong pose for your body

    And now, you should have some ideas of what you can do to combat this.

    1. Try an Alternative Pose
    2. Use a Meditation Mat or Cushion for added comfort
    3. Do some simple stretches or yoga poses before you start to warm up your body

    It’s always important to start with short meditation sessions and then grow overtime.

    Don’t force your body to stay in a pose for long periods of time when you’re not used to it.

    You need to build up gradually (just like at a gym).

    Yoga stretches can help to reduce back pain during meditation

    I hope this article has helped you and that you can now experience greater comfort and focus during your meditation sessions. 

    If you’d like to get our Complete Meditation Poses Guide for Beginners, you can do so here.

    Alternatively, start with out FREE introductory Meditation Poses Printable by entering your details below.

    All the best and happy meditating!

     

    Next Up: How to Sit For Meditation | Meditation Posture Tips for Beginners

    What is Meditation? And How to Do it Easily.

    What is Meditation? And How to Do it Easily.

    Before starting my meditation journey, I would often wonder what is meditation?

    I always thought of meditation being a woo woo concept that only religious or spiritual people did.

    Maybe you’re in a similar boat?

    I had this vision in my mind of what people looked like when meditating, and although it looked kind of blissful, it actually put me off.

    Was it even possible for me to be like those people?

    In my world, my mind was always racing. I had so much to do in my day including massive to do lists. There was no way that I had TIME to sit down and “relax”.

    Or so I thought…

    But overtime, as I dipped more of my toes into the meditation world, I realised that there was something to this practice.

    If you’re someone who prefers to learn visually than reading an article, check out the video below:

     

    What is Meditation & How to Do it Easily!

    I started to noticing my mindset changing:

    • I felt happier and more content with my life
    • I became more grateful and appreciative of the small things
    • I was less stressed and anxious during my day
    • I felt like I had MORE time (which was incredible)
    • I felt more focused and less scattered
    • I became more aware of my body, people around me and also my surrounding environment

    All the time and effort I had been putting into developing a meditation routine was working.

    AND it felt freaking awesome!

    I gradually moved from meditation skeptic, to beaming advocate.

    But what is meditation in the first place?

    Let’s explore this in more detail below.

     

     

    What is Meditation?

    Personally, I define meditation as a practice that involves taking a moment to yourself to do one or more of the following:

    • Tune into and enjoy the present moment
    • Unwind and relax
    • Observe wandering thoughts
    • Clear your mind of thought as they arise without any judgment
    • tune into your surroundings or focus your attention on a particular subject.

    As you become distracted, you softly bring your attention back to focus.

    The truth is that there are many different definitions about what meditation is on the internet. This can cause a lot of confusion.

    Especially when some people think they’re defining “meditation”, but they’re actually getting mixed up and defining mindfulness instead.

    How to Meditate for Beginners

    The Difference Between Meditation and Mindfulness

    Although mindfulness and meditation have many similarities, there are some differences between the two.

    For example, mindfulness is generally considered it’s own unique umbrella and type of meditation.

    But you don’t necessarily need to be meditating to be mindful either…

    Confused yet? Hear me out.

    There are many different ways to be mindful. For example, you could be mindful whilst:

    • Walking to work
    • Having a shower
    • Waiting in a queue for your coffee
    • Exercising
    • Washing the dishes
    • Gardening etc.

    In addition to mindfulness, there are also different types of meditation:

    • Chakra Meditation
    • Walking Meditation
    • Movement Meditation (Eg. Yoga, Tai-Chi, etc)
    • Loving-Kindness Meditation
    • Transcendental Meditation
    • Chanting / Mantra Meditation
    • And many more…

    Both mindfulness and meditation can be done in a designated meditation room/ space, or in other locations like your desk at work.

    Both practices are very versatile in how you use them.

     

    Common FAQ’s about Meditation

    1) Can Meditation Help Me with Managing Stress & Anxiety?

    It sure can. Anxiety, chronic stress and burnout were things that I wanted to improve through meditation.

    That’s pretty much why I started meditating in the first place.

    Meditation is a natural technique that can help you to become a much happier, healthier and calmer version of you.

     

    2) Can Meditation Be Done by Women and Men?

    Absolutely! Meditation is just as relevant and effective for men as it is for women.

    Meditation doesn’t discriminate and everyone can feel the benefits of meditation when it is practices consistently and frequently.

     

    3) How Often Should I Meditate?

    As a newbie, I suggest that it’s probably best to only commit yourself to meditating once a day.

    This will make it much easier and less of a time burden to turn it into a daily habit.

    What is Meditation & How to Get Started

     

    4) How Long Should I Meditate for?

    As a beginner, just start with 1-3 minutes each day – particularly in the first week.

    This way your meditation practice won’t feel like a burden on your time.

    As your attention improves, you can then extend your sessions up to 15-30 minutes.

     

    5) Is Meditation Hard to Learn?

    Just like any new skill, meditation takes time to master. But it doesn’t demand anything more than what it would demand to start any new habit.

    Learning how to meditate will take commitment, consistency and self-discipline.

    But the concept behind the simpler types of meditation for beginners, is pretty straight forward.

     

    6) Where Can I Meditate?

    Almost anywhere. As long as you have enough space to sit, stand or lie down and somewhere quiet without disruption, you’re pretty good to go.

    As mentioned above, some people prefer to meditate in a particular meditation space. Others like to meditate when they are up and about doing a whole spectrum of activities.

    Personally, I like to meditate in the morning, at the same time, in a designated spot in my meditation room

    7) What is Meditation’s Benefits?

    There are manage proven benefits of practicing regular and consistent meditation.

    It’s beneficial for your mental, physical and emotional health. 

    If you’re interested in reading more about the benefits of meditation you can check out this article. 

    What is Meditation -& How to Get Started

    Get Started with our Meditation for Beginners Course

    Meditation is definitely something that is easier to grasp when you have someone guiding your through it.

    Trust me, I know!!

    For years, I tried to learn meditation on my own…with many failed attempts, trial and error, a ton of frustration and sadly, much wasted time!

    If you’re interested in saving yourself time, confusion and frustration on your meditation journey, it’s best to learn from someone who has been where you are and has done it themsleves.

    Start you Meditation Journey the right way with our Journey to Calm Meditation Course for Beginners.

    Icon Journey to Calm Course

    Click here to learn more about our Beginner’s Meditation Course. 

     

    If you’re not ready to jump into the complete 14-day course, you can also sign up to our FREE mini version of the course below. 

    In the free mini course, you’ll gain an insight into what meditation is, how it works, how it benefits our health and why it can be a great natural alternative to reduce stress and anxiety symptoms.

    Start your meditation journey today by entering your details below.

    Up Next: 7 Types of Meditation for Beginners & The Benefits!

    How I Use Meditation to Decrease Anxiety & Stress

    How I Use Meditation to Decrease Anxiety & Stress

    If you find it difficult to decrease anxiety or stress, you’re in the right place!

    Like me, you probably understand the following feelings:

    • Your thoughts racing on constant overdrive
    • Your heart throbbing in your throat
    • Over-sensitivity to what people say and think
    • Panic attacks
    • Feeling on edge and unable to focus when anxious
    • Having trouble sleeping
    • Finding it difficult to sit still for long periods of time
    • Being unable to swallow properly due to emotions building up
    • AND unable to stop worrying about worst case scenarios or what will happen in the future.
    Yep, having anxiety can suck...

    But it’s usually at it’s worst when you’re not equipped with effective techniques to manage and cope with it.

    As someone who has had anxiety for many years and found constant stress overwhelming, I understand the frustrations of not being able to switch off your mind, control difficult emotions or rationalise why you’re feeling a certain way.

    I get it….

    But I think the greatest challenge I experienced, was trying to explain my anxiety to my inner circle.

    It’s hard to explain your emotions and what you’re feeling (eg. anxious, angry, stressed or upset) when you don’t really have a tangible reason behind it.

    Managing Anxiety - When people Don't Understand

    And in the moments when they couldn’t empathise with how I was feeling, I’d start to feel weird and like an outcast.

    I think that was the greatest pain of them all…

    BUT!! There’s a silver lining!  I don’t feel that way anymore!

    I’ve learned to be a lot more open with my emotions and have learned how to decrease anxiety and stress symptoms.

    And now, I’m so much more stable with my mind and emotions.

    But how did I do learn to decrease anxiety?

    I’m going to delve into this shortly, but before I do – here’s a video you can watch which covers the same content if you’re more of a visual learner than a reader.

    To be honest, Meditation has been an absolute godsend for me!

    If you haven’t done meditation before or are a bit intimidated or “weirded out” about with what meditation is, don’t worry! I was in the same place several years ago.

    But after giving it a go and keeping consistent, the practice has truly transformed my life.

    It’s such an amazing natural way to decrease anxiety symptoms, reduce stress and has a whole range of other benefits for general health and wellness. 

    In this article, I’m going to highlight how and why meditation has helped me to decrease anxiety and how it can help you too.

     

    How to Decrease Anxiety & Stress with Meditation 

    If you’re struggling with managing anxiety, you probably experience at least one of the following thoughts in your day-to-day functioning:

    That you/you’re:

    • Not good enough
    • Unattractive
    • Unloved or unlikable
    • Unworthy
    • Dumb or don’t have what it takes to be successful
    • Prone to fail
    • Difficult for other to understand
    • Have something wrong with you
    • Have no time or are too busy to do things you enjoy

    Sound familiar???

    The problem is that these thoughts are usually ingrained limiting beliefs that have developed at some point in your childhood or early years of life.

    When you have anxiety, or are stressed, these thoughts are triggered regularly and can often occur in a scattered fashion.

    The purpose of meditation is to slow down your mind and detach from your thoughts.

    You are not your thoughts! 

    That is something I have personally learned throughout my meditation journey.

    How to Use Meditation to Help Decrease Anxiety and Stress


    Why I Tried Meditation to Decrease Anxiety

    In 2016, I went on the greatest adventure of my life!!

    I spent 1 year backpacking around the world including South, East & North Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

    Before my travels, I had read about the benefits of meditation for anxiety and had also heard about the powers of mindfulness.

    Although I really wanted to decrease anxiety naturally, I felt that meditation was a bit too “woo woo” and wouldn’t work for me.

    I also wasn’t a spiritual person, had very little extra time to invest into it and had some preconceived assumptions regarding what meditation was aboutwhich I later found out were complete myths!

    Maybe right now, you’re feeling a similar way?

    When working full-time, I’d put off trying meditation because I felt there were more pressing issues. But when I was travelling, I had no excuse…

    I now HAD the time to give it a shot and didn’t have much to lose….

     

    My First Experience Meditating #FAIL

    Learning how to meditate was not easy, especially given I tried to be smart and do it all on my own (Not something I’d recommend if you’re just starting out too)

    It took a lot of trial and error, time and I rarely had any idea what I was doing!

    And because I didn’t have a dedicated meditation space, I felt so paranoid that:

    1. My room-mates would wake to find me looking like some uncoordinated passed out starfish on the floor
    2. People would think I’m dead or passed out and would notify the hostel staff
    3. Travellers would walk in on me, ruining my practice, focus, and also causing a big red face of embarrassment (on my end!)

     

    My Experience Meditating Now

    Now, several years later, I have developed a steady morning meditation routine. 

    And what can I say, it’s freaking awesome!!

    I love to meditate in the morning. I find it really sets me up for the day.

    These days, I don’t get stressed as easily, I’m more balanced, more focused, motivated, centred and feel genuinely happy before my day has even begun.

    Meditation, mindfulness and deep breathing have become necessary exercises in my daily life.

    How I Use Meditation to Decrease Anxiety and Manage Stress

    The Benefits I’ve Experienced from Meditation

    1) Dedicated time to refresh, regenerate and relax. 

    One of the greatest things I’ve gained from building a meditation routine is that I’m much more comfortable giving myself permission take a break and a moment to myself.

    Being able to pause, reflect, focus and live in the now rather than constantly panicking about the future, what I need to do, my goals or past events.

     

    2) Have Greater Clarity With My Thoughts

    Rather than having scattered and distracting thoughts a lot of the time I’m now able to focus on what’s important, and detach from the rest.

     

    3) I Deal With Anxiety & Stress Much Better 

    I’m also so much with how I manage anxiety, pressure, stress, nerves, overwhelm and conflict.

    Previously, it wouldn’t take much for me to feel stressed and overwhelmed, but now I feel that my tolerance and resilience is a lot better.

     

    4) I Feel Genuinely Happy Within Myself 

    Meditation has helped me to feel happier every day because I have greater focus and can prioritise my time on things that have the greatest meaning or impact to me.

    I have a better understanding of myself and my emotional triggers, have learned to accept myself as I am and have a more positive mindset. I don’t dwell on the negative and have more gratitude and appreciation for the small things in life.

    I guess you could say I’m a much more grounded, happy and balanced person in most areas of my life.

     

    How Meditation Could Help You Decrease Anxiety & Stress

     

    Something to remember…

    Although meditation (for some) is a spiritual practice, it’s not magic.

    There may be times when you meditate and don’t feel much afterwards at all. Other days you may feel amazing and ready to take on the world!

    Another thing to consider is that Meditation will not rid you completely of your anxiety or stress symptoms.

    But it will help you to reduce them and cope more effectively.

    Although it may not do those things, Meditation will open the door to your subconscious and give you insight into the inner workings of your mind.

    Given many of us are so busy running our lives and distracted by the noise around us, we rarely give ourselves time to tune in to what it really going on at a subconscious level.

    Before learning the skill of meditation, I had suppressed my emotions for so long, that I’d eventually boil over like a pot on the stove.

    Even at the most undesirable times…aka. work.

    I learned the hard way but you don’t need to.

    Until you sit down and truly listen to what’s going on in your head, you’ll never be able to overcome or address the source of your anxiety and stress.

    If you’d like to read more about the health benefits of meditation you can do so here.

    How to Meditate to Manage Anxiety & Stress

    How to Get Started with Meditation as a Beginner

    Wanna know what’s awesome?  Yeah you do…

    Well for starters, you don’t have to be a pro or be spiritual to feel the benefits of meditation.

    You also don’t need to have a lot of time to invest into it or spend a lot of money on meditation retreats or classes.

    I started my meditation journey on a cold hostel floor with a pillow.

    Not ideal, but proves it can be done.

    To start a meditation practice, all you need is:

    • Yourself;
    • A quiet place to sit or lie down;
    • and guidance form someone who knows what they’re doing.

    And that person is me! Yay!!

    If you’d like to give meditation a go, and are interested in learning from someone who has been where you are, I offer a great meditation course for beginners to teach you how to meditate.

    Decrease Anxiety with our Journey to Calm Meditation Course for Beginners

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    In the course, Journey to Calm, you’ll get to learn about the following:

    • How anxiety & chronic stress impact our health and stress relieving activities you can do to combat it
    • About natural remedies you can add into your weekly routine for stress relief
    • How to build a positive and un-shakeable mindset by overcoming limiting beliefs and using positive affirmations, gratitude and mindfulness.
    • About the importance of self-care and some easy things you can do during your week to feel happier and fill your cup up again
    • How to Meditate and what you need to know before getting started
    • How to maintain a good posture to improve the quality of your practice
    • How to choose a meditation pose that suits your body and improves comfort and focus
    • Simple techniques to create a Meditation room that you love and that heightens your meditation practice
    • Simple ways to reduce back & joint pain
    • How to build a fool-proof Meditation Routine in just 14 days.

    Click here to learn more about the Journey to Calm Course. 

     

    If you’re not ready to jump into the complete course, you can alternatively sign up to our FREE / Lite version of the course below. 

    In the free mini course, you’ll gain an insight into what meditation is, how it works, the benefits and why it is so great for decreasing anxiety and stress symptoms.

    Like most things in life, you can never be 100% sure what the outcome will be until you give something a go…

    Start your meditation journey today by entering your details below.

    Meditation Posture | An Intro to Meditation Poses for Beginners

    Meditation Posture | An Intro to Meditation Poses for Beginners

    Holding the right meditation posture and finding the right meditation pose for your body can take practice and trial and error.

    Right now, you could be experiencing:

    • back pain
    • hip pain
    • leg pain
    • ankle pain
    • numbness
    • flexibility struggles or even an
    • inability to focus

    The problem is that a lot of the info on the internet can be confusing when it comes to which meditation pose is best to start out with.

    In this article, I’m going to be exploring popular meditation poses for beginners and some simple ways to improve your meditation posture.

    Learning these tips will help you to improve enjoyment during your meditation practice.

    I’ll also introduce you to our extensive meditation poses guide for beginners.

    In this guide, I explain several meditation poses in detail, including the downfalls and benefits of each and the body types they suit.

    That way you can start your meditation with ease and flow.

    Let’s now kick straight into things including the following topics below:

    1) Why choosing the right meditation pose for your body is important

    2) Meditation Posture:

    • How to position your back, neck and head during meditation
    • What to do with your hands
    • Where to focus your eyes

    3) Meditation Posture FAQ’s

    4) How to find the best meditation pose for your body

     

     

     

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    Why Choosing the Right Meditation Pose is Important

    To be completely honest, the meditation pose you choose can make or break your meditation practice.

    Meditating in an uncomfortable pose repeatedly could cause you to develop a negative attitude towards meditation.

    You’re also less likely to experience the many benefits of daily meditation because you’re so distracted by pain and discomfort and therefore, find yourself procrastinating saying “Meditation is to hard.” or maybe “I’m not made for this…”.  

    Meditation should be an activity that you enjoy and look forward to each day.

    By continuing to meditate in discomfort and not listening to the needs of your body, you’re only going to make your meditation practice miserable and waste your time.

    Instead, start your meditation journey right by exploring different meditation poses to suit you body and level of flexibility.

    Your meditation pose should also:

    • Balance the energies in your body
    • Help you get the right head space
    • Signal to your body that it’s “meditation time”
    • Make meditation easier by helping your feel stable and grounded
    • Minimise distractions
    • Help you remain still for the desired period of time (Eg. 5 – 20 minutes)
    • Feel relaxed and comfortable

    You can also invest in a meditation cushion or yoga mat to increase comfort and reduce back pain during meditation too. Personally, that really helped me!

    I talk about this more in our meditation poses for beginner guide. 

     

    P.S>> If you’re more of a visual learner, you can watch the video below where I explain everything covered in this article but in a more visual way. And you’ll get to meet me too which is always fun!

     

    Meditation Posture:

     

     

    How to Position Your Back, Neck & Head

    To achieve good posture during meditation, you want to strive for your back, neck, and head to be in a comfortable upright position.

    Your spine should feel elongated, almost as though each vertebra is stacked on top of one other.

    Imagine a string pulling you up towards the sky causing you to sit straight and upright, with your chin parallel to the floor or tilted slightly downward.

    Try to relax the muscles in your neck, shoulders and face so that there is no tension. Avoid slouching or leaning your neck forward.

    Doing some neck, shoulder and back stretches before starting could be helpful or even scrunching up your face for a few seconds and then letting it go as you start your practice.

    All of these things can help to promote relaxation.

     

    What to Do With Your Hands During Meditation

     

    For good meditation posture, your hands should rest comfortably in your lap, on your knees or by your side.

    Don’t worry about copying influencers on instagram, buddhist monks or other types of hand positions you may see on the internet.

    You’re just starting out, therefore it’s best to get the foundations sorted first.

    if you are interested in learning about the different types of hand positions and the meanings behind them, I explain this in detail in the meditation poses for beginners guide. 

    Meditation Poses - What to do with your hands

     

    Where to Focus Your Eyes During Meditation

     

    When starting out with your meditation practice, a common question newbies ask is “Where should I focus my eyes?”

    Sometimes this step can feel a bit awkward or challenging. Especially if you’re used to running around, focusing on many things at once or have a short attention span.

    In the early stages of meditation, it’s worth doing some trial and error to discover what feels most relaxing for you.

    Experiment with having your eyes closed or open whilst focusing on a particular object (eg. a candle)

    I personally prefer my eyes to be closed, however I have read of others who prefer to have their eyes open and focused on a certain point. It all comes down to personal preference.

    Meditation Pose - Where to focus your eyes-min

     

     

    Meditation Posture FAQ’s

    When I started my meditation journey, I thought there was only one kind of way to sit for meditation.

    I made many assumptions, and although it was uncomfortable, I thought that was the only way to do it. However, it turned out that my meditation posture was completely wrong.

    Here’s a couple of questions that come up regularly by beginners.

     

    1) Is the traditional lotus a good pose to start with?

    If you’re a complete beginner then no, I don’t recommend it. This pose demands more flexibility than the others and can cause significant pain and injury if you try and do it too soon in your meditation journey.

    If you are really flexible or have been meditating for a while, it could be a good one to try.

     

     

    2) How does deep breathing tie in with my meditation posture?

    Deep breathing is important because it helps you get into a relaxed state and keeps your core strong whilst you hold correct meditation posture.

     

     

    3) Will I need to buy a meditation cushion, mat or bench before I get started?

    You don’t NEED a meditation cushion or yoga mate, but it can definitely help to improve comfort during your practice. I personally use both.

    If you’d like to read more about meditation mats or meditation cushions, you can click the links below:

     

     

    4) My back continues to ache when I’m in sitting meditation. What should I do?

    If you continue to experience back pain during meditation, I’d suggest you check out the below article.

    Back pain is something that I dealt with frequently during my meditation journey, but I have managed to reduce it by doing stretches, adjusting my meditation posture, alternating meditation poses and using a proper meditation cushion and mat.

     

    How to Find the Right Meditation Pose for Your Body 

    In the early phases of your meditation journey, it’s a good idea to have a play with various types of meditation poses.

    Avoid just sticking with one.

    That way you’ll be able to discover the ones that are most comfortable for your body; aiding you with concentration and focus.

    If you need some help finding the right meditation pose or have absolutely no freaking idea where to start, I can definitely help you!

    Firstly, ensure to get started with the Complete Meditation Poses for Beginners Guide.

    With this guide, you’ll learn how to improve comfort and focus during meditation. You will also get a whole toolkit of tips & tricks to help you reduce back pain and discomfort during your sessions.

    This will ensure that you are reaping the greatest benefits from your daily meditation practice.

    After all, you don’t want it to be a complete waste of your time…

    Product - Meditation Poses GUide

    Click Here to Get The Complete Meditation Poses Guide for Beginners

     

    Not Ready For the Complete Guide?

    If you’re not ready to jump in and get the entire Poses Guide, but would like to learn about the types of poses available for beginners, you can download our FREE Mini Meditation Poses Guide here.

    In this mini “lite” version, you’ll learn a basic overview of the types of meditation poses available for beginners.

    It won’t teach you the “how as this is covered in the complete Meditation Poses Guide. But it will give you an insight into “what” poses are good to start out with.

    Enter your details below or via the link above to get your free mini version.

     

    Next Up: Read about Meditation Resources for Beginners | 8 Tools to Get Started

     

    Why Deep Breathing is Important for Meditation & Stress Relief

    Why Deep Breathing is Important for Meditation & Stress Relief

    Did you know that our breathing can actually lower the amount of stress hormones circling around our bodies?

    Yep, that’s right!!

    Deep breathing (also known as Diaphragmatic breathing) can help us signal to our bodies that we are safe.

    This prompts our bodies to deactivate the Sympathetic Nervous System and activate our Parasympathetic Nervous System.

    The Parasympathetic Nervous System is designed to bring our bodies back to a balanced and relaxed state and is responsible for calming our bodies so we can rest, digest and repair.

    You can read more about how stress impacts these bodily systems here.

    When it comes to deep breathing, the best way to master it is through regular practice.

     

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      The Benefits of Deep Breathing

      There are many health benefits of incorporating deep breathing into your day to day life.

      Some scientifically proven benefits include:

      • Help to get more oxygen to your brain which can help with focus and concentration  (1) 
      • Reduce stress and anxiety symptoms by promoting relaxation, and in some cases PTSD symptoms  (2) (3)
      • Can relieve Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)  (4)
      • Improve sleep
      • Can reduce harmful physiological damage from chronic stress on the body (5)
      • Lowers your heart rate and blood pressure (6) (7)

      To remind yourself to breathe deeply it can be handy to set times in your day to do it.

      eg. During your morning meditation, at lunch on a walk, whilst driving in the car to work or even when sitting at your desk before a meeting.

      When doing deep breathing for the first time it can feel a bit weird…

      But it is SO GOOD for your body!

      It’s also a great technique to heighten the quality of your meditation, which is why it’s used at the beginning of meditation and yoga.

      You can also incorporate it alongside some other stress relieving activities and natural remedies for optimal results.

      Diaphragmatic Breathing (Deep Breathing) - Man breathing deeply

       

      Deep Breathing – The 4-7-8 Rule

      The 4-7-8 rule breaks down deep breathing into three memorable and easy steps.

      1. You breathe in deeply for 4 seconds (Breathe deeply into your belly, not your chest)
      2. Then hold your breath for 7 seconds and
      3. Breathe out for 8 seconds

      You then continue to repeat this process until you can start to notice you body relaxing and returning to state of balance.

      Personally, I find it helpful to rest my hand against my diaphragm, which is located just slightly above your belly button, as shown below:

      Resting your hand on your diaphragm can act as a reminder to breathe deeply into your stomach rather than your chest.

      You can recognise when you’re doing this process wrong because you’ll see your shoulders rising with each breath. An easy way to check this is to watch yourself in the mirror.

      Yes… I know sometimes this can feel a bit weird and awkward.

      But it’s the best way to see what’s really going on.

       

      Deep Breathing Tips for Newbies

      Apparently, we take up to 17,000-30,000 breaths per day!

      So, breathing is definitely not a new concept for most of you. Well, it shouldn’t be…. otherwise you may have another problem!

      The trick is to become more mindful of your breathing and extend your breaths over a longer period of time.

       

      Here are some additional tips that may help:

      1. Avoid breathing in too much, otherwise your lungs may literally explode by the time you’ve finished holding your breath.
      2. Ideally, when holding your breath, you should still feel comfortable and relaxed.
      3. If you start to feel light headed understand that this can be quite normal, but stop if needed or you feel like you may faint.
      4. The reason you could be feeling that way is because you are not breathing in enough oxygen compared to the amount of CO2 you are breathing out.

       

      Diaphragmatic Breathing (Deep Breathing) - Man breathing deeply

       

      How to Use Deep Breathing During Meditation

      Deep breathing is regularly used in meditation to help you relax and get yourself in the zone.

      Alongside the many other benefits of meditation, breathing properly can really help to improve your focus, mood, stress tolerance and blood pressure.

      Here are some basic steps you can follow to add deep breathing into your meditation practice (if you haven’t already).

      1. Find a quiet space
      2. Close your eyes
      3. Take a deep breath in for 4 counts (4 seconds)
      4. Hold your breath for 7 seconds (breathe into your stomach not your chest)
      5. Gradually, let go of the air and breathe out consistently for 8 seconds
      6. Repeat this process until you start to notice your body relaxing
      7. Return your breathing to a natural breathing rhythm as you begin your meditation practice

       

      Master Deep Breathing Through Meditation

      If you’d like to learn more about deep breathing and how to do it, we teach this and more in our Journey to Calm Meditation Course.

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      If you’re not ready to start the complete 14-Day meditation course, you can learn about the basics of meditation with our FREE / Lite version.

      Get started with the Journey to Calm Lite Course, by entering your details below.

       

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