In this post I will share three tweaks for your meditation practice that I learned from meditating regularly over the past 2 years. Playing around with these will help you individualize your practice and adjust it to your mood and environment.
Meditation is about staying present despite distractions. Check out my blog post on eliminating distractions to make staying present in your daily life even easier.
1) Open Eyes versus Closed Eyes
The basic goal of meditation is to cultivate awareness and focus by directing your attention towards your breath. By closing or opening your eyes you can make this task more or less difficult. Practicing with eyes closed is easier for beginners and preferable if you meditate in a busy environment. If you want to challenge yourself try keeping your eyes open while focusing your gaze on a point in front of you. I found open-eyed meditation to carry over more into my daily life, simply because we spend most of our day with eyes open. Generally I try to practice both.
2) Choose a Sitting Position that Keeps You Awake
Meditating while sitting on a comfortable couch might be fine on some days, on others it might put you straight to sleep. When I’m tired I like to meditate sitting with crossed legs on the floor. It requires extra effort to keep my back straight in this position, which ultimately keeps me awake throughout my practice. Try out different sitting positions so you can chose the one that keeps you engaged. If you are tired chose a slightly uncomfortable one, if you are well-rested chose a more comfortable one.
3) Jumping In versus Warming Up
Jumping into your meditation practice by sitting down and starting the timer straight away might be perfectly fine on days when you already feel quite calm and present. I personally find though that on particularly busy days when I feel stressed out and have a hundred things on my mind it helps to have a little meditation “warm up” before actually starting the timer. The goal of your warm up is to shake off the grind of the day. Just take a minute to maybe stretch, breathe deeply and mentally remind yourself why you are meditating.
Play around with these and let me know what you think!
See you next time,