Do you like the idea of starting a morning meditation ritual but don't think you have the time?
Waking up each morning isn’t easy for some people. When we wake up, we are often hit with the realisation that we have a huge list of things that need to get done:
Get the kids ready for school, take out the trash, walk the dog oh yeah and pay those overdue bills!
But heh, we’ve done all these things thousands of times before so it’s not that difficult to get going once we’re up.
The thing is, most of us are doing things without much (if any) thought or planning, we know roughly what we need to do so we ‘flick the switch’ and grind through it.
It’s almost like we are stuck on autopilot every morning. But what if you could have a less stressful more intentional start to your mornings?
A basic morning meditation practice every day can help to minimize anxiety, improve concentration, and even ease physical tension. Try out the following steps to kickstart your day with intention.
Meditation is like a gym in which you develop the powerful mental muscles of calm and insight.
Get Out of Bed
Getting to your feet is the first step. Because meditation is so relaxing, if you try to do your morning meditate whilst still in bed it’s highly likely you will just fall asleep again.
You should ensure you have a dedicated space for meditation and set it up the night before with your meditation cushion, candles and anything else you need so that you can start straight away once you’re up.
Don’t touch your phone (unless it is to switch an alarm off) and leave your computer and other devices alone so you are not filling you mind with distractions.
These devices keep you connected to the outside world, but you want to remain focused on your internal world when meditating.
Morning Meditation Sacred Space
After making yourself comfortable, get settled into your ‘sacred space’. As you will likely still be a little sleepy, the area should not be too dark, you want to aim for a comfortable ‘glow’ as opposed to harsh bright light.
Scented candles will be a worthwhile addition when you meditate, as they create a peaceful and calming atmosphere with a natural, soothing light.
If candles aren’t available, try just opening the curtains a little so that sunlight can gently seep in.
If you don’t have scented candles, I’d recommend using incense or an oil diffuser with aromatherapy oils. Orange and similar citrus aromas are great to wake you up naturally.
Sit comfortably with your back straight. Rest your palms face up on top of your knees and allow your eyes to close gently.
Breathe in deeply and hold your breath for about five seconds before slowly exhaling. Any tension you’re holding should be released as you exhale.
From there, start counting down from 20. Inhale on the number 20 and work your way towards 1, inhaling on each even number.
So, for example you would take a deep breathe in on the number 20, then breathe out for 19, then inhale once again on 18 and so on until you reach 1.
Counting should keep your mind active enough to stop you falling asleep.
After reaching number one, breathe outward fully, and try to visualize any negativity that accumulated from the day before leaving your body as you exhale.
Return your breath to a normal breathing pattern and when you are ready, open up your eyes to appreciate the moment.
If you want to go a step further then check out these yoga poses to add a little more movement to your morning.
Morning Meditation Chants and Mantras
Move straight from the above exercise and try an Ohm chant. Although this might sound very woo woo, ohm chants can be very effective as the sound itself has a powerful calming effect.
Keep eyes open during this exercise, concentrating on the candle’s light and/or the smoke trail emitted by your incense or oil diffuser (if you have neither of these then you can simply maintain a soft focus on something small like an ornament).
Breathe in deeply, then when releasing your breath make a long, strong “Ohmmmmm” sound. Some people feel awkward doing this at first, if this happens dismiss your self-criticism and just keep going.
It won’t be long before you fall into a rhythm of Ohm chanting at a pace you’re comfortable with. Try repeating the chant for 10-15 times.
If you want to start off your day with specific intentions, then you can choose to repeat a mantra instead (or in addition to) an Ohm chant.
Try to keep these to just a couple of words that represent your intentions. For example, “I love,” or just “love.” Start every chant by inhaling deeply, then exhaling as you say the mantra.
You can use spoken chants, or if like you can elongate the sounds of these words to resemble an “Ohm” chant. The choice is yours.
Try out this amazing 12-minute audio morning meditation and experience an hour long meditation in just 12 minutes!
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Start Your Day Strong
Once you have finished your meditation, take one last deep breath and whilst putting a big smile on your face, raise your arms straight up in the air.
Keep smiling and visualize yourself as a strong and powerful Lion. Hold this for a slow count to 10 then release and exhale.
Throughout the day try to keep in mind the calm and strength with which you started your day and keep your intentions front of mind.
If you are new to meditation, check out this free 12-minute meditation.
If you want some additional help to get you in the mood for meditation then check out this amazing Meditation Essentials Collection
Zen12 is my favourite audio tool for meditation. Their downloadable 'brainwave' meditation audio program crams an hour of meditation into just 12 minutes!
So if you are worried you don't have time for meditation this is perfect ! The best part is... it's FREE!
At first glance, the MindPlace Kasina DeepVision device looks like an old school IPod with VR glasses... but don't be fooled! This is probably THE best device to help you get into a deep meditative state.
When meditating It helps to have a good meditation cushion.
Meditation cushions are comfortable, reduce physical pain and comfort, and help you focus on clearing the mind.
Candles can help to round out the calming experience when meditating.
My favourites are these ‘Yankee Candles’.
Try adding a weighted blanket when meditating in bed.
This helps stimulate serotonin release, which also helps improve sleep quality after meditation.
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