How to meditatie with ease
Reading time: 10 minutes
Meditating has been increasing in popularity lately. Not surprising considering scientific research shows that meditation has a very positive effect on mental health. Briefly described, meditation is a concentration exercise that leads to a positive change in consciousness. It is a tool to filter the stream of thoughts more easily, with the result that you harmonies. Because you experience (much) less stress, your immune system works better and the days when the head overflows with thoughts are over.
This is what meditation brings you:
- Your concentration level improves and you work more efficiently: you act from calmness instead of from agitation or frustration.
- You experience less stress which gives the immune system a boost.
- You become less frustrated and can let go of your anger more quickly.
- You will recognize thoughts so that you make more conscious choices.
Meditate and Yoga
Do you brush with a toothbrush and toothpaste? Now you may think, what a crazy question, but keep reading, as it will become clear. The combination of the toothbrush with toothpaste works effectively for the maintenance of the teeth. You can also brush with only water, but often we choose both. Meditation and yoga are linked in exactly the same way: they are a very effective combination for physical and mental health.
In fact, yoga is a form of meditation. To the rhythm of the inhalation and exhalation, you move from one yoga pose to another. This gives you more control over the body and thus physical health. The rhythm of breathing also plays an essential role in meditation; focusing on it makes it easier to get to grips with the flow of thoughts in the brain and that increases mental health.
One can do without the other, but together they are a great tool for your mental and physical balance.
Just do it
Meditating is simply a matter of doing it. The strength is in the repetition; the discipline to do it. Since 2019 I meditate every morning for 10 minutes, no exceptions. In between I meditate during my yoga classes or when I go for a walk in the woods or on the beach.
When you start meditating, start realistically with, for example, 5 minutes in the morning or evening once a week. And gradually increase the number of minutes and times per week. You can sense where is room to expand.
The goal is not to meditate as fast as possible for hours on end, seven days a week, but to get the routine to continue doing it. So that it becomes as natural and automatic as brushing your teeth.
The great advantage of meditating is that it can never go wrong. And that also applies to the body position you adopt. That can be cross-legged, or legs stretched forward if that feels better, or just sitting on a chair. You can even meditate lying down. In short, there are many choices and it can sometimes be confusing. The best advice I can give you: don’t pay too much attention to others, but choose an position that works for YOU when you meditate. After all, meditation is about you.
To get you started you will find a few different and short meditations below.
Busy Mind | duration 5 minutes
Did you know that on average we have between 40,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day? Converted to 55 thoughts per minute. So a lot! At times when it feels like the head is flooded, this is a nice meditation to find more peace and get the overview back.
Time To Relax | duration 5 minutes
When we experience stress, breathing changes immediately. We will breathe higher towards the chest. The longer a breast breathing lasts, the longer the feeling of stress remains. The most natural way of breathing is towards the abdomen and allows the body to function optimally. This meditation allows you to experience abdominal breathing which ensures a relaxed feeling.
Are you unable to focus on meditation? Then try these three yoga poses. When the head is flooded with thoughts it is difficult to focus and we call that a Monkey Brain. Soothe the head with this short video:
When I meditate I like to use the Calm App. These guided meditations are different every day and in the app you will also find meditations for children and podcasts from international actors and athletes who talk about how they meditate on a daily basis. You can try the CALM app for free for a few days via this link.
Years ago Esther Schippers took a yoga class for the first time. With a little reluctance because she thought that yoga would not be for her. But that one class had an unexpected and positive impact on her life. She focused on yoga, followed an international yoga education and training before quitting her full-time office job and started working as a certified yoga teacher. Esther has taught in many studios in Amsterdam, New York and Ibiza. She also had two studios of her own in Rijswijk and The Hague. Since 2018 she has completely switched to online. She was the first yoga teacher to introduce live online yoga in Europe. Her website has been awarded best yoga blog 2019.