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Easy Meditation and Relaxation Exercises for Beginners

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Learning to meditate can seem difficult and intimidating. It doesn’t have to be.

The best way to learn to meditate is just to jump in. Pick an exercise below that appeals to you. Don’t overdo it at first. Start with only a minute or two at a time, and work up to longer sessions only when you feel comfortable.

You can do these exercises in various positions. You can do them while sitting, lying down, or even while walking. The most important thing is that you choose a place and time when you will have at least a few minutes alone without being disturbed.

Exercise 1:   I know

As you inhale, say silently to yourself, “I breathe in. I know I breathe in.” As you exhale, say silently to yourself, “I breathe out. I know I breathe out.”

Repeat for the duration of your meditation session.

If your mind starts to wander, bring it gently back to the exercise.

Exercise 2: Counting

Inhale. As you exhale, think “1.”  As you exhale, think “2.” Continue counting this way up to 4, then start over again with 1.

If at any time your mind wanders and you lose count, bring your mind gently back and start over again at 1.

Exercise 3: Mantra

You don’t have to pay a fortune to a meditation franchise operation to get assigned a mantra. Pick any one you like! You can use the classic “Ohm,” or you can choose any word that makes you feel calm and happy. You can use a phrase, or you can even use a nonsense syllable that has a pleasant sound.

If you use a single word, repeat it silently to yourself on each inhalation and exhalation. If you use a longer phrase, find a pattern where your inhalations and exhalations can synchronize with the words.

As above, when your attention starts to wander, and you go off on a train of thought, bring your mind gently back.

Exercise 4: Breath

When you inhale, concentrate on the sensation of your breath as it enters your nostrils. When you exhale, concentrate on the sensation of your breath leaving your nostrils. Can you feel a difference in temperature? Is the air cooler as it enters and hotter as it leaves?

This exercise may be harder than the ones above, because it can be harder to focus on a sensation than on a sound.  As a result, your attention may wander more frequently. As soon as you notice that you are no longer paying attention to your breath, bring your attention back.

Exercise 5: Golden Light

As you inhale, imagine that your breath is a golden light filling up your lungs.  As you exhale, imagine the golden light going into your brain and bringing energy to every brain cell.  On your next inhalation, imagine the golden light going into your heart. On your exhalation, imagine the light leaving through the top of your head and surrounding your body with a golden glow.

Repeat the whole sequence three times.

Exercise 6: Relaxation Band

Imagine that a band several inches wide is moving slowly down your body, starting at the top of your head. As the band moves, imagine that every area that it touches becomes relaxed.

Recommended reading:

The Three Minute Meditator by David Harp and Nina Feldman, New Harbinger Publications, 1996

The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook by Martha Davis, Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman, and Matthew McKay, New Harbinger Publications, 2000

Recommended DVDs:

Lilias Folan’s Yoga 101 Workout –  Awesome yoga workout for beginners.

Element: AM PM Yoga For Beginners – The AM workout is invigorating and prepares you for your day, the PM workout is relaxing and soothing for a good night’s sleep.

May

The informational content of this article is intended to convey general educational
information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

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