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TIPS ON MEDITATION

Sherri Baptiste MeditationHere are some effective tools and techniques to enhance your mindfulness and meditation practice. Tips are from San Francisco/Marin County yoga teacher, Sherri Baptiste: born into a lineage of teachers at the forefront of yoga training in America. She is the founder of Baptiste Power of Yoga™.

Meditation is a powerful technique that anyone can use. Physicians, psychologists, and other professionals endorse meditation as a powerful tool for relieving stress, maintaining health, and promoting creativity and vitality.

1. Find a Quiet Place.
Create a space in you home, and to set a daily time on your busy schedule, that is set aside just to sit and practice meditation. Space should be warm and draft free, with phones turned off, and lighting and music soft and unimposing.

2. How Often and How Long.
Begin with three to five minutes as a beginner, and let it grow to twenty or more minutes with a consistency of practice. Practice a minimum of three times a week with the ideal being daily. Meditation evolves over time, and when conditions are right meditation will flow. Encourage your self to be patient in the process, and to practice without any expectations.

3. Sitting Techniques.
You have different choices on how to sit. One most common is to sit comfortably in a cross-legged position on the floor, but many people need help in getting comfortable. You can use a small firm cushion or folded blanket under you sit bones with legs and knees resting on the floor. Or sit at the edge of a hard chair, with your feet on the floor, resting your hands on your thighs, or knees with palms up or down. Sitting straight is a key that will heighten awareness, and the quality of your breathing.


4. Breath Influences Everything.
Breathe smoothly and evenly, using the lower, mid and upper lungs without forcing. Establish a breath that is gentle and uninterrupted in quality and flow. You might say, ’the breath rolls in like a wave and out like a wave’...with a sense of expansion on the inhalation, relaxation on the exhalation. The use of breath in meditation will really help you in the process.

5. Cultivate the Mind.
Perhaps the biggest challenge is in working with the mind, but the harvest and rewards can be the richest and most empowering for daily life. As you sit, I encourage you to notice your thoughts and to step back from those thoughts watching them for a moment as they pass by. Then bring your awareness back to your breathing, using it as a tool, to calm the active mind and to direct the consciousness into new and deeper levels of awareness and insight.

6. Going Deeper.
At certain points as you guide yourself, use inner dialog with words and phrases such as:
• feel the stillness of your body
• relax more inside the throat
• notice the body breathing
• begin to listen to the breath with intimacy
• Observe and notice any areas that may still be constricting, and then simply let them go, letting these areas completely release

7. Look Within To Discover the Universe.
• It is at this point we let go of dialogue, leading yourself into the silence and space between the thoughts. Meditation goes beyond mindfulness techniques, it’s a spontaneous flow, and energetic quality, when all the conditions are just right it will simply flow. Now sit here for the next few moments in stillness and silence. The ideal here is to BE in the moment as it unfolds.

8. Bring yourself out of this practice slowly; use a soft tone of voice, and then place your hands on your chest for three deep cleansing breathes, eyes should open slowly. Encourage yourself to practice often.

For meditation products visit these web sites: Power of Yoga and Yoga With Weights.

...Namaste’

The yoga classes taught in Marin County, California are based on a series of traditional time-tested Hatha Yoga postures [asanas].

Learn more about Baptiste Power of Yoga™ classes

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