Yoga and Meditation for Beginners

Yoga and Meditation for Beginners

I don’t know about you, but I NEED my me time. Seriously, I need time to myself.

Now, as you have probably guessed, I love yoga. I have dabbled into the meditation side of yoga a little. With that I mean that I have done some breathing exercises guided by the instructor. I have found my peace in chavasana and followed it through my practice. There isn’t really anyone that can tell you, hey you’re meditating correct. It’s very spiritual and self-inflicted.

Want to know the hardest part about meditation?

Turning off your brain.

It’s crazy how many times I have told myself, OK Kahlua, don’t think about anything. Sometimes it goes a little quiet in my head and before I even realize it, I’m thinking again.

Meditation is the one time when you are required to not think. I’ll take it.

You have probably had the same experience yourself actually. When you’re trying to fall asleep and you just can’t. You toss and turn and count sheep or have some melatonin but you still can’t shut your brain off to sleep.

That’s probably the most frustrating part of meditation. Is not thinking. It just so sounds so weird to say.

yoga and meditation for beginners


Benefits of Yoga and Meditation

Yoga

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When you get into a meditative state, your yoga practice flows a lot better. It’s not a conscious thing that you realize until your practice is done. It’s easy to transition from each pose and because you are so in line with your breathing it makes each pose you get into easier to go deeper.

I have mentioned many times that yoga is about breathing. Well, when you begin to meditate the first step is to focus on your breathing. That’s another reason why yoga and meditation go hand in hand.

There’s a reason why every yoga class starts and ends in a meditative state.

Meditation

There are so many mental health reasons why people meditate. Don’t be scared because I said mental and health in the same sentence, its okay! Meditating improves your mental.. health and your overall awareness.

You ever met a mad Buddhist? Probably not. Meditating puts you in the front seat of controlling and acknowledging your emotions.

When you take that time to meditate you are giving yourself time to acknowledge thoughts that arise while finding that peaceful state. Even only acknowledging the thoughts that pass you, helps you figure out why they are there in the first place.

Another great reason to meditate – overall calmness.

For Beginners

Doing yoga and meditation does wonderful things for your body and mind. Taking that ten minutes to a half hour really calms the mind and makes the little things irrelevant.

As a beginner yogi or trying out meditation, your brain and body go through so many feelings. For yoga, your body is learning new ways that it can move or be placed. With that and muscle memory, when you continue your yoga journey you are able to get into a pose deeper or challenge it to a more advanced level.

Take that same concept and transfer it to meditation. When you begin to meditate you start looking inwards and take the time to notice what is happening in your head. When you start to reflect inwards, you notice different thoughts or feelings that you may have not noticed before. Then, same as yoga, you can challenge those thoughts, or go deeper into the problem.

With both practices, you come out a stronger person.

What does Meditation Mean?

To me and what I have learned within my yoga practice and spiritual journey, meditation is the practice of stillness and inner peace. To commit to meditation you either are sitting crossed legged with your back straight or you are in chavasana concentrating on your breath.

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You notice that thoughts come and go in this state. This is where I have not fully mastered the practice of meditating is that there is active thinking, which you try to not do and then there is the idea of only recognizing your thoughts. Like I said, I have not mastered this but am trying to get to that state.

When I say recognize your thoughts, what I mean is that thoughts or feelings or ideas normally pop up in your head without really knowing where they came from. When you only recognize them, its like saying, hey yes that did make me mad but I choose not to focus on that particular thought or situation.

This is different from ‘actually thinking’ about it in the sense that reliving that experience may bring back those angry feelings and you will find yourself angered again by the situation.

How to Meditate Deeply.

Meditation requires a quiet and clutter free space. This is important to set yourself up for as little distractions as possible. Trying to meditate as a beginner is hard enough as it is. Make it easier for yourself by removing extra external distractions.

This means: close the door from your animals / children, let your partner know that you are meditating and to wait until you come back out, close the blinds, dim the lights if that’s the case. Take any precautions you need to ensure you will be free from distraction.

Once you have set up your surrounding area, get into a comfortable position. This could be laying on your back in chavasana – which I recommend for beginners or, sitting crossed legged with your back straight. I like chavasana better because not focusing on my posture is one less distraction during the process.

After you have settled into your position close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Deeply concentrate how you breathe is flowing, don’t try to control your breathing rather, let yourself be aware of how it moves. You will notice that your body will start to take deeper, slower breaths. That’s a good sign.

As far as the ‘thinking’ part goes – I know I have stated in this article two things that are involved with the thought process and meditating. You want to try not to actively think of anything. It’s a really challenging thing to do as thoughts pop into your head, I think it is just natural to actively explore why they are there. Rather than actively thinking, or exploring your thought process, try to only acknowledge what thoughts are coming up and let them pass.

For example:

When you were in the Starbucks drive through, the person in front of you bought your coffee for you.

Actively thinking:

You probably feel good about it and then think to yourself, I should do that for someone else the next time I go there.

Acknowledging the thought:

Instead of rolling through the emotions and the outcome of that event you want to try to only accept what happened. When that experience comes to mind, all you really want to do is say yes that happened. Accept it for what it is and continue your focus on your breath.

As I have said, I haven’t mastered this technique but hopefully with these tools we can together!

 

Meditating isn’t a chance to work out all the things that happen in your day, its a way to escape from them and focus inward on you.


I invite you to check out some sites that can help you on your meditation journey!

Yoga Download

Yogadownload.com has its own section as well for all meditative practices.

An Amazon how to book designed specifically for beginners is a great way to start!

 

Thank you for stopping by.

 

Cheers,

Kahlua

kgordin@thealldayyoga.com

 

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16 Responses

  1. Irma says:

    I do not do yoga, but I do meditate daily. Or I guess I should say nightly. If I wake up at night and I cannot get back to sleep I use meditation. For the most part it works pretty fast and I wish I had understood how to do it a few years ago when I had insomnia…I am sure it could have helped. I would recommend meditation for everyone as a way to unwind and de-stress.

    It’s funny, but I have had several people buy my coffee in the Starbucks drive through, and that is pretty cool.

    • admin says:

      Hey Irma,

      Thanks for the comment!

      Yes, I totally agree with you that meditation is a great way to unwind and destress. I find I had difficulty describing what it is to meditate in this post as it is so different for everyone.

      Happy to hear that you are an active meditator and I definitely encourage you to add some yoga into your practice!

      Cheers,
      Kahlua

  2. Evan Cruz says:

    Hi Kahlua, fine article that you have here. You are right about the having trouble sleeping part, I do have to work on that ALOT and you have given me a powerful tool to use. Thank you!

    • admin says:

      Evan,

      That’s so great to hear that I was able to help in some way. There are lots of resources out there to get you started on your meditation journey with this post being one.

      Cheers and thanks for stopping by,
      Kahlua

  3. Benji says:

    Thanks for this wonderful advice. I too have that problem; that’s the thing about meditation that drives me crazy sometimes- I’m trying to keep my head clear, but all I can think about is how unclear my head is. I guess it must get easier over time, right? It makes sense to use yoga in combination with meditation, to keep yourself focused yet distracted at the same time. Does that make sense?

    • admin says:

      Benji,

      Yea it is really challenging sometimes to turn your brain off. That’s why a lot of more practised instructors tell you to focus on your breath.

      It is certainly easier to write it than do it.

      Yes, it totally makes sense what you are saying to involve yoga in your meditation process. That way the external factors are no longer a distraction and it’s just you and your mat.

      Thanks for the comment,
      Kahlua

  4. Hey Kahlua yes I find it very difficult as well to meditate. I do yoga too. That is a lot easier. I will try your technique to help with my meditation. I do appreciate your honesty about not having mastered it yourself. I have found however that when I relax or when I feel tired — that is a good time to meditate because your mind it not too active to begin with. Its really something you have to work hard to achieve. The external distractions are tough to control too. But hopefully we will both be able to master this essential daily practice for promoting good overall optimal health.

    • admin says:

      Dwyan,

      Totally! I really actively, unactively try to get to that meditative state as much as possible.

      It would be very cool to master the technique and it’s exciting to see where you can go with it.

      Great idea to wait until you are more relaxed and tired before meditating. I will have to add that in there.

      Thanks for the comment,
      Kahlua

  5. rob says:

    Hey Kahlua! I love yoga and just started practicing it again after years of being away from it. I need to destress and yoga and meditation are perfect for that. I’m like you. I need time to myself. In fact tomorrow is yoga day for me. I really look forward to it.I feel so relaxed afterward.I believe that thinking and breathing are the keys with yoga and it’s something I look forward to when I go.
    Thanks for your information! 🙂
    ~Rob

    • admin says:

      Rob, so happy to hear you say that you love yoga, I do too!

      And yes, it’s so great to be able to take some time for yourself.. me time! Yoga is a great way to use that time as well because you can de-stress and unwind.

      Thank you for the comment!
      Kahlua

  6. Barbara says:

    Great post, very detailed and informativ. When I first started to meditate it was so hard to turn off my thougts. Then I started to count my breaths and that was so helpful. I meditate every day for at least 15 min. and it maks me so relaxed. Every body should meditate for their well being.

    • admin says:

      Wow, that’s great that you meditate every day! It’s so good for your body.

      Were there any tricks or hints I didn’t cover? I totally agree meditation is so great for you and your well being.

      Thanks for taking the time to read my post!
      Kahlua

  7. Brandon says:

    I don’t do yoga but I do meditate from time to time as it really helps relieve the stress going on in down times. I tend to use essential oils or incense to help as well. Everyone needs to step away from life for a moment and just relax. It does wonders!

    • admin says:

      Meditation really does do wonders.

      I am so happy to see the number of people who meditate and who have commented on this post!

      Yes, I didn’t even think of using essential oils! I love the smell of eucalyptus, it calms me down every time!

      Cheers,
      Kahlua

  8. Lee Ann says:

    Hello Kahlua and thank you so much for so much information on yoga. I had landed on your site as I want to start doing yoga due to my stress levels.
    When I first landed on your site, I clicked on your Sun Saturation post and I loved it. I had asked if you had any tips for beginners, but after I left you my comment I looked around and at the top I see Beginners and that my question was already answered.

    I love how you have not only explained how to do meditation, but also what it can do for us. I hadn’t really thought about meditation, only yoga.

    Now I see that I can benefit from them both.
    I have to say I had to giggle when I read turning off your brain. I try to do this with no success. Especially at bedtime.

    I have even tried counting, yet the thoughts come right back. I really think that I will be feeling less stressed and maybe more relaxed.

    Thank you once again.
    Lee Ann

    • admin says:

      Hi Lee Ann,

      Thank you so much for the kind words.

      I really do believe that yoga and meditation do wonder for your stress. You should definitely give it a try, you will not be disappointed.

      Thanks for taking the time to check out my site too! 🙂

      It is definitely a challenge turning your brain off.

      Please let me know how your yoga journey goes!
      Cheers,
      Kahlua

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