5 simple steps to practicing meditation

Taylor Atkinson

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Meditation can reduce stress, improve concentration and even promote a better night’s sleep.

It is a practice commonly used in yoga, but anyone can meditate to create positive change in his or her life. Some schools even have meditation rooms for students.

San Jose City College does not have a room, but meditation can be done almost anywhere.

Here are five simple steps to finding your inner bliss:

1. Find a place where you feel comfortable. To ensure you practice meditation daily, this place might be a quiet space inside your home or the area near your bed.

2. Set time aside to practice. Meditation is most effective when practiced at the same time each day. Meditating upon waking and before the sun rises is especially effective. Meditating before you go to bed is also helpful to release the stresses of the day and calm the mind.

3. Find a relaxing position in which to meditate. Many people lie on their backs in savasana or corpse pose, which is usually done at the end of a yoga class. In corpse pose, you will lie on the floor or on a yoga mat with your palms facing upward and your legs turned out. This pose reduces stress, calms the mind and promotes restful sleep. Others find solitude in kneeling on the floor or sitting with their legs crossed. If you plan on meditating in a seated position, remember to focus on your posture.

4. Clear your mind. Start out by meditating for five minutes each day, and count the number of breaths you take if you find yourself getting distracted. Clear your head of past and future concerns and focus only on the present moment. Breathe in deeply through your nose for as long as you can, using your stomach to inhale as much oxygen as possible. Pause for a moment then exhale until you feel every last bit of oxygen has left your lungs.

5. Keep track of your progress with a meditation journal. Record your thoughts and feelings after meditating and use it as a guide for future practice. If you are uncomfortable meditating in silence, listen to calming music. You could also join a yoga class or meditation group if you are more interested in guided meditation.

It is impossible to master the art of meditation overnight, but with time, you will find that you will be able to meditate for as long as you like without getting distracted.