Below are ten steps to practise mindful meditation at home:
1. Create a time and space. Choose a regular time each day to practise mindful meditation – ideally the place should be quiet and free of distraction.
2. Set a timer. If you are just starting out, begin with just five minutes to ease yourself in. Over time, you can work your way up to 15 to 40 minutes.
3. Find a comfortable sitting position. It is best to be sat cross-legged on the floor, in the fresh air on the grass or seated in a chair with your feet flat on the ground.
4. Check your posture. Sit up straight with your hands in a comfortable position. Keep your neck long, your chin tilted slightly downward with your tongue resting on the roof of your mouth. Relax your shoulders and close your eyes.
5. Take deep breaths. Remembering to practise deep breathing can help settle the body and establish your presence in the space.
6. Direct your attention to your breathing. Focus on a part of the body where your breathing feels most prominent, nostrils, back of the throat or the diaphragm. Try to stick to one place and not switch focus.
7. Maintain your breathing. As you inhale and exhale, keep the focus on your breathing – this can help you let go of thoughts, feelings or distractions.
8. Repeat steps six and seven. The mind will wander, try to acknowledge this and return your focus for the duration of the meditation session. Simply being aware will help with relaxation.
9. Be kind to yourself. If you lose focus or fall asleep, don’t be hard on yourself. If you are very tired, meditate with your eyes open and rearrange your posture to be more upright.
10. Prepare for a soft landing. When your timer beeps, keep your eyes closed until you are ready to open them, you do not need to rush and get back to reality. Be thankful and acknowledge your practise with gratitude.