How to create your own meditation practice

Many of us are searching for ways to find and feel harmony and balance within ourselves in what can sometimes feel like a constant rush through life. 
I thought it may be helpful to share a few tips for starting meditation - a practice that is proven to have uplifting benefits including improved attention and memory, better ability to respond calmly to situations and more curiosity for yourself and the world around you.    

You may find the idea of a meditation practice unfamiliar or a little daunting. Remember it does not have to be for long - it is more important to find a routine to be still and quiet, whether it be for 5 or 10 minutes a day and building on from there. 

 
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Think  of your meditation as having 3 layers ... 

The first is becoming comfortable and taking your awareness within
The second is about moving your awareness to your inner environment, listening inwardly with contentment
Part three is your transition back into your outer environment after your meditation, continuing to keep a subtle awareness to listening inwardly as you move through your day. 

Be comfortable. Sit on a blanket or cushion so you allow the knees to drop below the hips as this helps to encourage length of the spine. 
Close your eyes, keeping a soft inner gaze. Lift up subtly and soften through the back of the heart space, shoulders and face.

Allow your breath to be spacious with no forced effort. Cultivate steadiness and ease through even inhales and exhales.
The Ujjayi breath is a good option to practice here. 

Just start sitting and breathing - don't overthink it.  It is OK and actually really wonderful to sit with yourself in silence and just listen in to your inner wisdom. Ask your body to teach you and take you on adventures with your deeper essence.
Start with 5 minutes once a day, gradually increasing to 10, 15 and so on.
 
The mind thinks - that is what it does! Remember this when you catch the mind wandering during meditation and allow what comes up to be present with no judgement, no questions.  
Just gently notice the mind has wandered, invite in curiosity and observation and anchor yourself back into the present moment by reconnecting to the sound and flow your breath. 
The more you practice this, the more you may find the mind starting to quieten as you turn your attention away from it's constant fluctuations.

Any time you allow yourself to be fully present, even for a moment, you are performing a sacred act of offering your attention to the mystery of being alive. 

I hope you find these to be helpful and will start or deepen your journey inward.