Rooted in cultures and civilizations thousands of years old, meditation is “in” again. According to Forbes, businesses such as Google, Aetna and the Goldman Sachs Group offer mindful living programs for employees. Scientists have found that as little as 12 minutes a day of meditation over a two-month period can change the physical structure of the brain, and help you process information more efficiently, as well as reduce insomnia, manage anxiety and lead to a happier, more fulfilled life.
At the SunWater Spa and the new SunMountain Center, in Manitou Springs, Colorado, developing mindful living is at our core; meditation is a prime tool for achieving a less stressful, more centered life. If you aren’t in our neighborhood, here are tips to help you start an at-home practice. A key: allow yourself to breathe.
- Begin with a 5-minute session. Gradually work up to 15-20 minutes.
- Relax before you begin. Yoga and a gentle neck self-massage can put you in the mood; comfortable clothing also helps.
- Set your timer before you begin. You don’t want to interrupt the “zone” by glancing at your clock.
- Find a distraction-free zone in your home, office or yard. The book, Altar Your Space, A Guide To The Restorative Home, is filled with tips on creating a peaceful space.
- Relax and be consciously aware of your exhale and inhale as your breathing quiets your mind. Here is an excellent story on breath.
- Don’t try to force your mind to stop thinking. This will happen naturally as your practice develops, perhaps by repeating mantras such as these.
- Consistency is best. Make this a daily routine.
- Experiment with different types of meditation: mantras, transcendental, Zen.
- Explore guided meditations. There are many to choose from. Freemindfulness.org provides gratis meditations at varying lengths.
- Relax and find the joy.
If you happen to be in Colorado, the SunWater Spa in Manitou Springs, as well as the new SunMountain Center, offer a range of meditation programs, including a Breakthrough Meditation Workshop that focuses on breath. For more information, visit www.sunwaterspa.com or www.sunmountaincenter.com.
Kat Tudor is the founder and creative director of SunWater Spa in Manitou Springs, Colorado, as well as the founder and visionary behind SunMountain Center, a premiere wellness retreat in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.