Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Meditation...have you tried it?

Meditation. So, it can sound a bit new age and brings forth images of monks in red robes or extremely bendy people who can also balance in poses that make me, personally, wince just thinking about it but the health benefits of meditation are there and it is getting more and more coverage as people start to wonder what it's all about.

When I first contemplated trying it I wondered how I could get my overactive and busy mind to quieten long enough for me to sit still, (let alone 'get in the zone'), but the more I read on the subject, the more I found myself thinking I must give it a go.

I first started trying with a few CD's of purely relaxing music. I'd lay down for twenty minutes and try to clear my mind by breathing steadily and deeply...and promptly fell asleep. Then I tried sitting up. I'd fidget, slouch, the traffic would be too noisy, the room too hot. The list goes on.

Determined, I downloaded a few free apps on guided meditation on my iPod, the best of them by far for me was one called 'Breathe' by Georgina Lofty. What I love about this app is her calming voice and the way she guides you through HOW to concentrate on your breath rather than just assuming you know how to already, it's the perfect app for beginners. 'Breathe' is a meditation you listen to which helps you to sleep or prepare for the day ahead. I found it works equally well at both ends of the day.

Some of the apps I tried had repetitive tapping noises in the background which, to me, sounded like a hearing test gone badly awry and I found these irritating. My other half loves them though and says these work best for him so it really does pay to try different techniques.

I moved on to guided meditation CD's, my favourite one currently being 'Journey into Meditation' by Lisa Guyman. This lady has an easy voice to listen to and the three meditations resonated with me and what I wanted from meditation. The first balances your chakras, the second connects you with your inner wisdom and the third helps with life visualisation. A very nice combination and they all work well.

I found Lisa Guyman by listening to samples of meditation CD's on iTunes and picking the voice which sounded the most soothing to me. This is a good way for beginners in my opinion. It's no good if that 'guru' you like has a voice which grates on your nerves, it won't matter what he says if you are wincing! A few I listened to looked great in the write up but then the voice of this lustful breathy woman honeyed out of the headphones and I just couldn't do it...

Once you have found your starter app or CD then you need a quiet room and some undisturbed time. Sounds obvious but for some it's not that easy to achieve. In a house like mine, where there's a teenager lurking around every corner, I can simply put a note on the door of the room I am in and they know I won't be available for the next twenty minutes unless there's an emergency. Next, I would suggest using headphones and getting comfy, even if it means laying down. People with more experience than me would frown at my suggestion to lay down as you are more likely to fall asleep but I find it works for me and I always have been a bit of a rebel!

Getting 'in the zone' takes practice just like any new skill but I have found I sleep better, feel more centred and it helps with PMT and menopausal symptoms. My other half says it helps him stay more focused and gives him more energy. We also meditate together sometimes which is a wonderful addition to our relationship and adds to that feeling of closeness.

Bit of a win all round. Give it a go!


  1. I've been thinking of trying meditation because I'm having trouble sleeping at the moment so thank you for a very timely post. After reading about your positive experience I am definitely going to give it a go.

    1. It's part of my everyday life now and I wish I had tried it years ago :)

  2. I try to meditate, but my mind likes to wander. I'll try the 'Breath' ap that you recommended. Thanks.

    1. It's a fantastic little app. Once I got the breathing technique sorted using this app I found it easier to quieten my mind. Took a few goes, several in fact, but it improves all the time.


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