Meditation Series Part 3: How to Teach Meditation

Meditation Series Part 3Welcome to part three (and the last installment) of our meditation series! If you missed, them, here are Parts 1: Basics and Benefits of Meditation and Part 2: How to Start Meditating.

Now that you know why we should meditate and maybe you’ve started to do so on your own, let’s talk about how to bring meditation into your classes. Most likely, these are yoga classes but feel free to bring little elements of this practice into other classes too – we can all benefit from a little focus and a few deep breaths! Also, you can use these meditations for your own personal practice if you don’t teach a meditation-appropriate class or if you just want ideas for your own personal practice!

If you know me at all, you know I’m not the most spiritual of yoga instructors and I think that’s great because with such a wide variety of students, there should be a wide variety of instructors and less ‘yoga-ish’ students can benefit just as much (sometimes more!) as their more typical, more spiritual counterparts. The biggest advice I can give to fellow teachers is to remind your students to have patience with themselves. Let them know that Everyone’s mind will wander off and, most likely, that will happen many times in just a few minutes. Invite them to gently invite themselves back to the practice even if they have to do that 20 times. No judgement, no frustration. So, with that being said, here are a few not-too-spiritual beginning meditations. You can do any of these for 2 minutes or 20. I say, start small and work your way up if you like!

  1. Simple Counting

    a. Find a comfortable seat and close eyes
    b. Observe breath without changing it at first
    c. Start to count up for your inhale and down for your exhale (you might start with 3 so 1-2-3 on inhale and 3-2-1 on exhale)
    d. Every minute or so, add to this count until you’ve lengthened your breath as much as possible without straining or gasping to inhale or exhale.

  2. Visualization

    a. Find a comfortable seat and close eyes
    b. Start to visualize a pristine lake, completely calm and empty
    c. As anything appears on this lake or as this image fades, come back to that same calm lake (when a boat or fish or swimmer, etc. appears, just clear them away)

  3. Acknowledge Distractions

    a. Find a comfortable seat and close eyes
    b. Start to intentionally notice any distractions via senses or the mind (noises, smells, feelings or discomforts in the body, to-do list items, exciting plans, stressful thoughts, etc.)
    c. Give these thoughts your attention but only for a moment to acknowledge them
    d. Bring your attention to your breath as the same observer but only regarding the breath (How does the breath feel? How does it sound? What part of your body moves with the breath? What is the temperature of the breath? etc.)
    e. Do this each time a distraction pops up – acknowledge then right back to observing the breath.

♥ Andrea

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