Ditch the Yoga Mat; Other Ways of Meditating

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If sitting cross-legged on the floor is painful or right-near impossible for your joints, don’t simply conclude that meditating is not for you. Meditation is about a state of mind, not about where you position your limbs. So ditch the yoga mat and try these other forms of meditation 

Sitting in a chair

Sit straight up in a chair, using a pillow or rolled-up blanket to support your lower back. Remember, you don’t want to slouch or strain your spine or shoulders. Put your feet flat on the floor and make sure that your head, neck, and back are all aligned. This position will make you more aware of your breathing and help you visualize the “flow of air” through your body.

Lying down

If you have trouble sleeping, sleep meditation is a great way to help you drift off. Lie on your back, get comfortable, and close your eyes. Feel the weight of your own body being pulled down by gravity, starting from your toes and moving up to the top of your head. If your mind is racing, let the thoughts fly through without fighting them. You may be asleep before your focus reaches your chest.

Standing

Standing meditation is great if you want to do a short session in the middle of the day. Stand with your feet comfortably apart and either put your hands on your stomach or hold them up in front of you. Relax your fingers and shoulders. Start by doing 2-3 minutes of this and work your way up to 10 full minutes. 

Walking (movement meditation)

If you’re taking a walk in the woods or someplace peaceful and quiet, you might want to try movement meditation. Focus on your gait and breathing as you walk. Eventually, you’ll settle into a rhythm that will bring you to a calm headspace. You can do this while running as well. Bonus points for getting exercise while meditating!

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