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Two beginner-friendly meditation strategies

We introduced the Sleekgeek Guide to Getting Started With Meditation in this post over here as a primer for the free Sleekgeek 10-Day Meditation Challenge

Check it out if you haven’t already because we explain what meditation is, the benefits, and how we see it being used for real everyday people in the modern world.

Just to be clear, our most recommended strategy for getting started with meditation is to use Headspace App. It’s free for the first 10 days and then about R100-R160 per month thereafter – absolutely worth it! You can read more about it in the Sleekgeek Guide to Getting Started With Meditation.

Anyways, I’m dedicating this post to 2 offline meditation strategies for those who cannot or do not want to use an app (understandable).

#1 – The Headspace Strategy:

So, the first 10-minute meditation strategy comes straight from Headspace, who’s app we are using for our 10-Day Meditation Challenge.

You can find the original article “How to meditate in ten minutes” by Andy Puddicombe here.

Step 1: Get settled

Find a quiet space where you can relax.

Sit comfortably in a chair with your hands resting in your lap or on your knees. Keep your back straight – sitting at the front of the seat might help. Your neck should be relaxed, with your chin slightly tucked in.

Commit to spending the full time on the meditation, whether you find it difficult or easy.

Step 2: Breathe deeply

Defocus your eyes, gazing softly into the middle distance.

Take five deep, audible breaths: in through the nose and out through the mouth. On the last exhalation, let your eyes gently close.

Step 3: Check-in

Take a few moments to settle into your body. Gently observe your posture, and notice the sensations where your body touches the chair and your feet meet the ground. Feel the weight of your arms and hands resting on your legs.

Acknowledge your senses: notice anything you can smell, hear or taste, sensations of heat or cold.

Step 4: Scan your body

Slowly turn your mind inwards. Scan your body from head to toe, observing any tension or discomfort. Don’t try to change what you find, simply take note of it. Scan again, although this time notice which parts of the body feel relaxed. Take about 20 seconds for each scan.

Now turn your awareness to your thoughts. Notice any thoughts that arise without attempting to alter them. Gently note your underlying mood, just becoming aware of what’s there without judgment. If there’s nothing obvious, that’s fine, too.

Step 5: Observe the breath

Bring your attention to your breathing. Don’t make any effort to change it, just observe the rising and falling sensation that it creates in the body. Notice where these sensations occur – be it your belly, your chest, your shoulders, or anywhere else.

For a few moments, focus on the quality of each breath, noting whether it’s deep or shallow, long or short, fast or slow.

Begin silently counting the breaths: 1 as you inhale, 2 as you exhale, 3 on the next inhalation,and so on, up to 10. Then start again at 1.

While doing this, it’s completely normal for thoughts to bubble up. You don’t need to ‘do’ anything – just guide your attention back to the breath when you realise the mind has wandered off. If you can remember the number you’d counted up to and start again from there, or simply start from 1 again.

Don’t rush the breathing and just allow it to continue at its own pace and rhythm.

Continue until the timer sounds.

Step 6: Allow your mind to be free

Spend 20-30 seconds just sitting. You might find yourself inundated with thoughts and plans, or feel calm and focused. Whatever happens is completely fine. Enjoy the rare chance to let your mind simply be.

Step 7: Prepare to finish

Become aware once more of the physical feelings: of the chair beneath you, where your feet make contact with the floor, your arms and your hands resting in your lap. Notice anything you can hear, smell, taste or feel.

When you’re ready, slowly open your eyes.

Step 8: Congratulate yourself

Well done! You just meditated for a full 10 minutes. Recognize how you feel—is it different from when you first sat down to meditate? Remind yourself of this feeling the next time you feel stressed or worried, and know that with just 10 minutes of meditation, you might feel a little bit better.

Full credit to Andy Puddicombe of Headspace for the strategy.

#2 – The Precision Nutrition Strategy:

So, the second 10-minute meditation strategy comes straight from the Precision Nutrition, whose certification and coaching curriculum we use in the Sleekgeek Nutrition Coaching Program (yes, mindset, mindfulness, and stress play a big role in better nutrition.

You can find the original article “Good Stress, Bad Stress: Finding Your Sweet Spot” by Krista Scott-Dixon and Brian St. Pierre here.

Step 1: Get comfortable.

Find a comfortable, quiet, private place.

Step 2: Sit or lie down.

Whatever seems most convenient, the position doesn’t matter, as long as you’re relaxed.

Step 3: Get a timer going.

Set a timer for 5 minutes, and then forget about counting down how long it’s been. That’s your timer’s job. It’ll take care of you.

Step 4: Close your eyes.

Try to keep them closed for the full session, but it’s not the end of the world if you do need to open them for whatever reason. Just keep going.

Step 5: Start with a quick 30-second “body scan”.

As you scan down your body from head to toe, think about consciously relaxing each muscle. Let everything sink downward. In particular, let your face droop.

Step 6: Focus on your breathing.

Now, breathe in through your diaphragm, pushing your belly in and out. Observe how the air moves in and out.

Step 7: Count 10 breaths.

Observe and focus on each one.

Step 8: Let thoughts drift in and out.

Let them wander in, then shoo them away. They’ll be back. You don’t need to hold on to them.

Step 9: Observe only.

Don’t judge. There is no “should”. If you think of something, no worries. Don’t fret. If you hear a noise, or have an itch, simply think, There’s a noise or I have an itch. Make a note of it; then move on.

Step 10: Keep coming back to your breathing.

There’s no rush; just keep wandering back to it. What’s it doing now?

Step 11: Repeat until your time is up.

In this case, your goal is 10-minutes so simply repeat the process once more.

Step 12: Finish with 5 good belly breaths to “bookend” the session.

Breathe in through your diaphragm, pushing your belly in and out. Observe how the air moves in and out.

Step 13: Open your eyes.

That’s it. Pretty easy right?

That’s it 🙂 Be sure to join the Sleekgeek Meditation Facebook Group if this is something that you are practicing or wanting to start exploring. 

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