Preparing for Meditation, tips from Pranamar Oceanfront Villas and Yoga Retreat

Nancy Goodfellow demonstrates "Mudra" hand pose. Photo credit nancygoodfellowyoga.
Nancy Goodfellow demonstrates “Mudra” hand pose. Photo credit nancygoodfellowyoga.

Everyone is talking about the healing effects of meditation, so you´re thinking about giving it a try. There are endless types of meditation and techniques, the main objective is to quiet your mind, which is easier said than done. As with most things worth doing, practice makes perfect. Be kind to yourself, and read on for some tips to get you on your way. The beautiful oceanfront setting at Pranamar in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, is certainly an inspiring spot.

Surroundings

Find a spot where you can be quiet and uninterrupted. Turn off the TV, your phone, maybe light a candle. Whatever makes your space relaxing tidy and unencumbered, be it inside or outdoors. Check the temperature, ventilation, light, and block out sounds. If you’d like to add a few objects that bring you joy and inspiration, place them on a small table close to you. This process will become part of your daily ritual.

Prepare your meditation space with objects that inspire you, photo credit #teamsivalya.
Prepare your meditation space with objects that inspire you, photo credit #teamsivalya.

Posture

You can choose to practice a few minutes of yoga or a stretch your body before you begin. A classic sun salutation sequence will warm and align your muscles. Relax your body and start to focus your attention on your breath, a basic component of meditation. Sit cross-legged with your back straight, or sit up straight on a chair.

Breathing

Focus your attention on the movement your body makes as you inhale and exhale, your abdomen moving in and out. The 4-4-4-4 method is a good way to start. Breathe in for count of 4, hold breath for 4, breathe out for 4 and hold for 4 before you start again. Inward breath brings you joy and love and positivity, outward breath releases negativity and frustration.

Mantras

Many find that the repetition of sounds or phrases help them avoid distractions. “Om”, meaning “It is” or “To Become” in Sanskrit, is a simple and powerful one. Its vibration is thought to bind you to a universal consciousness, manifesting your intentions in the physical world. It is used in Hinduism, Buddhism, and other traditions.

Try these steps every day, and add a few minutes daily as you get more and more comfortable. Setting an intention for your meditation every day will allow for a deeper consciousness. What would you like to accomplish on that specific day? With time, you will be able to live a more heartfelt and intuitive life, versus going through the motions every day.

Calming pool surrounded by Villas at Pranamar in Santa Teresa. Photo credit Jennifer Harter.
Calming pool surrounded by Villas at Pranamar in Santa Teresa. Photo credit Jennifer Harter.

Article by Katie Widdowson