Most of these questions have come from meditation workshops / courses as well as by email prior to the sessions.
What type of meditation do you teach?
I teach meditation focused on an object (a mantra/sound, the breath or an image) and iRest® /guided meditation.
During the “ Learn to meditate 4 hour courses” we practise a small number of carefully selected focused techniques including:
Concentration on the breath, mantras, a visualisation, expansiveness as well as a short iRest practise.
You can then choose the one that resonates with you the most and utilise that as your regular practise. Meditation doesn’t have to be one size fits all!
I teach the guided meditation - iRest® as 6 week courses ( 6 x 80 minute classes) as well as incorporate this in classes and retreats.
This iRest® Meditation is suitable for everyone, whether you are new to meditation or whether you are a lifelong meditator, as it can sit alongside an existing meditation practise.
By practicing regularly, you can access the parts of your brain that allow you to gain greater insight and calm down the parts of the brain that can cause negative thoughts, feelings, and sensations. You also learn to welcome life as it is happening and to respond - not react - to challenging situations. This practise can help to heal unresolved issues and traumas. It can also allow us realise that there is a part of ourselves that is always at peace and at ease, whatever is going on in our life and is in fact our natural state of being.
Am i being mindful when meditating? Mindfulness seems to be everywhere, hence the question?
One key definition of “mindfulness” is the informal practice of present moment awareness. When sitting during meditation, becoming aware of our inner world, we are mindful of our breath or the mantra or image, whilst being mindful of our thoughts, from an observer's viewpoint (neither pushing them away nor getting involved with them). As part of the guided meditations / iRest, we focus on and be present for, any sensations in our bodies (this is called body scanning) and hence we are practising a form of mindfulness.
Is the meditation you teach affiliated with any particular religion?
No. It is non religious.
Whilst it can sit alongside any religion too, you do not have to believe anything to practise it. Meditation is something that you experience.
What is the best position (for my body) to meditate?
In most meditation practices, sitting upright ( on a cushion, or chair) is the best position where you can breathe optimally. The body and mind tends to be at it’s most attentive when sitting upright. However during yoga nidra / guided meditation you are actively encouraged to lie down. Once you have learned the key principles of yoga nidra, you are encouraged to practise them in all aspects of life including when you are sitting, standing, walking, resting.
Can i sit on a chair or a bench?
Yes, if you find it difficult to sit on a cushion or block(s) then sitting upright on a chair or bench with your feet flat on the floor can work well too.
Can I meditate lying down?
Yes & Yes!
If you are in pain or discomfort then lying down is an option - i recommend bending your knees, with your feet flat on the floor, finding a place where you are resting equally on the balls and heels of your feet as well as placing a cushion or pillow underneath you head. Also with iRest / guided meditation, you are actively encouraged to lie down (but you can also sit if you wish)
Can i meditate whilst walking?
Yes. One of the practices during the “ learn to meditate sessions” is a walking meditation.
Do i need to give anything up to meditate? Do i need to become a monk?
No! You don't have to give anything up. You will notice that with a regular practise your self-discipline will improve which encourages other positive habits, so you may notice your lifestyle naturally changing.
Do i have to wear any special clothes?
No! You can wear anything that feels comfortable.
What has been the main benefit for you from meditating?
Responding pro-actively to life rather than reacting from old habitual patterns. This is really powerful.