in depth


From Chaos to Calm

Meditation for Beginners

Feeling scattered mentally creates an inner world of chaos and prevents peace. I often hear from my yoga students and friends that they need to get focused and clear. The good news is that regardless of your outer circumstances—no matter how chaotic things may appear—you can still find inner peace and calm.

The definition of “yoga” means union. To unite the breath with the mind and body creates a one-pointedness to reduce the fluctuations of the mind. The key to a meditative mind is cultivating a slow deep breath.

Meditation is a simple tool for inner calmness, without needing a specific environment or level of health and fitness to practice. In fact, the busier the mind and the more stress one may feel, the more reason to try meditation, right here and right now. Studies show that meditating for 20 minutes a day cuts the risk of heart attacks by fifty percent. Experience, however, is the real indicator. So, try it for yourself!

Start with these simple steps to meditation, sitting tall on the floor or in a chair. Close your eyes and take a deep inhale as you sit taller, then exhale to relax into your seat. Feel your body; sense your feet as they touch the floor. Observe your belly and torso move as you breathe. Pay attention to where you hold tension. Soften your eyes and relax the jaw. After this “body scan” observe only the breath. Then observe the thoughts without holding on to any one thought.

Even if the mind continues to be busy, you still will still reap the benefits by helping your mind to focus and concentrate. You may notice that you are more effective and relaxed when you open your eyes to return to your day. Try this for a minute a day for a week, then build up to 3 minutes, then 5 minutes or more. In no time, you will have a daily meditation practice to ground and center your mind in the busy world.

Stacie Dooreck (Saraswati)
Certified Sivananda and Kundalini Yoga Instructor
Author, SunLight Chair Yoga by Stacie-Saraswati Dooreck

Recommended: The Sivananda Companion to Meditation by Sivananda Yoga Centers


Return to Article

Navigate Your Day with Grit & Grace

Get a Free Yogi Lifestyle e-Mint, Plus a Twice-Monthly Musing Delivered to Your Inbox