Let the breath be your guide
What Is Meditation?
A process of sitting in stillness, focusing on our breath, which allows us to not be pulled by internal (our thoughts) or external (a car alarm outside your window) distractions.
It's a moment of pause in your day.
Take a break from your busy mind and schedule to experience a few moments of stillness and peace. Consider meditation a wonderful way to reboot and recharge your mind, body and energy.
"I Don't Have Time To Meditate."
We both know that is definitely not true. It’s really an excuse that’s actually not helpful. We all make choices, every minute of the day, how we use our time. We all have 24hrs in the day. It’s up to you how (well) you use your time. Put down the phone, take a break from social media, stop surfing the web, xx the game (google which games are most popular).
You have the time, you just need to make meditation a priority, schedule it like everything else you do. At the very least it will give you some moments of reprieve.
Famous author and speaker Micheal Hyatt says,
"if it’s not scheduled it doesn’t exist.”
Scientific Studies Show How Meditation Changes The Physical Structure Of Your Brain:
-decreases the size of the Amygdala which is associated with stress and anxiety
-increases the pre-frontal cortex and hippocampus (contributes to cognitive function, memory, empathy, and feeling of well-being)
Your parasympathetic nervous system - is your bodies relaxation response meditation promotes positive changes in metabolism, heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, and brain chemistry.
Meditation starts with taking a seat.
How To Meditate:
If you are just getting started with meditation, I recommend setting a timer. Smart-phones offer ambient sounds, I have my set on harps. Give yourself 5 minutes to meditate, take note how you feel before then after the session. Remember meditation is a subtle practice, so the difference might not be obvious until hindsight.
1. Wear loose-fitting clothes so that they are not restricting, distracting you from meditation
2. Find a comfortable seat
-you can sit on the floor with 2 folded blankets or a firm pillow
-you can sit in a chair, just make sure your feet are firmly planted
3. Good posture, sit up tall, think about lengthening your spine toward the sky
4. Let your arms release, placing your palms on your thighs or in your lap
5. Close your eyes, draw yourself inward; also slightly draw your chin toward your chest to keep the back of your neck long
6. Embrace your breath, feel the physical sensation of your body breathing, the belly moving in and out. Go slow, take your time.
7. Witness your mind wandering. It happens to all of us, no worries, just bring your attention back to your breath. Do this as often as you need. And congrats for being aware your mind wandered!
8. When the timer goes off for your meditation session, gently open your eyes, observe your environment, notice how you feel.
Each session will be different and that’s ok, it’s a practice : )
“Approach your seat as if you the throne in the center of your life.”
The Results of a Meditation Practice
-lowers blood pressure
-reduces pain and inflammation
-reduces heart rate
-increases the body’s ability to heal
-increases immune system
-promotes mental clarity
-slows age-related memory loss or
-a peaceful strategy to set the tone of your day
-a moment of pause in your day
-release stress in your body
-hones your ability to focus
-reduce all the distracting chatter in our head
-create a stronger relationship with yourself and others
-the great feeling of being in the present moment
"Meditation won't work for me, I can't stop thinking."
Distractions will always be there when we meditate, but it’s up to us to notice if we get pulled into those distractions, losing our focus to the task at hand. There is no judgment or criticism for being distracted, give yourself that break and return your attention to your breath. Always come back to your breath.
Taming the Monkey Mind
EGO, we need it to live (keep us safe from danger), but not to dictate our lives.
Monkey Mind - those unrelenting thoughts that keep us (stressed) in the past or future, yet not in the present.
Our ego is meant to keep us alive and safe with food, shelter, and reproduction. However, it is the thought process of the ego that causes all kinds of stress and suffering.
Just like you train your muscles to be strong, you need to train your mind, the best way is through meditation.
Ego - is our young inner child that demands attention; the monkey mind that has thousands of random thoughts, which takes you out of the present moment. When we practice awareness, we can handle difficult situations better vs reacting.
The demanding attention of the Ego (useless thoughts) is a weak mind because it’s continuously distracted by the prevailing need to maintain the comfort of ‘me.’
Instagram is an immediate dopamine hit, instant gratification, striking various emotions from external factors living our days at the mercy of our moods
The stirring of our thoughts and emotions distracts us, most thoughts are of the past and future, not the present moment. Being swept away by thoughts /emotions can create suffering.
You can do this! Just take a seat : )
"When I was relatively new to yoga, I had trepidations about joining a Sunday Meditation Series. I had not met Janel, had no idea what to expect and knew that sitting still in my own space even for short while was questionable back then. All my concerns dissolved the moment I met Janel.
Janel’s spirit filled the room with a calm, reassuring and encouraging vibe that exuded warmth and acceptance. As we started, I was rapt with how easily she eased me into an immersed meditative state as she leads us on an internal spiritual journey. I remember emerging from each hour session amazed at how relaxed and focused I felt after what seemed like only 15 minutes.
Since then, I've taken some of Janel's core classes and several of her Himalayan Sound Bath classes and each time, Janel is always the gentle and guiding light on a centered tour of discovery that leaves me feeling enlightened, energized and focused.
“ My experience of Janel is that she is truly one of the unique spirits on this earth whose mission is to be of service to others' growth and truly lives 'the way' of the spiritual warrior in her daily life. She is a must to experience.”
~ Mitchell Stern
Guided Meditation with Janel
Is available through in-person sessions or online via Skype or Zoom.
I understand meditation can be intimidating to start. If you have further questions or concerns about meditating. One-on-one sessions are another option to learn the basics of a meditation practice. I offer a complimentary 15-minute discovery call to help you decide which is the best approach to take for meditation.