Many of us have intentions to start or maintain a regular meditation practice. However, meditation is often one of the first things we seem to drop from our daily “to do” list, as we prioritise other more “pressing” activities. Including meditation into your day, even for just five minutes, can help to bring yourself back into focus, improve concentration and make the rest of the day simply easier to get through. Here we describe a five minute meditation that you can practice anywhere and at any time.
You can try this when you wake up, first thing, before you jump out of bed. We also suggest taking five minutes at night, when you are lying in bed before going to sleep. It’s a great way to start and finish the day. You can also find five minutes during a lunch break, or other point during the day. We don’t recommend doing it whilst sat in your car waiting at the traffic lights, so park the car first somewhere and close your eyes!
One of the major bonuses of meditation is that it is an activity that does not require any special equipment or props, particularly this five minute meditation. All you need is some space where you will not be disturbed.
Five minute meditation
Switch your phone onto airplane mode – so you will not receive any data or calls, but you can still use your clock to set an alarm for five minutes.
Find a comfy seated position – cross legged, kneeling, resting your back on a wall with your legs out in front of you, or maybe in a chair (where you can have both feet resting on the ground).
Close your eyes. Close your mouth, allowing the tongue to rest against the roof of your mouth.
Focus on your breath. Breath in and out through your nose. This meditation uses natural breath. So notice where you can feel your breath – in your lungs, your tummy, through the throat, at the back of the nose, through the nostrils or maybe you can feel the breath against your upper lip.
Watch how you are breathing. Is it deep or shallow? Fast or slow? No judgement, simply observe.
Just keep watching your breath.
Anytime a thought pops into your mind, or your mind starts to chatter, once you notice, smile to yourself and then bring your attention back to wherever you can feel your breath. Let the thought go.
When the alarm goes off, open your eyes and carry on with your day, hopefully feeling a little calmer.
New to meditation?
When you first start to meditate, it can feel really strange and you might be wondering if you are doing this correctly. Often you notice that your mind is very loud, with lots of chattering going on, making it difficult to concentrate on your watching your breath. This is completely normal. It takes work, practice and concentration to meditate. Practice letting go of the thoughts that arise – so if you are sat watching your breath and you suddenly notice that you are planning what you want to buy at the supermarket for the evening meal, as soon as you notice these thoughts, smile (no need to get angry with yourself) and then bring your awareness and attention back to your breathing. This might happen many times. As you continue to practice meditation, your mind chatter will get less, or, maybe it gets easier to notice and let it go – honest!
As you continue to practice, maybe you can extend the amount of time you sit to meditate to 10 minutes, then 15 minutes.
Watching the breath is a great technique as you can do it anywhere. With practice what you might start to focus on is the area above your upper lip and below the nostrils – see if you can feel the breath in this area. You can notice the temperature sensations of the breath – cooler on the inhale and warmer on the exhale. The natural breath can be quite subtle, so if you are feeling agitated or worried, or maybe tired, then breathe a little harder – this makes it more easy to notice. This focus of your attention into a small area helps to develop concentration, which in turn will enable you to progress in your meditation practice, as well as bringing benefit into your daily life.
We have lots more articles about meditation on our blog page – use the handy search box or select the category “meditation”.
We offer meditation sessions most days at the retreat for you to have time to try different techniques or to continue with your own practice. Read more on meditation at La Crisalida Retreats here.
With practice, meditation brings many benefits to all areas of your life, and can help to bring harmony to your home and work life, so make time to practice meditation each day. It can also help you to relax.
With metta (love).
About the author
- Lisa is one of the founders of La Crisalida Retreats. She is an Epidemiologist, therapeutic hatha and yin yoga teacher and also teaches mindfulness meditation. Lisa has studied NLP and hypnosis, as well as nutrition (she designs the menus).