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  • LOOK INSIDE. Keep your eyes closed or rest them gently downcast Ė the point here is to reduce visual stimulus. If you have a hard time staying grounded or if you suffer from things like PTSD or anxiety, keeping your eyes slightly open may be beneficial for keeping you in the present.
  • 10 MINUTES. Start with 10 minutes. Thatís it. Donít force yourself to do more than that until youíre familiar with the sensations of meditation, and donít expect it to be easy right away. Ten minutes is enough to get some of the benefits of meditation (although if you do any less time, bets are off according to recent studies).
  • BODY SCAN. This is the simplest form of meditation, since instead of trying to clear your mind entirely, you fill it with each body part, one at a time. Lying down on your back (with your feet on the ground and your knees up if you have lower back issues), start at your toes and slowly make your way up to your head and face. You do not have to move each body part as you focus on it, though you may if you like. Some people find that visualizing their body as empty and then mentally filling each body part in with color as they focus on them is helpful.
  • KOSHAS. This is the next method of meditation before accessing full mind-clearing. The koshas are the five levels of your being: body, breath, thoughts and feelings, inner witness, and true bliss. We will have a longer article on these soon, but start with body and see what you can sense about each level - what physical or emotional or mental sensations arise when you focus on each one, without trying to change or judge any of it. The inner witness is the neutral observation of the world that surrounds and lives inside us, judgment-free and perfectly honest. See if you can access it! And the true bliss kosha is the clear mind we strive for in meditation, the one that lets you just BE, here and now, in your essence. Youíll feel it if you get there; there is a beautiful freedom in the bliss of a profoundly clear mind and self.
  • REMEMBER SELF-LOVE. Do not beat yourself up! Be patient and kind to yourself; your mind will calm more easily as you get more practice, and some days are going to be better or worse than others no matter how skilled you become. Just hang in there, have patience and kindness with yourself, and remember that you are doing something healthy and mindful for yourself that may improve your life dramatically in the long run.

Leave a comment with some other ways you begin your meditation practice!

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Here at Kulae we understand the importance of music during a yoga class. The right tunes can help you feel in sync with your body and the universe, but pick the wrong ones and you will inevitably feel less than focused. Here are our top five albums to listen to during your yoga practice.

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Part One: Preparation

  • BE GRATEFUL. First, buy yourself a gratitude journal. It doesnít have to be specifically marketed as one, just pick a small notebook in colors that appeal to you and leave it on your bedside table. Write in it every night (see our article on building a habit) before bedtime with a list of at least 5 things -- which is significantly less difficult than it may seem -- that you are grateful for that day. Example: I am grateful for the rain today that watered my garden for me.
  • GET SET. Settle in to sit or walk slowly while you meditate unless youíre doing a body scan -- lying down allows you to be less engaged and possibly even fall asleep!
    • If youíre seated, keep your rear elevated in relation to your knees. This will help your posture and your focus. Keep your back straight, your chin parallel to the floor, and your core lightly engaged; elsewhere, relax your body where you can.
  • KEEPING TIME. Set an alarm or keep a clock where you can see it with gently opened eyes so you arenít concerned with timekeeping instead of your practice.
  • BE READY TO RETURN. Pick a mudra or mantra! Mudras are hand positions that will help to keep you still and achieve different aims, like grounding yourself or soothing an anxiety. Mantras are little phrases you can say silently to yourself to bring yourself back into the present; it can be anything neutral or positive. If your mind drifts during meditation, bring your focus back to the present moment with one or both of these techniques.

Leave a comment with some other ways you prepare for your meditation practice!

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There are mixed ideas out there about how long it takes to build a new (good) habit. The consensus seems to be that it is at least 21 days, though according to further studies, it can take an average of 66 consecutive days of practice. 3 weeks doesnít seem so challenging, but the idea of 9+ weeks of work before a task becomes natural may appear far more daunting. So weíve compiled a list of habit hacks for you, so you can make your yoga practice into a yoga habit efficiently and effectively!

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