As creatures of habit (though some more than others), our minds are attracted to repetition. Familiarity with a process, thought, or feeling makes it much more likely that we will accept it and carry it on. Designating a specific space for meditation can be incredibly helpful to train our brains to understand and accept that it is time to meditate.
There are plenty of articles that tell you that you can meditate anywhere, even on your bed, or in the car. In “emergency situations” (on vacation, or when sleeping over at someone’s house) these options are OK – as they might be your only choice. But because much of our brain functions and mental patterns are based on repetition, establishing a familiar space will ensure that our brain understands it is time for meditation, creating much less resistance to the process. Ultimately you will get into that state much quicker.
The concept of a comfortable space can be personal (think of temperature, setting, décor). But there are a few tips and pointers that can be helpful to anyone.
Make sure the space is clean and clutter free
A chaotic space can interfere with your focus; your mind can get distracted by an object on the floor, or you might feel inclined to come out of meditation to organize things. The mind will try to find all sorts of excuses to take you out of meditation; don’t give in to distractions.
Find a comfortable Asana or chair
In addition to “posture”, the word Asana can also mean the actual surface (mat, carpet, chair) that you sit on for meditation. Your body should feel at ease, and a comfortable Asana is most helpful. If you want to sit quietly but your legs hurt, or if you have knee issues, sit on a chair. If you want to sit cross legged on the floor, use a blanket or cushion under your buttocks. Your knees should be lower than the front hip bones. This will ensure that your spine elongates, keeping an optimal posture for meditation.
A few tips are to use pure cotton or wool blankets, or sheepskin – all recommended by sacred Yoga texts.
Inspiring and uplifting articles
You might want to add some inspiring articles to your meditation corner. Examples: photos of your teachers or inspiring persons, crystals, photos of nature, mandalas and other sacred geometric shapes. You can think of the objects as reminders to keep the mind focused on higher thoughts and meditation. At Salt & Spirit we offer a variety of crystals, selected for their quality and properties, to support your mindfulness and meditation practice.
If possible, keep a space designated only for meditation
Avoid using that space for other activities, such as eating, talking, welcoming guests, etc. If this is impossible (if your room is small), at least remove your Asana (yoga mat, blanket, or cushion), from the area when you are not using it for meditation. This will not only preserve the energy of the space (or surface), but it will also remind your brain that in that space only meditation occurs - no chit chat, no worries. This creates the sense of familiarity (or repetition) discussed above.