4 Tips For Meditation and Mindfulness – San Antonio Magazine

Posted: June 30, 2020 at 1:42 am

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You cant fail at meditationeven if your mind wanders to what youre making for dinner or whether you paid the water bill this month.You will never fail, says Enrique Valdivia, a senior student at the San Antonio Zen Center. Its just a matter of showing up and making the effort. The rest will come.

Valdivia began practicing meditation regularly about 10 years ago when he was going through some personal struggles and says while it does take dedication, its something thats available to anyone. I found it really beneficial as a form of self-discipline, he says. It gave me a sense of purpose and structure in my life.

Melissa Aguirre, of Boerne Yoga and MelMarieYoga, agrees and says meditation and mindfulness of any kind is a helpful tool for stress relief and personal discovery, something she found people have been increasingly seeking as they face changes brought on by the events of 2020. People often complain that their mind wont stop, says Aguirre, who is certified in therapeutic yoga and works with clients, including PTSD patients, on mindfulness. Thats OK. The practice is about coming back and building those positive cognitive pathways.

You dont have todo a big complicated practice to have a moment of presence, Aguirre says. To start, she advises finding small moments throughout the day to practice mindfulness. Close your eyes and breathe the next time youre standing at the sink, take a midday break to sit down and massage your neck, or even just inhale deep breaths while near your favorite candle or essential oil. Randomly practice throughout the day, she says.

If beginning on your own seems daunting, Valdivia suggests considering group meditation. Initially, he attended teacher-guided meditations at the San Antonio Zen Center daily.Even when the center was closed due to COVID-19, he still joined a group from the center on Zoom three times a week. For me, its easier to pick up and stick with if youre with others, he says. When not in a group, consider apps like Insight Meditation or Headspace.

While she knows it sounds simple, Aguirre says wherever youre practicing, start by focusing on your breath. If you feel overwhelmed during the day, take a moment and intentionally lengthen your exhale, noticing how your demeanor may change as you continue paying attention to your breathing. Look at your breath as a tool to access centeredness and feeling at peace, she says. If your mind wanders, thats ok. Bring it back and start again.

There are multiple types of meditationfrom mindfulness like Aguirre discusses to chakra meditation that focuses on different energy centers in the body to yoga meditation, which integrates postures into your breathing practice. Regardless of which you pursue, Aguirre says to approachthe practice with an attitude of grace and compassion. Let things be as they are, she says. Were giving ourselves permission to be human and not to be perfect.

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4 Tips For Meditation and Mindfulness - San Antonio Magazine

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June 30th, 2020 at 1:42 am

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