Teach Meditation Tonight
Want to start teaching your students how to meditate?
Meditation has been a big buzz word lately. It’s in the news, all over social media, and if you plan on attending any of the regular yoga festivals this year be prepared for a lot more opportunities to meditate with the teachers you love.
Meditation and mindfulness are quickly becoming the cool kids in school and for good reason. A meditation practice has been scientifically shown to decrease stress, increase brain plasticity, and help prevent disease as well as a whole host of other benefits. I guarantee your students are more interested than ever in experiencing and starting a meditation practice. As
program and training developer the question I get asked most often from teachers is, “Where do I start.” The answer is easy. Start with what you know, then study.
Add a short breath awareness meditation at the beginning of your class. Some of the oldest and most studied meditation practices focus on the breath. If you are new to meditation and want to offer this to your students this is an excellent place to start. The following is a short meditation you can teach on the breath:
- Sit in a comfortable upright and position. If sitting is not comfortable you may lie down.
- If you are comfortable closing your eyes please do so.
- Start by drawing your awareness to your own natural, spontaneous breath.
- Notice all of the subtleties associated with the breath. Any sensations, or lack thereof, on the face, nose, nostrils, throat, chest and belly.
- Slowly, deepen your inhale and lengthen your exhale. Every breath cycle lengthening both inhale and exhale a bit more until you find own length and depth of comfort.
- As you lengthen and deepen, can you also equalize the breath? Add a silent count to the the breath.
- Eventually, and this does take time, you will find your way to a 10 count inhale and a 10 count exhale. This is where the practice is.
Repeat this same meditation on the breath at the end of practice before or after savasana. Remember, much yoga was developed to prepare the body, heart and mind (citta) for meditation.
The opportunities to teach meditation to your students is endless. My best advice is this: Keep it simple and approachable to your students and stay consistent. You only need to devote a minute or two at the beginning and end of your class to expose your students to the practice. They will thank you and you will have another layer of depth to your classes as well as your own practice.