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No Place Like Om: Wellness expert Gianni Melwani of Ikigai Yoga talks meditation

Meditation and wellness expert Gianni Melwani of Ikigai Yoga illuminates the fine art of being still – or, to be more accurate, of simply being.

For meditation, an early morning start is a good idea. I usually wake up around 7am, brush and shower and get ready for my mindful morning meditation.

So as not to have a frantic start to the day, prepare the night before. I clear up the room before I start my meditation. In yoga, it’s important to have a have clean body, mind and environment.

You can meditate for as long as you like, but if you’ve never done this before at home, I suggest starting with 10 minutes.

Assume any comfortable seated position with the spine elongated. Personally, I prefer the lotus position (cross-legged on a cushion) to elevate the hips and take the pressure off my lower back. Take a deep breath.

Then:

  • There are many ways to meditate. You can chant a mantra (a sound that you repeat that calms you), as it really helps focus the mind.
  • I also practise pranayama (breathing exercises), along with mindfulness techniques; using all five senses.
  • If you want to experience complete stillness and emptiness, the trick is… no effort. Just be. It’s hard to explain in words but train your mind to be still, to be calm and to not think of any external stimuli.
  • It takes a little daily practice and time, and eventually it comes naturally to you. Meditation is one of the most natural things you can do – you don’t need any equipment or expensive accoutrements.
  • The shift from a still mind to meditative state is to flow gently into it. The trick is, essentially, lack of effort. You just segue into it.
  • Spend 10 to 15 minutes with yourself, with no distractions. No dogs, no kids, no family, just you.
  • I encourage people to try a yoga class and and then apply the technique at home – it’s a lifestyle, not a temporary fix. Real change happens with consistency.
  • It’s also important to note that I’m not overly rigid about a set-in-concrete routine. I know that it’s beneficial in my life to practise mediation and yoga every day in some form or another, but if I don’t get time to do this, I realise it’s not the end of the world. I can always start again tomorrow.

You can find out more at Ikigai Yoga

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