How do you know if you are meditating?

Posted by Aimee Hughes

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Aimee is a yogi and writer who's been practicing yoga daily for nearly two decades. Since a journey to India when she was 20, the practice has been her constant companion. She loves exploring the vast and seemingly endless worlds of yoga. Aimee has also written a book called, "The Sexy Vegan Kitchen: Culinary Adventures in Love & Sex," available on Amazon. Full Bio
Q:

How do you know if you are meditating?

A:

Any effort to meditate is meditation. Any time you sit in lotus pose or lie somewhere comfortable, attempting to bring your focus inward, you are indeed meditating. Any attempt whatsoever to be present with your thoughts or even just letting them be without getting wrapped up in what they’re saying, is meditation. (Learn more in How can I tell if I am "in" meditation?)

Any time you allow yourself to engage in a meditation process, you know you’re meditating. Then, as you slow down your breath, as your mind becomes a little less chaotic (although it might not necessarily do so), you’re meditating. Then there are times you absolutely know you’re in a meditative state because you experience some of the more profound outcomes and experiences of meditation.

Peace, bliss, feelings of oneness, eternal gratitude with what is, connection to your higher Self, ability to hear your inner voice, or intuition – feeling into these states make you become more and more aware of what it feels like to be in deep meditation.

It won’t always be that profound. Some days all you'll feel like you're able to do is sit still for one minute and close your eyes – maybe focus on your inhale and exhale. On these days, you are still meditating because you’re still bringing your awareness inward, toward your inner self, as opposed to outward to the distractions of the external world.

This turning inward of awareness is meditation in its essence. But you can also be in meditation when you are walking down the street, allowing yourself to be present and mindful of all your senses and all your bodily sensations. Feeling the sun on your skin and really getting into your body, rather than lost in your head – during these times, you’re also meditating.

Have fun playing around with various ways of meditating and note how meditation affects your life in a deeply positive way. (Read on in What should I expect from meditation?)

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