2-Minute Meditation: How To Meditate Continuously
How do you meditate when the tush is off the cush?
Let’s chat about two-minute meditations and long sits. Consistent sitting meditation times are important as that rhythm, routine, and regularity grounds Vata, helps the mind let go of unnecessary thinking, the scrambling of… “what next.” Sitting meditation times are also how we spiritually plug into recharge–just as we plug in a cell phone to recharge the battery.
Long sitting meditation times are unnecessary, and for most of us, they are not particularly beneficial. The mind wanders, and we follow thoughts all over the place like monkeys swinging in the trees. Instead, infuse transitions in your daily life with focused 2-minute meditations many times every day, throughout the day. You will be delighted with your return on investment as the 2-minute meditations will yield stillness and focused calm.
Okay, what about the other 23 or so hours? How can we create and carry a relaxed awareness with us throughout the day? In other words, how do we remain meditative when the tush is not on the meditation cush? The 2-minute meditations.
Is it possible to weave a meditative state into all that we do? When we’re working, driving in traffic, grocery shopping, in meetings, cooking? Absolutely! Here’s how–2-minute meditations. It’s as simple as this: choose your transition times and be consistent, establish diaphragmatic breathing, and follow the 2-minute meditation steps (outlined below).
Yoga and Ayurveda are sister sciences. In Ayurveda, the importance of creating and allowing for smooth transitions is emphasized–be that from Vata time of day to Kapha to Pitta, or from one season to the other, or from one stage of life to the next. Cultivate awareness and connection to each moment, infusing it with gentle focus–AND during transition points–make the most of those opportunities and dive deep into the innate stillness within you.
If it’s been a while since you felt that inner stillness, you’re not alone. It may even be the case since you were a young child. Keep the hope; things can change.
“Two minute meditations are a way to build the skill of calm all day long. Imagine a pressure cooker with the valve on the top shaking back and forth, letting out the steam and pressure that’s building up inside so the pot doesn’t explode. Sound familiar? Yes indeed. The 2 minute meditations, are our release valve so we can stay calm, still, and grounded.” – Veena, Saumya Ayurveda
Before we cover the steps of 2-minute meditations, first, it always comes back to diaphragmatic breathing. How we breathe can change the flow of prana (energy or vital force) throughout our being, and when prana is balanced, we notice that change in our life. When we use diaphragmatic breathing, we experience it as increased vitality, good mental and physical health, clarity, peace, and feeling like ourselves again.
When we learn diaphragmatic breathing, we remain relaxed, focused, and less stressed and overwhelmed.
Change my breath, and it changes my life? It may seem an overly dramatic claim, yet it is not. Without breath, where is life? There are many sayings in English about breath, we lost our breath, we catch it, we hold it, we take a deep breath–yet the breath of life–meaning something one depends on, is among the most profound. Breath is now something to connect with consciously.
Click here to Learn Diaphragmatic Breathing and Change Your Life This article covers in detail how to breathe diaphragmatically, the benefits, and the qualities of diaphragmatic breathing. Re-establishing this natural way of breathing is foundational. If the diaphragmatic breath is not yet a habit, it’s ok. Proceed with the 2-minute meditations as together, they will work it out for you.
Infuse your daily transitions with 2-minute meditations. Here’s a short list to inspire you:
- Upon waking
- In the shower
- While making breakfast
- Before turning on the computer
- Before turning on the car ignition and after you shut it off–this is great on days when you’re running errands as each time you get in and out of the car, you’re doing the 2-minute meditation.
- Standing in line
- Before and after each meal
- Before the start of a meeting and at the close
- Before giving a speech or leading a meeting or any time, you may feel more anxious.
- After visiting the restroom
- While falling asleep
Refine the list, and make your own so it flows for you.
These mundane transitions occur every day for us, so let’s use them for our 2-minute meditations. Does it have to be exactly two minutes every time? No. In some situations, we may have one minute. Go for it. Infuse that one minute or two minutes with your relaxed concentration, letting go of everything else.
When we perform 2-minute meditations during daily transitions, we’re dipping into a meditative state basically every other hour and in so doing, weaving a continuity of that awareness throughout the day. Sounds too good to be true? It’s not. Give it a try–you got this!
We All Have Time for 2-Minute Meditations
The 2-minute meditation wipes out the excuse of not having time to meditate. People often feel guilty and share that they haven’t been meditating because they haven’t had the time. It’s ok. We live full, demanding lives in a stress-filled world, and we tend to put unnecessary pressure on ourselves. No worries. We don’t need to sit for an hour, 10 minutes of cushion time is plenty, and in between cushion sessions, you’re maintaining and strengthening your meditative state with 2-minute meditations.
“Let things be simple. We don’t need hours every day. Try it out for yourself for a week or two and see how you feel. By incorporating our 11 minute guided practices morning and evening, and in between those recharge on the cush times, practice 2 minute meditations–you will find the stillness you have been longing for.” –Veena
How To Do the 2-Minute Meditations
1. Sit comfortably (If sitting is not possible, stand comfortably – be practical, let it be simple).
2. If possible, relax all musculature and joints in one breath if you can. If it takes more breaths to relax, no worries. With gentle, focused awareness, quickly, lightly and systematically relax your whole body.
3. Now, relax your forehead.
4. Feel the touch of the breath in the nostrils, cool and dry on inhalation, warm and moist on exhalation.
5. Breathe slowly, gently, and smoothly.
6. Let there be no sound, jerks, or pauses. If those qualities are there, simply note it and let it be. (Keep using the guided practices, and in time, on it’s own, your breath will become a seamless flowing river.)
7. Eliminate the pauses between the inhalation and exhalation. As soon as one breath is completed, begin to feel the next breath flow. It may take some time for this seamlessness from inhalation to exhalation to occur. No need to stress about it, or tense up around it; simply observe. Again, in time, it will improve and resolve. “Don’t fuss” as my Grandmother used to say. “Just let it be.”
8. Use one of the four thoughts below. Let the chosen thought flow with each breath, not spoken, not even as a sensation on the tongue, but as a gentle, light thought in your mind.
- If you have a personal mantra, use it.
- Or, exhale “ham” (as in hum) and inhale “so.” Let the chain of “ham so” and “so ham” flow together, one into the next like links of a chain, connected.
- Choose a name of a divinity you prefer in accordance with your tradition or religion.
- Or, count 1 with the exhalation and 2 with the inhalation.
9. After whatever number of observations of the breath and repeated intentional thought you perform, observe how the breath, mind, and the word thought are now flowing as a single, unified subtle stream. Merging together as one, in union, as yoga.
10. Allow the mind to become an even flowing stream.
11. Maintaining a connection to that stream, slowly open your eyes. (If you were in public and could not close your eyes, simply use a soft gaze as though looking thoughtfully off in the distance, reflecting.)
12. Resolve in your mind that you will calm the mind in this way at your designated transition times.
13. Whatever you do with the mind repeatedly becomes the mind’s habit. Give yourself this positive habit.
At present, disturbance, agitation, anger, anxiety, and wandering may likely be the habit, but in time, your innate stillness shows itself again to yourself, and peace becomes the nature of your mind.
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