There is more to meditation than chanting ohms in the lotus yoga position.
Meditation, the process of shutting our brain off from all the chaos of the world, is simply about mindfulness.
You can find calm and mindfulness anywhere - on your way to work in the morning, sitting on your bed, or on a hike.
But no method is as easy or enjoyable for novice meditators than rocking blissfully in a hammock.
Hammock meditation is a simple and powerful way to enter the realm of mindfulness.
The benefits include a reduction of stress, improved sleep and heightened focus and energy during the day.
For the regular meditators, it could even mean an increase in longevity.
Is hammock meditation more effective than any other form?
You should find a method of meditation that works best for you and your needs.
However, because of the physical properties of a hammock, meditation can be much easier to achieve.
When you first begin meditating, you may find it difficult to avoid distractions. Your eyes may wander around a room and pull you away from your main objective of peace.
A hammock is like an open-ended cocoon.
When lying in a hammock, you are surrounded on all sides by a thin wall of nylon. This reduces distractions from the outside world and pulls you into a personal mindful state.
Yet, because you can see the sky from a hammock, you wont need to fear claustrophobia, which could prevent you from meditating successfully.
Hammocks come in a variety of colors, and colors can impact you in powerful ways. Choose a hammock color that relates to how you want to feel – blue for peaceful, yellow for energized, etc.
Having a wall of that color is a gentle but clear reminder of your objective.
Because of the portability of a hammock, you can bring your meditative experience pretty much anywhere. Many people benefits from bringing their meditation outdoors.
Warm sun, blue skies, the smell of grass and the sound of birdsong or water can quickly pull you into a state of calm.
From the comfort of a hammock, there are very minimal distractions to pull you away from this experience.
For both novice and routine meditators, you may find that your mind wanders to stressful thoughts or unwelcome fears.
Studies have shown that the gentle swaying of a hammock mimics the rocking motion from childhood of being lulled to sleep.
People who sway in hammock achieve greater and deeper sleep because of the calm that it brings. In the same way, it can improve your meditation practice and help you to avoid stressful thoughts.
With all of that said, how do you really meditate in a hammock?
What does meditation really mean?
Many professionals have dedicated their entire lives to interpreting what meditation is. After a year or two of practice, you still may find it difficult to identify what it is that you really do.
Regardless, meditation is the process of disconnecting to stress, fear and anxiety.
The benefits are always the same, no matter how you achieve it – peace, calm and improved cognitive function.
To meditate in a hammock, set it up in a quiet and familiar location. This can be your home or a neighborhood park. Reduce distractions by making sure you will not be bothered.
Turn off your phone or put it on silent. Set a timer for the amount of time you’d like to set aside for this session. Establish an affirmation. This can be as simple as, “I am calm and relaxed.”
Make sure that the room or environment is a comfortable temperature.
There are no physical rules to meditation, so bring a blanket, sleeping bag, pillows, hot cup of tea or whatever else you think that you may need.
If you’d like to turn on music or ambient noise, do so. Just make sure that it will not distract you from achieving your affirmation.
Crawl into your hammock and take as much time as needed to find the perfect comfortable position. Close your eyes and take deep, deliberate breaths.
If you’re having difficulty shutting off your mind, focus on the immediate things – the swaying of the hammock and the rhythm of your breath.
Bring your attention to your breath as it flows throughout your entire respiratory system, paying attention as it fills and deflates your lungs entirely, from bottom to top.
Your goal is not to sleep, but if sleep comes, do not try to fight it. That’s what your body needed at that moment and is part of the process.
Establish a routine of meditating in your hammock to improve both your mental and physical state.
After spending 5 years testing gear, meeting people and exploring his home state of Colorado with his wife, Andrej realized something about the outdoor industry. Mostly, that it was complicated. Andrej set out to create no-nonsense gear that was just as easy to use as it was reliable. He recruited a team of wilderness professionals and educators and hit the drawing board. The result was simple gear that you could trust, with specs you understood. Now he’s inspiring others to get out there and explore, by giving them the confidence to trust both themselves and the gear they use.
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