Ah, the beach. For many beach lovers (myself included), it brings feelings of both deep relaxation and heightened awareness. There’s a deep connection with nature here… the union of water and earth. This union makes the beach perfect for a meditation session, especially in the warmer months.
If you’re thinking about penciling a beach meditation session into your schedule book, I’m very excited for you! However, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Here are a few do’s and don’ts for beach meditation.
Do: Pick the ideal time of day
Depending on the season, you’ll want to pick the ideal time of day that it isn’t too hot, isn’t too cold, and you aren’t as likely to get a wicked sunburn. If it’s a hot and sunny day, early mornings and sunsets are perfect. The sun isn’t too hot, and you get to meditate in harmony with a beautiful, colorful sky. On cooler days, you may want to wait for the warmest part of the day, and find a spot where you’re shielded from the wind.
Do: Protect yourself from the sun
Speaking of wicked sunburn… you don’t want it. If it’s a sunny day and you can’t make it to the beach except during peak sunlight hours, shade is a must. Either scope out a shady spot before your beach meditation session, or bring an umbrella with you. Cooking yourself like a lobster is not very zen. Check out these tips for natural sun protection.
Do: Drink lots of water
You’re going to need to stay hydrated. Even if the sun doesn’t feel especially hot, if it’s beaming down on you for an extended period of time, you’re going to need water, possibly more than you think. Bring a big bottle of ice water with you. If it’s a hot and sunny day, you’ll need to drink more than you usually do to keep yourself cool.
Do: Pack a towel or yoga mat
Bringing a beach towel or yoga mat with you to sit on can greatly enhance the comfort of your beach meditation session. Throw it on the grass or the sand, wherever you feel most relaxed and attuned. You could, of course, just sit on the grass or sand — there’s certainly more contact with the Earth that way — but if you go this route, make sure you’re wearing longer shorts/pants/skirt. Sand in your underwear is just not a fun thing. Bugs in your underwear… much worse.
Do: Bring a journal
For me, it is very relaxing to write down my thoughts, before and after meditation. I recommend bringing a small notebook and a pen to your beach meditation. If you are inspired to jot down a few things, before, during, or after your meditation, you’ll have a journal handy. Read over your beach meditation journaling later… you may discover some interesting insights into yourself. Or, maybe you’ll have some material for a novel.
Don’t: Sit under direct sunlight
This probably goes without saying, but still, I’ll say it. It may be tempting to meditate under the hot, direct beams of the sun, for some sort of cosmic radiance aura, but the sunburn and possible heatstroke aren’t worth it. Bask in the direct glow for a bit if you like, but meditate in a shady spot if you’re going for longer than a few minutes.
Don’t: Go to a busy beach
People running all around, talking loudly, kicking sand, and possibly lobbing footballs your way are not a great way to get your mind quiet and attuned with nature. Pick a smaller, quiet beach if at all possible. If all you have around are busy beaches, try to go at a non-peak time, or at least find a quieter spot away from the chaotic revelry.
Don’t: Try to squeeze meditation into a social outing
If you’re at the beach with a bunch of friends and/or family, it’s probably not going to be easy to sneak away for a meditation session. Some groups of people may be fine with members escaping to do their thing for half an hour or so, but others may not react so well. Feel it out with yours, but keep in mind that you may want to keep meditation sessions separate from social gatherings, so that you can put your full attention into each.
Don’t: Sit too close to the surf
You may be tempted to meditate as the waves caress your feet and shins, but be careful. If you sit too close and your eyes are closed, you may not see the waves getting higher. Best to sit back a bit, and walk in the surf after you meditate in a drier spot.
Don’t: Drink alcohol
To meditate most effectively, you will want your mind to be clear. Alcohol can, as we all know, muddy the senses. You may still be able to meditate somewhat if you’ve been drinking a little… but your meditation session likely won’t be as deep, effective, or memorable. Best to stay sober.
Don’t: Pack too many accessories
Don’t try to bring your meditation room accessories, your essential oil diffuser, or any of your other gadgets and frills to the beach. You won’t be able to set them up properly, they’ll create a hassle, and it’s not worth the stress. All you need to meditate is yourself.
Have you ever meditated on the beach? Please tell us about your favorite experiences!
— Meditation Daily