Meditation is by far the most beneficial habit one can develop relative to the effort involved. It doesn’t take much, and the well-documented health benefits are too great to ignore. From mental focus to cardiac health, meditation has been proven in numerous recent studies to be an undeniable boon to overall well being. As other holistic health practices like yoga and organic eating have increased in popularity, the benefits of meditation have become widely available to the American public.
While meditation may seem like a daunting and foreign concept to some, it is neither. Meditation doesn’t require a mountaintop or a shaved head. It doesn’t require any particular religious belief. And it doesn’t take much time.
It can be done almost anywhere, including in your hot tub. Many of the various forms of meditation can be done in a hot tub in exactly the same way as on dry land, with the possible exception of being even more pleasant and relaxing. All that’s required is a timer and some relative quiet.
To begin a hot tub meditation, first turn off the jets. While absolute silence isn’t necessary, any sounds that are excessively loud or distracting will make meditation difficult. Set a timer using a phone (set to silent) or other (silent) timing device. For a beginner’s meditation, set the timer for 11 minutes, allowing yourself a minute to find your seat comfortably.
If possible, sit cross-legged with your spine erect and your chin tilted slightly downward. You can also sit in the standard fashion, so long as your spine is erect. The beauty of doing seated meditation in the water is that your natural buoyancy will make the seated position much more comfortable. Place your hands on your thighs, palms up or down. Leave the eyes half-open, focusing on the surface of the water a few feet in front of you.
- Begin with 5 very deep breaths. As you inhale, focus on the feeling of expansion in the torso. As you exhale, focus on the feeling of the body releasing and relaxing.
- Next, allow the breath to return to its natural rhythm as you “scan” your entire body, focusing on each individual part of the body one at a time. Start with the top of the head, and end at the toes. Be as specific as possible, noticing how each individual body part feels. Don’t try to adjust or change the way any body part feels, simply notice it and move on.
- Once you’ve completed the body scan, focus your attention on the feeling of contact between your seat and the pool surface. Feel your bottom and legs against the bottom of the pool. Feel the weight of the hands on the thighs. Notice the feeling of buoyancy.
- From there, begin to count your breaths. Count 1 on the inhalation, 2 on the exhalation, all the way up to 10, at which point you start over from 1. This simple counting technique will help you focus on the breath. If you lose count, start again.
- Once you’ve done 5 to 10 sets of breath counting, see if you can keep your focus on the breath without counting. As thoughts and distractions arise (and they will), simply allow them to arise, and gently refocus your mind onto the breath. This will be very difficult at first, but if you guide the mind back to the breath each time it wanders, you will develop the necessary focus to sustain your meditation.
By engaging in this practice on a daily basis, whether in or out of the hot tub, you will develop a level of clarity and mental well-being that is all too rare in modern society. This small commitment of time and effort will be one that pays off handsomely, and gives you yet another reason to love your hot tub.
Remember to follow basic safety precautions while meditating in your hot tub.
SwimUniversity is a website where you can learn everything you need to know about hot tub care — from entertaining videos to easy reading articles. Remember, nothing says Zen like a clean and clear — and warm — hot tub.