You don't need to be a guru to appreciate the benefits of meditation. In addition to providing mental clarity, meditation can also relieve stress, encourage deep breathing, promote blood circulation, encourage healing and boost the flow of energy throughout your body.

When starting to meditate it is important to find a quiet, peaceful place. The familiarity of a sympathetic environment will help you to slide into meditation mode. Soft background music, incense or low lights are the tools some people use to create a conducive atmosphere.

Before going on to look at meditation techniques, there are some basics that should first be considered.

Posture is very important in meditation.In Eastern cultures the condition of the body is thought to reflect the health of the mind and spirit, so successful meditation requires that the spine be kept straight. This helps to assist the channeling of energy from the mind through the body.During meditation you should feel relaxed but not sleepy, and maintaining an upright position helps this.It is not necessary to use one of the Eastern cross-legged postures, lying on your back can be very effective-but they are worth mastering.

The traditional meditation postures ensure that the body is stable, symmetrical and immobile, and there is also an easy passage for the circulation of blood in the brain, spine and abdomen. The center of gravity is established below the navel.

Through meditation we seek to achieve a state of passive alertness that transcends the everyday level of thought and distraction. Achieving this 'higher level' of consciousness may at first seem a difficult proposition, but with practice and effort it is something all of us can do.

Try to meditate for around 20 to 30 minutes each day.