As a yoga teacher, I constantly find myself being asked by friends and family about the topic of meditation. What is it? Why do it? And probably above all, how is it possible to shut off your mind for 30 seconds let alone 30 minutes?
So let’s back up.
For starters meditation is a practice of awareness (which sounds simple in theory, but in reality, not so much.) Also, there are tons of different kinds of meditation. From transcendental to visualization, it’s all about what resonates with you. So if something specific is peaking your interest, don’t be afraid to do your research. There are lots of incredible resources out there.
However, one of the many cool things about meditating is that you don’t need to be an expert to do it. (I’m certainly not). In fact, you can start right now! Simply get comfortable, close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. Your focus will undoubtedly shift. When it does, just bring it back. You can do it anytime or anywhere.
When I first started meditating it was pretty hit or miss. Some days I felt totally connected, and others, I couldn’t do anything but spiral into my thoughts. I guess that’s why they call it a “practice”. However, since that time I have found a few tips and tricks to help me along the way. So if you’re interested in reading them, keep on scrolling!
Find a quiet place to begin.
Whether that’s your bedroom or a secluded spot outside, the location doesn’t matter as much as the feeling of calm it should create within you. Whatever place you feel comfortable is the best spot for you to begin. I tend to gravitate toward my bedroom floor, but that’s just me!
Get comfy (but not too comfy.)
When you’re settling into the quiet you want to remain alert, so be mindful of the fact that practicing in bed may make you more likely to fall asleep. (Been there, definitely done that.)
Speaking of- if sleep is something you struggle with, check out the links I included lower in the article. Both apps have a ton of meditations specifically designed to help you hit the hay.
There’s no need to jump right into a 20 or 30 minute daily practice. In fact, that may never be your trajectory, and that’s totally fine. Life is busy, and I for one am more than happy to sit for eleven (or three) minutes before I start my day. Get into the swing by starting with two or three minutes. You can set a timer on your phone and for those 120 seconds or so, simply follow your breath. Like I said before, at some point you will begin to drift into thought. Once you notice you’re doing it, come back to the breath. The goal isn’t to “not think” unless you’re this insanely enlightened guru (in which case…do you want to be on my blog?) It’s just to notice your thoughts without allowing yourself to fall into their stories. Notice and come back. Notice and come back. Over and over again.
Remember that you don’t have to go it alone.
In addition to meditation classes offered in yoga studios and wellness centers worldwide, there are also tons of meditation apps and challenges you can access from virtually anywhere. Below are two of my personal favorites:
I hope this post helped! I’d love to hear other people’s tips and tricks for tuning in!