Step #1 – Sit down, close your eyes, quiet your mind.
The hard truth is, that is really what you need to do. The reality is, as we know, it’s not quite that simple.
A few years ago, I wrote: A Beginner’s Guide to Yoga. Recently I went to reference a similar article around Meditation and realized, I’ve never actually written one… it’s only been in my head. So, if you have been wanting to start a meditation practice (do I hear new year’s resolution?) or have been struggling to stay committed, try working with the following tips.
- Be comfortable.
Over time, it will become more comfortable to sit for longer periods as your back and hips get used to it. Until that happens, get a good quality meditation cushion or even a firm décor pillow. Sit on the edge so that your hip bones tip slightly forward. This will create more space for your lower back and will help immensely, in particular if you feel a tightness through your back while sitting or if it is a lot of effort in your core to remain upright. The other option is to sit on a chair. Sitting slightly forward to make sure your spine is tall and feet planted on the floor. Use yoga blocks, or books if you can’t quite reach (I understand short girl issues). If your legs start to cramp, move and re-adjust. Again, as your body gets used to sitting it will get easier over time.
- Schedule it in.
Let’s be honest with ourselves on what it takes to get things done these days. You schedule coffee with your BFF weeks in advance, schedule your daily (yes – I said daily) meditation. What time works best for you? Can you set your alarm to get up before the rest of the household? Can you close your office door during the lunch hour? Find a minimum of 10 minutes (working up to 20) everyday, preferably at the same time. This helps to solidify your practice as a habit, but as the benefits of meditation kick in, you will truly begin to crave this time. Use an alarm, write it in your diary, whatever it takes to keep you accountable.
- Get help.
Why try it alone? There are incredible tools out there designed to help you be consistent with your meditation practice. Apps like Calm and Headspace are extremely popular, though there are many others. They have different themes, visuals, guided practices and sounds to help you on your way to serenity and bliss. My go to, is to play different mantras or music for what I want to focus on in that moment. Sometimes it is just simple nature and relaxation sounds, other times mantras by Deva Premal or Snatam Kaur among many others that either have me chanting along or just letting the music keep me focused. If you find the silence deafening, or struggle to quiet your thoughts work with different techniques until you find what works best with you.
And the end of the day, consistency is key. There is also a reason it is called meditation PRACTICE. It needs to be practiced and it takes practice. I can promise you, if you really give it a solid effort so that you can actually experience its benefits: clarity, focus, presence, just to name a few; you will be hooked in for life. ❤