Creating a daily, home practice of meditation eluded me for many years. My experience with meditation began when I started practicing yoga back in 1998. Generally my meditation happened after my yoga practice with Savasana – the final few minutes of practice where you lay still and quiet. For the first 8 – 10 years, I needed the physical practice to support me so I could get to the place where I could sit/lay quietly for just a few minutes.
As I’ve gotten older, as more demands have been added to my life with work, kids, family, I’ve craved meditation as a tool to get me grounded, clear and connected. Creating a consistent practice on my own was challenging. My break-through happened last year when I was participating in Yogaview’s Level 2 Teacher Training. With this training, there was a daily 30-minute meditation requirement, which forced me to develop my own meditation practice. In the beginning, I was anxious about it. At the time of the training my three boys were 3, 6 and 9 and fitting 30 minutes into my already busy day seemed impossible. Sure enough, it proved to be possible and from this training, meditation became a habit in my life.
There are lots of different styles and ways to meditate - from guided meditations to vision meditations to walking meditations to mantra meditations, and that's just to name a few. If you are new to meditation, I recommend starting with a guided meditation, like Headspace.
If you’ve wondered how to start to meditate, if you’ve meditated before and want to get back on the path or are just curious, here are some practical steps. Enjoy the journey!
1. Make meditation a priority in your life. Make time to meditate everyday. Add it to your calendar and make it a priority in your life. Yes, you have enough time to do this.
2. Choose an amount time that you can commit to every day. I suggest a minimum of 10 minutes to a maximum of 30. Choose a duration that is going to be a bit of a challenge and is also attainable. Set a timer when you go to sit or use an app, like Headspace, to guide you for your chosen duration.
3. Choose a time of day that you can commit to sitting. By creating a set time (morning, afternoon, night), meditation becomes a part of your routine. By choosing the same time every day, you will develop the habit of sitting. You and your body will anticipate your allotted sitting time.
4. Have an accountability buddy. Enroll your friends and your family in creating a mediation practice with you. When trying something new, it’s always helpful to have someone to share the experience with. It’s really comforting to know that your family and friends are doing this as well. You are making a shared commitment.
5. Find a place to meditate. Choose a place that is quiet, a place you can close the door and not be interrupted, a place you are comfortable sitting with your eyes closed. I recommend sitting on a raised surface – a meditation cushion or other hard cushion is great for support and comfort. You can also sit upright in a chair with both feet grounded on the floor. You want to feel comfortable in your body and supported so that you can sit for the full duration of your meditation.
6. Be consistent and committed. Set a time-frame for your meditation practice – 7 days, 10 days, 30 days – and commit to it. Some days it is going to be hard, some days it will be easier – it will be different day to day. Stay with it. Make this a habit and a part of your routine.
Post written by: Kelly Moore