How to start meditating in 3 simple steps.
Meditation has gained so much popularity in the mainstream western world-we hear about it being used not only in yoga studios and alternative health centers, but also in corporate settings and in schools to reduce stress and anxiety. Simply Google “Benefits of Meditation” and thousands of results pop up, like this one from Healthline, if you’re curious. But how to get started yourself is intimidating and it’s one of the top things my students tell me they wish they knew how to do.
When you think of meditation, you might think of someone sitting in padmasana with their hands in jnana mudra. If you’re asking yourself- what is padmasana and jnana mudra?! Don’t worry, you don’t need to know to start meditating. It’s important to let go of your preconceived notions of what meditation should look like and open your mind to simply finding what works for you.
Think about how you start something new- if you want to start working out, you might sign up for classes at a local gym. If you want to learn how to play piano, you might download a teaching app or hire a local instructor to help you. Meditation is no different. It’s one of the reasons I love Insight Timer. It is your own personal introduction-to-meditation teacher. This guided meditation app takes out the guesswork, allowing you to listen and look inward with the speaker as your navigator. There are other apps for this too, like Calm, but I like to reference Insight because it’s the one I use.
- Prioritize it. Set aside time each day for this self-care and don’t waiver. You might think you don’t have time, but everyone has five uninterrupted minutes. Found time can be in your parked car somewhere before you go in or after you come out. It can be the five minutes before you go to sleep or when you wake up.
- Go with the flow. Don’t waste your time scrolling through hundreds of options with analysis paralysis. Choose one that looks appropriate for your mood and the time you have allotted and go with it. In time, you’ll discover which teachers you connect with and can favorite them. Here’s one of my favorite teachers, Tara Brach with a short 6-minute meditation on seeing the goodness in others.
- Let go of expectation. Meditating is a practice and it’s something that doesn’t come easily for many people. Your brain is designed to think- so thoughts will arise and you’ll find yourself drifting away at times. That’s normal. Acknowledge the thought and bring your attention back to the meditation. It will get easier. Eventually you may give up guided meditation in favor of simply meditating on your own…but that’s another blog post.
Happy Meditating friends! Peace- Jill
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