Nowadays, it’s no secret that the practice of meditation has become a popular tool of mindfulness for many. Meditation has proven to be beneficial for brain function, concentration & focus, increasing blood flow, reducing stress & anxiety, and overall, helping practitioners lead happier and healthier lives.
The concept of slowing down, checking in with yourself, and actually sitting still might seem quite foreign at first. However, this mindful practice and all its benefits may just be the thing to help you gain self-awareness and take control of your life again.
Want to hop on the meditation train? Allow us to be your guide.
6 tips to starting (and maintaining) a meditation practice.
Find Your Why
First things first, it is most important to identify the intention behind your meditation practice before you start. A meditation without an intention can leave you feeling lost and wandering in an aimless practice. Similar to your yoga practice, meditation is most beneficial when you’ve got a purpose top of mind.
A powerful intention allows you to cultivate a sense of depth and productivity while also keeping your mind on track so you don’t lose sight of what you want to get out of your time in stillness. What are you looking to accomplish from this meditation? For example, maybe you are looking to arrive in a deep relaxation or to become more present in the moment.
Whenever you feel your mind starting to drift during meditation, you can center yourself by coming back to this intention and remembering what you want. Allow your intention to be your roadmap.
When you schedule your meditation and create a routine, it is much more likely that this practice will develop into an everyday habit. Decide if you will be more motivated to meditate first thing in the morning to start your day off with clarity and focus, or right before bed to let everything go from a hectic day. You might even find that a midday-pick-me-up meditation is for you. Or go crazy and do it multiple times of the day. The purpose of planning is to find time in your day that you’ll stick to. Whether you make a few 5 minute meditation times in your day or 1 long one to start or end your day. Find the schedule that fits well with your needs.
Allowing a certain amount of time for your practice takes the intimidation factor out of meditating. Sitting for 20-minutes can feel intimidating at first. Allow yourself to adjust into a rhythm until you become fully comfortable. Every minute counts so start with a short practice and build off of it once you’ve got the groove down.
Use Your Resources
If you prefer a guided meditation try this free meditation from our YouTube channel. Or tune into this 5-minute mediation from Kindness teacher Darcy Miller. We also offer a deep meditation practice called Yoga Nidra on Kindness Yoga Online which you can check out here.
Of course, if you’re on the go and need something to go with you another great option is to try the free app, Insight Timer to guide you in your practice.
Make Your Own Space
Create a special space for your practice so you have something personal and sacred to look forward to every day. Make yourself comfortable in any way you can and again, use your resources. Pillows, blankets, noise-canceling headphones, candles, incense, mood lighting, essential oils, whatever brings you peace to make this time your own. By having a dedicated space for your meditation practice it strengthens your habit and allows your body to know it’s time to settle down when we’re in the space. (A similar effect happens when hanging out on your bed.
Let Go of Judgment
You’re not going to feel like you’re great at it right away and that’s the point. A monkey mind is a hard thing to train, but with practice, you’ll navigate through the best ways to let go of thoughts and just notice. Allow this mindful practice to help you let go of all expectations and truly benefit from the stillness of your body, mind, + heart.
When you feel ready to start your journey with meditation, jump into something comfy and give this nice and short “mini-meditation,” guided by Kindness teacher Kiayan Reuter, a go. It might just be the “zen” you’ve been looking for.