Search for more Everyday Power
In today’s world, more than ever, it seems like we are overwhelmed with “to-dos.” The fact that for most of us the bulk of our work is done online doesn’t make things any easier. We are constantly interrupted with email distractions and facebook messages that further prolong our many projects and deadlines.
How To Meditate: 5 Fun Tips
When we decide to do something good for ourselves, like meditate, the major obstacle is feeling as though we’ve got the time. As a yoga teacher and meditation guide for the past 10 years, this is the most common worry I hear.
When I first started teaching yoga and meditation, working mostly at several local yoga studios, things didn’t seem too hard to balance. Then I moved to New York City. I became a licensed psychotherapist and then started my business The Yoga Wellness Space (YWS). When I first launched YWS, ironically, I found myself so bombarded with “must-dos” that my personal yoga and meditation practice suffered visibly- some days I missed it all together. A yoga and meditation teacher too busy to practice yoga and meditate! This had to change.
As a busy person who bases her life on practicing mindfulness through yoga and meditation I’ve developed a guide to help you meditate even when you’re overwhelmed by your “to-do” list.
Tip 1: Look at meditation as a lifestyle, rather than just a 5-30 minute practice that you do once in a blue moon
Adopting a meditation practice is much like deciding to eat more healthfully or work out more regularly. When we fully embrace something, even when on a trial-basis, we accept the necessity of making room and altering other areas of our lives to make it fit.
Make the time. Put it in your calendar and set a notification….and while meditating, turn off your other notifications.
For most things to be optimally beneficial, they need to become a part of us, a part of our identity.
Begin to think of yourself as a meditator and you are all the more mentally prepared to live that life!
Tip 2: Get Organized
Hopefully with all your “to-dos” you have a “to-do list” but if not, guess what? It’s time to start writing.
Why is this helpful? It’s inevitable that as soon as you sit down and allow your mind it’s much needed time to quiet, a million thoughts will flood into your head. This is especially typical when you first start meditating but still happens to more experienced practitioners because we are busy people with things to do!
When a thought of what you need to do comes into your mind, make a mental note and if it’s that important you will remember it and be able to add it to your to-do list once you’re done meditating.
Tip 3: Let go of your expectations- expect to be distracted
Many new meditators ask me how they know they are doing it right and anxiously shun their inability to clear their minds of all thoughts. The good news is that meditating is not about being thoughtless. We have working brains that process images, sounds, language, etc. Embrace having a mind that is able to balance so many activities at once- that’s a good thing!
Expect your brain to engage in thinking behavior. Expect to get distracted by your thoughts.
The key is to over time and with experience, realize more quickly and with less attachment when your mind has wandered, and with less judgement simply bring the mind back to the mantra, breath, etc (depending on the style of meditation you are practicing).
Tip 4: Set up your space and make it a ritual
Find your unique natural rhythm: Experiment with what time of day is best for you to meditate.
This tip goes hand in hand with tip number 3. If it’s possible for you, experiment with meditating in the morning, afternoon and evening on different days and see if you notice what time of day you are less distracted and more organically inclined to turn inward and be in your own body. And then….
Honor your body’s natural rhythm- if you find that sweet spot, that is the time that you meditate!
Then remember to put it in your calendar and set the notification.
To get more insight around setting the space, check out this article: Yoga at home: Tips for setting up the perfect practice space.
Tip 5: Start small- be excited for the journey ahead
If you know it’s hard for you to sit still for even 5 minutes, why try to meditate for 20 minutes your very first time? Try even just 5 minutes of sitting still and observing the breath. If this goes well after a week, then go up to 10 minutes.
Likewise, maybe start with three days a week rather than going from not meditating at all, to deciding you will meditate daily or multiple times a day.
Sometimes when we decide to make a positive lifestyle change we become so enthusiastic that we want to be at the “end point” before we’ve even begun. We decide we’re going to meditate for an hour twice a day and magically become the most blissed-out bunny on the block!
And thus, we set ourselves up for failure and are more likely to give up on the entire process!
Meditation will teach patience, but allow yourself to be taught. Let the ego take the backseat. There is no end point. There is beauty and peace that come from looking at this as a lifestyle and a journey and letting go of the stress that comes with rushing to be the best or see immediate results.
So…..ready to meditate?!
Awesome! I recommend starting with this Mindfulness Meditation on Sound. To try this and more meditations visit me on YouTube, check out the Meditations Playlist and subscribe to the channel to receive notifications when new meditations are uploaded.
Here are my last tips for you, beautiful reader:
~Don’t take it too seriously
~Stay devoted- its so worth it!