On Beginning

Starting meditation can be a bit daunting. First of all, it’s kind of hard. Your mind is scattered, you may be judging yourself, you’re busy, your house is noisy, your mind is noisy, you missed a day… etc. Here are some of our top tips for beginners.

1. Start with short runs of time. 1, 2 or 3 minutes

3 minutes can seem like an eternity when starting. Get the snowball rolling down the hill though. It’s all about building a habit and showing yourself that you can continue that habit. Even if you grab a minute to breathe, be mindful and let some thoughts go. Whatever works.

2.  Know the principles of Meditation

When you are starting off in meditation, it’s common to question yourself if you’re doing it right, was that a good session, judging yourself and other distractions. Just accepting it for what it is can be more useful.

Focusing on the idea of identifying when your mind drifts, acknowledging that, and letting it go can be far more useful. After letting go, you want to redirect your focus back to your breath (or point of focus) without judging or criticizing yourself. Making these principles instinctual will help you react naturally, versus having a lot of thinking to do.

3. Make it your own

Whether you use an app like headspace, calm or 10% happier, or prefer to meditate in silence, or use a running app like Nike+ to do a different type of meditation, walking meditation is also an option, it’s all what works for you. Some people prefer the end of a yoga session as their meditation time of choice; Shavasana! It’s truly all about you.

An example of how your personal meditation session could go:

  • 7 minutes of walking meditation where you focus on your breath, the wind/air on your skin, what you hear in your surroundings, and what you see in the distance

  • Alternatively, you could do a 3 minute meditation focusing only on the sensation of where your breath comes into your nose and out through your mouth, where it feels the deepest. An app like insight timer can help you with the timing on this.

4. Eliminate All-or-Nothing Thinking

Look, doing this everyday (meditating) is a huge accomplishment. However, it’s not an all or nothing game. Life happens, and there will be reasons why you can’t meditate or you had a bad session. Look at this as a honing of your craft, an art that you are continually working on and doing your best to get Better. That’s it, simply stated.

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