Meditation 101

Let me start by saying…

There is really no wrong way to meditate. Not what you expected? No wonder! This is what I usually get…

Lots of people approaching me about meditation with this idea in mind:

You’re sitting perfectly upright and crosslegged, back of hands resting on the knees w/ your fingers touching in some unusual way, expressionless, thoughtless, motionless. Oh, and you’re here for atleast an hour!

The reality of starting a meditation process…

As long as you can commit to sitting in silence (and aim for stillness) for atleast 3 minutes, you’ve got a meditation practice!

I even suggest new practitioners consider combining yin postures if it’s uncomfortable sitting upright at first. Think pigeon pose for 2 minutes on your left side, pigeon pose for 2 minutes on your right side, then laying on your back for 1-2 minutes. Arrive in the pose then set the timer so you get the full release into “stillness” without the need to adjust or go deeper.

And just like that you’ve just done a 5 minute meditation while also creating some release in your physical body.

This is a good reminder that we do Asana aka poses aka movement yoga to simply be able to sit comfortably in meditation. It takes practice to get comfortable, especially in our modern western lifestyles!

Now for controlling our minds…

It is absolutely natural for your mind to wander. Chitta Vritti is the sanskrit word that is most often used in yoga classes to describe the mind chatter or monkey mind. You are not your thoughts but the observation of those thoughts.

We all get lost in the chatter, but this is also why Meditation is a PRACTICE. The regular return allows a wonderful glimpse into our own inner workings. We start to see our own patterns. Then once we know our patterns, we can begin to rewrite those thoughts, or simply let them go.

Ready to Meditate?

  1. Find a space in your home that feels calm and inspiring.
  2. Sit comfortably (crosslegged or on your shins) on a pillow, bolster, or folded blanket.
  3. You could even opt for taking a restorative pose like pigeon, firelog or double shoelace.
  4. Set your timer! 3 mins is my recommendation if you’re new to the practice.
  5. Close your eyes and notice your inhalation and exhalation.
  6. Where is your breath going? Can you observe but not manipulate it?
  7. When your mind wanders (which 100% it will!), just take note of where it goes. Avoid going into a narrative or story, simply acknowledge what stirs up. If you start going through your “to-do” list simply think “planning” and let it go. If you’re pulled into work thoughts, think “work” and let it go. Family. Stress. Travel. Etc… Acknowledge then let go.
  8. Return to your breath.
  9. Relax into your body. Feeling the subtle energies in every cell. Relish in the power of your own mind.
  10. Congratulations, you have successfully meditated!