By far the number one question I get when I let someone know I’m a meditation teacher is “I know it’s good for me but how do I get started?”. I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now and I’ll admit that it’s taken me this long to write it because I wanted to not only share with you some tips on getting started, but I also wanted to provide a resource that you could use, make sure you stick around until the end to access my FREE program to help you create a 5 minute meditation program.
So, I’ll start by saying that I completely understand where you’re coming from and that’s a big reason I do the work I do. When I was first introduced to meditation through my yoga practice 15 years ago, I had no clue what I was doing. I would close my eyes as directed and breathe but I didn’t “get it” whatever the “it” was to get. A part of this ambiguity was due to the limited and almost non existent research available in fields of neuroscience and psychology as it related to meditation. But I also had no clue what I was doing because I thought I had to DO something.
Tip #1: Consider being vs. doing.
There is nothing to do during meditation but rather you have to be. Be what? Be present to what is occurring. We have been trained since childhood to do which can be seen as an outward act vs. to be which is an inward act.
When I finally learned a basic meditation technique, I felt like I could drop it into meditation anytime, anywhere. The downfall of that is that I found myself barely meditating because I didn’t have time or at least not the 60 minutes I wanted for my practice.
Tip #2: Consistency over quantity.
What I learned was that if I committed to a 10 minute practice first thing in the morning or at night, it would happen and often it would result in a 15-20 minute practice. Start simple and small. The benefits of meditation come from having a consistent practice. It’s better to have 5 minutes a day than 2 hours once a month.
I’m going to share a little secret with you. I’m hugely impatient and at times very anxious which can be seen as ironic for a yoga and meditation teacher but in fact my practices have been the key to my sanity and success. I share this to say that being calm, cool, and collected is a skill and it’s one that ANYONE can learn if they are focused.
Tip #3 FOCUS
John Lee Dumas,the host of Entrepreneur on Fire, has a great acronym for FOCUS which is Follow One Course Until Success. I love how this can apply to just about anything including meditation. Regardless of what type of meditation practice you follow, the key is to stay focused especially when you want to give up. For me this meant to stay focused on my breath and follow it in and out of my nose as vigilantly as I could for 10 minutes. Of course my mind would wander but that’s what makes it a practice.
What do you want to know?
There’s lots more tips I can offer around how to prepare your body for meditation, what to eat, etc. Let me know what you’d like to know in the comments and I’ll make sure to address it.
As promised here is the resource I created for you to help build a 5 minute meditation practice. This week long program is designed to be super simple and bite sized so it will fit easily into your schedule. For right now this program is free of charge, so get it soon! Oh and feel free to share it with someone else that you think might benefit.