Guest post by sponsorship participant Sheridan Ruth.
Many people feel that meditation is out of reach for them. And yet, since 2012, the number of people who practice meditation has more than tripled.
Meditation is accessible to everyone, you just have to know how to go about it in a way that promotes the best possible results. That means understanding the general intention of the practice, being kind to yourself as you develop your practice, and finding ways to be consistent, among other things.
If you’re interested in starting a meditation practice, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve gathered 5 tips that will help you get started on the right foot.
1. Use an App
When you’re first starting to meditate, sitting in silence for even two minutes can feel grueling (especially on some days). But there is plenty of help out there to get you started, keep you motivated, and make the most of the time you put away to start developing a practice.
There are apps like Headspace and Calm. These free apps have meditation programs specifically designed for beginners. You can work your way through those programs as your practice grows.
There are also apps like Insight Timer, with thousands of pre-recorded and even live meditations (as well as lectures, programs, and other great audio). Just type “beginner” into the search bar and there are hundreds of meditations to choose from. You can filter by the length of time you want to sit, the type of practice, benefits of the practice, and even origins.
2. Be Consistent
“I can’t meditate” is probably the most common response to the suggestion that someone should start meditating. So accustomed to having a busy mind, many people meet resistance when they try meditating, and they believe that resistance means they can’t meditate.
The key to meditation is recognizing that this is a practice. It’s something you do consistently, something you build on over time. One of the best ways to do that is to be consistent with the time that you carve out for meditation.
Two of the best times to meditate are right after waking up or before bed. Whichever time slot you decide on, try to stick to it as best as possible. However, if you intend on deepening and lengthening your practice in time, then choose a time that will suit that down the road.
3. Start Small
One excellent way to ensure you’re consistent, especially in the beginning when it’s the toughest, is to start small. Instead of attempting a 25 minute silent meditation, start with three to five minutes.
Anybody can find three to five minutes to put aside in their day, and it’s a lot easier to sit still for that amount of time. This will also help you stay committed to your practice. In fact, a number of behavioral scientists believe that big goals are best accomplished in small steps.
4. Be Kind
You’re not going to be perfect when you first start out. You likely never will be a perfect meditator, if such a thing even exists.
But like the thoughts and sensations that pass through your mind without judgement while you meditate, practice non-judgement with your practice. Realize that some days will be bad, and some days will be good, but you’ll only reap the benefits if you’re consistent with your practice regardless of those ups and down.
5. Don’t Try to Clear Your Mind
It’s a misconception that meditation and mindfulness are about clearing your mind. Instead, focus on your breath.
Your breath gives you a point to return to when your mind wanders. And your mind will wander… the idea is to redirect your attention back to your focus point (the breath) without judgement or criticism of yourself or that thought, emotion, or sensation.
Over time, your ability to identify when your mind is wandering into places that aren’t useful and return to a focus point will become stronger, and that’s the ultimate purpose of the practice.
More Helpful Tips
Meditation is a practice. It’s something you dedicate yourself to regularly. Along the way, you’re sure to have ups and down, but be kind, consistent, and methodical in your practice and you’ll start to notice the benefits in your everyday life.
And if you’re looking for other tips and resources that will improve the quality of your life, be sure to check our blog regularly for new content.
About the author
Sheridan is a world traveler, women’s empowerment advocate, yogi, and Yoga Therapist. She supports women with hair loss to feel more self-acceptance, step into their true power, and radiate confidence. Sheridan supports women at various stages of their journey, who share one common goal – transforming their hair loss journey into a self-empowering, spiritual journey.
Since losing her hair at 7 years old, Sheridan battled the ups and downs of hair loss for most of her life. Brought to the yoga mat by her own mental health afflictions, Sheridan was once unsure about what to do and where to go, completely disconnected from her reality and her body. Today she is motivated to assist others in moving past their own entrenched traumas and self-confidence issues through the practice of yoga. She accomplishes this through a deep understanding and constant study of the connection between mind and body and uniting the esoteric teachings of this ancient practice with valuable, evidence-based western sciences such as psychology.
Sheridan has completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certificate in Power Yoga and Healing Sequence and completed a certificate in Yoga Therapy & Yoga Psychology, all while building her women-centered non-profit in Medellin, Colombia.
She now exclusively serves the hair-loss community, creating safe spaces for her community to dive deep into self-inquiry, reconcile with their bodies, and connect with a sense of grounded confidence. Her calm but energetically powerful teaching style creates a safe and loving space in which to grow and ultimately encourages a better relationship with your physical and spiritual bodies, greater awareness, and a profound sense of self-love.
Leave a Reply