A Beginner’s Guide To Meditation
Meditating sounds simple enough, but the truth is it can be really hard! Finding zen isn’t easy when we’ve got a list of places to go and things to do. As it turns out, quieting your inner chatter is actually a practice, and like most practices, starting small is the best way to get it right.
One of my favorite instructors at SoulCycle, David Zint, is famous for getting his riders to tap into a higher power during class. If anyone could teach me how to be there mentally, it’s him!
I asked David to share with us the mental workout I am lucky enough to experience in his classes, but in a way we can do it at home. Please let me know how your ten-minute meditation goes!
Most of us have heard the benefits: The peace. The calm. Reduced stress. The mental clarity. Regulated moods. More productive. Being more grounded. More present. Happier and yes — healthier. All from one practice: Meditation.
Yet many of us, myself included, resist it, criticize ourselves when we are doing it, fall out of practice with it and sometimes even fear it, because we just don’t know how to do it.
Let’s start simple and small. Ten minutes. That’s all it takes. Ten minutes a day. Put aside the time either early in the morning before you begin your day or at night to unwind — if you really want to bookend your day with calm and clarity then do both morning and night meditations. Let’s get started!
Your Guide To A 10-Minute Meditation
First, find a quiet place. Sit on the floor crossed legged or in a chair with your feet on the ground— firmly grounded and planted to the floor.
Set a timer on your phone so you aren’t tempted to check out and look at the clock.
Allow your hands to simply rest on your knees as you sit up tall.
Connect to the inhale and exhale of your breath. Close. Your. Eyes.
Your breath is your anchor — anxiety about later in the day, regret about yesterday, etc… don’t fight the thoughts, but rather just allow the thoughts to happen. Then tell yourself to “release” and come back to your breath. Inhale. Exhale. You’ll fidget, have the thought this isn’t working — but again tell yourself to “release.” Inhale. Exhale.
Come to a place where you drop in and say, “I’m worthy of health, worthy of abundance. Worthy of love and worthy of investing in this meditation…” Again, you’ll probably want to stop. You’ll want to pick up your phone, go to the kitchen, turn on the TV… “Release.” Inhale. Exhale.
Pick a mantra that fits YOU. “May I be well,” is a good one. Say it over and over again with your inhale and exhale. Or maybe it’s something like, “May I be at ease,” “May I be peaceful” or “May I be healthy…”
When you come up with your own mantra it has a weight and value to you and is specific to your life, so ask yourself what you’d like to focus on and be free with switching up the mantras every day because you’re a different person each day. Explore. Be creative. Release judgment. Release expectation.
Let go of how you think meditation should go and be open to how your meditation is going. Be supportive of yourself. Encourage yourself. Inhale. Exhale.