By: Erica Quam, Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor and Superfeet Wellness Panel Member. Erica Quam has taught yoga to athletes and active individuals for more than 11 years and is co-owner of Prime Sports Institute. Erica first began teaching to her athletes during her 15-year career as a college swim coach. She believes yoga can help prevent injuries and reduce stress, while building strength, flexibility and
As a beginner, make your meditation goal simple and do-able.
Even 5 minutes a day can be beneficial.
As meditation becomes part of your routine and you want to add time, build up slowly.
Try adding one minute instead of jumping up to 20 minutes.
Establish a routine
It’s easier to make meditation a habit by choosing a time of day that’s consistent.
Meditating first thing in the morning gives you something to anchor back to during your day.
If you have trouble falling asleep, try meditating before you go to bed.
Experiment with different positions until you find one that’s comfortable for you.
If you sit on the floor, try using some support, like a folded blanket or cushion so your hips are happier. Try sitting with your back up against a wall so it’s easier for you to keep a good posture and not have to think about it.
If sitting on the floor isn’t comfortable, try sitting in a chair.
You can even meditate lying down if you are able to stay awake.
Let go of perfect
Don’t wait until your mind is less busy or conditions are perfect.
Watch out for your own self judgements or criticism about not being good at meditating.
Simply begin and notice your thoughts, feelings, and sensations as they come up.
Don’t worry if you can’t stop your thoughts
Focus on one breath at a time.
If a thought comes up, start again. Repeat.
You can even label your thoughts as ‘thinking’ or ‘feeling’ or ‘wandering’ and come back to your breath.
Notice before you scratch the itch
Meditation can help you become less reactive to challenges and circumstances.
Instead of reacting to impulses that come up, like an itch or uncomfortable sensation, see if you can notice it and pause a moment before you respond.
Maybe the itch or sensation of discomfort will go away. Or make a choice to respond and scratch the itch or reposition yourself.
Take this into your daily life when you want to yell at the guy who cut you off in traffic or get frustrated with how long things are taking in line at the grocery store. Meditation may help you pause and decide how you want to respond.
What to do about noises and distractions
Barking dogs, the loud talker down the hallway, the cat crawling up on your lap.
Meditation is not about making distractions go away. It’s about noticing thoughts that come up as a reaction to distractions.
Listen for the silent spaces within the noise and within yourself.
Keep it light
Meditation is hard.
Adding in expectations of how your meditation session should go can make it harder.
Let go of being super serious and have a little fun.
Keep it simple
It’s easy to make things overly complicated.
The more things you require from your mediation practice, the easier it will be to stop doing it.
The easiest way to start is to begin.
An app for that
Apps can be helpful to turn meditation into a regular practice.
There’s some truth to the saying, “what gets measured gets repeated."
If you’re motivated by a buzz, an alert or a badge for your longest meditation streak, then by all means: give your brain a hit of dopamine — it’s like a virtual high five.