I know that you’ve heard about meditation. You might have even given it a go, but maybe your mind wandered too much, you didn’t feel as calm as you expected or perhaps you just straight up fell asleep! We’ve all been there...I was actually amazed at how long I could drift off for while still sitting up!
But, for me, meditation has been life changing, really…
Cultivating a daily meditation practice took me a while but it was time well invested. It’s a life long path but I’ve come a long way from the hot headed tendencies that were a signature of my earlier years. Today, I can separate the useless mind chatter from the thoughts that really matter, catch myself before I get lost in a spiral of worries and stay focused much more easily. It’s not perfect, but that’s another thing that meditation (and yoga) has taught me...to let go of perfectionism and find happiness in taking small daily steps.
So, with that in mind are you ready to give meditation a try?
I truely hope so. That’s why I’m sharing a few simple meditation tips for beginners with you today to help you get started on your meditation journey.
START SMALL BUT CONSISTENT
You might have heard me say this before but I started my daily meditation practice with just 2 minutes a day. I know it sounds like that it couldn’t possibly make a difference but believe me, it did. Because those 2 minutes of meditation represented a commitment to myself - it helped me to prioritise my own wellbeing. And...who can argue that they don’t have 2 minutes to spare - really? I made a commitment to do those 2 minutes every day for a month. I even created a little tracker to help me tick off the days - I’ve shared it here for you - print yourself a copy because it really boosts your motivation when you see those days add up.
BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF
See your meditation practice as the start of a lifelong journey. I’m not sure that many of us really move far from the beginner phase and so enjoy it rather than strive to reach the top of the mountain. Feeling the benefits may take time, expecting to feel calmer after one session is a bit like trying to undo years of unhealthy eating with one fruit smoothie. Be patient - and kind - with yourself, it will work.
Don’t get wrapped up in finding the perfect way to sit while you meditate or finding the ‘right’ clothes. Simply make sure that you’re comfortable. If you’d rather sit in a chair than on the floor, go for it. Want to wear PJ’s rather than yoga pants, that’s fine too. That’s one of the great things about meditation, most of the time it’s just you in the room and so you can modify it to suit you.
DON’T TRY TO CONTROL THOUGHTS
The aim of meditation isn’t to stop your thoughts but over time they do become quieter and less frequent during your practice. For most of us, the enlightenment comes in being able to observe our thoughts, to see them as separate and not our true selves. This might feel uncomfortable at first. Acknowledging what’s really going on in your mind can be tricky but it’s part of the process...and it’s truely life changing. In time as you learn to separate yourself from your thoughts, you become more connected to your self and much less reactive in all situations, especially the stressful ones!
Have you ever said ‘i’ll exercise today’ and then got so lost in the day that you just didn’t have the time - or motivation - left to get started? Oh yes, I think we’re all raising our hands! That’s how I learnt that if I really want to get something done, it has to happen in the mornings. For me that means morning meditation and a yoga class before I start work...but, it took years for me to develop this habit, remember that I had a yoga mat in the cupboard for at least a decade before I even took a class!
Set a reminder on your phone or pop a post it note on your mirror - anything that reminds you to find those precious few minutes to meditate. It’s a wonderful way to start your day.
Here’s a meditation class to help you set a positive intention for the day ahead. It was created for us by the beautiful Clare from Clare Bethan Yoga. I know you’ll love this. Find a quiet space for 10 minutes and get comfortable, Clare will take you through the rest…
Clare currently offers online classes both on YouTube and live on Zoom. You can find her on instagram @clarebethanyoga
Clare is a Manchester based yoga teacher specialising in functional vinyasa, yin and paddleboard yoga. Her classes build mental and physical strength and encourage you to playfully explore through movement and breath. She strives to bring elements of yoga philosophy into all her classes so you can take your yoga off the mat and into your daily life. Clare has found over the years that her yoga practice, alongside her love of the great outdoors, has made a huge positive impact on her mental health and so she believes that above all else you should leave the practice feeling uplifted.
GET STARTED TODAY
If you’ve been thinking about starting a meditation practice or simply have an interest in what it’s all about then I encourage you to get started today. Don’t wait until you’ve read a few books by the experts, followed a few youtube channels and ordered the ‘right’ clothes...just start. You can go back later and do all of those things if you must but today is for taking action - are you ready?
While meditation itself is simple, it’s not always easy to spend quiet time with yourself if you’re not used to it. But, the benefits really are worthwhile. I encourage you to let go of any worries about doing it right. Start small, have patience with yourself and keep your motivation flowing by ticking off every day that you meditate with printable 30 day wellness habit tracker - above all enjoy the journey.
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.