Congratulations! You’ve decided to begin a meditation practice. You’ve heard all the benefits of starting one, like, it increases the immune system, it shrinks the areas of the brain associated with depression, and anxiety, and replaces that by growing the areas of the brain associated with creativity, cognitive brain function, and decision making. This all sounds good but right now I know you’re thinking; “how do I even begin a meditation practice? I don’t know where to start”. Don’t you worry! I am here to cover the basics of how you too, can start your very own meditation practice. As someone who was NEVER into the idea of meditation (anyone else think of sitting in a dark room, cross legged chanting OM for hours on end? No? Just me then?) I have learned it is SO much more than that. Meditation has given me the ability to quiet the self-negative talk, find peace and calmness. It’s made me a more compassionate person, it’s made me think more positively, and see solutions I never though possible. Meditation has truly, 100% changed my life for the better, and it's now part of my non-negotiable morning routine. Let’s get started on the steps you can take to start a meditation practice.
1. Decide you’re going to start a meditation practice. Sounds simple I know, but it truly is as easy as committing to the idea that you are going to start a meditation practice.
2. Pick a time you want to meditate. Are you more likely to do a meditation practice in the morning or evening? Some people like the morning because it helps them set the tone of their day. Some people prefer the Evening because it’s the only time when they’re brain has started to shut off and they can find some quiet time. You can always try one way and switch it if you find a different time works better. I started in the evening and realized I much preferred the morning time.
3. Commit to 5 minutes. There’s this idea that a meditation practice needs to be an hour long and that’s just not true. You can truly make a massive difference in your life by taking 5 minutes and meditating. Chances are you’d use that time to scroll social media, and the truth is, this will make you feel so much better about yourself, both in the short term and long term. Remove ALL distractions for those 5 minutes. Phone is off or in airplane mode, no tv or radio.
4. Pick ONE style of meditation and stick to it. You have got to give things a chance to stick. I suggest guided meditations to start as someone is generally leading you through a story or visualization. Guided meditations usually have a very specific outcome or goal for the practitioner (for example; I have several Guided Meditations online and you can find topics like Guided Meditation for Determination, Guided Meditation for Peace and Contentment, etc). We’ll break down more options after these steps.
5. That’s it! Do it again tomorrow. Try sticking to it for a minimum of 2 weeks (aim for 30 days). Try to pick the same time each time you do it. If you do it FIRST thing in the morning, make sure you stick to it. Don’t try to squeeze in a quick workout, or check some emails. You honestly won’t get to it. Just wake up, brush your teeth and then sit down and do your meditation. If you are interested in other forms of meditations, below are a few suggestions of other styles suitable for beginners. Loving Kindness (Metta) Meditation where you radiate love, compassion and kindness to yourself, others, and the world. You begin by visualizing yourself, then a loved one, someone in your life who is neutral to you, someone who really frustrates you, and finally, the entire world. Breath Meditation where you concentrate and focus on your breath, and the inhalations and exhalations. Present Moment Meditation, when you become completely immersed in the moment and don’t get drawn into the past or future. Very much like breath meditation, focus on the breath, notice distractions that come up for you, and let them go. Manifestation Meditation is one I absolutely love doing and teaching! It’s when you consciously manifest what you desire and what you want into your life by visualizing it and raising your frequency to attract that thing into your life. Affirmations/ Mantra Meditation. Also, one of my favourites and one I’ve recently started to incorporate into my yoga teachings. This is where you repeat a word or saying over and over again to create a feeling or state of being. Meditation really is such a life changing process and one I know so many people swear by. If you could take 5-10 minutes of your day and positively transform your life, the question really becomes, why wouldn’t you give this a shot?
Meghan Pherrill is the Creator of Balance by Meghan, and is an international yoga and meditation teacher. She has had the opportunity to live and work abroad including destinations like Costa Rica, Hawaii and Aruba. She now lives in her hometown in Canada with her husband where she teaches in person and online. Meghan is also the host of the Balance Your Life Podcast which a podcast designed to inspire and empower you to begin and maintain your yoga, health and wellness journey. Connect with Meghan across all social media platforms: Balance by Meghan YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/balancebymeghan www.balancebymeghan.com