3 Tips To Start Meditating

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Ready, Set, Meditate

Meditation, like any other form of self-care, can be daunting or challenging in the beginning, but holds innumerable positive benefits once you find your flow. Just as you wouldn't start by running a full marathon, start small and let your meditation practice develop at your own pace. Anything's possible - you may sit for an hour, undisturbed - but chances are your body (or mind!) simply won't want that. By nature, we are busy, cluttered and distracted beings. This is why we refer to meditation as a practice - something that we build and nurture, commit to and experience. Start with these three easy tips to give yourself the time and space to de-clutter.

1. Literally Clear a Space

Clearing your mind and dropping into your body can be a lot easier when you've set up your space to reflect what you need. You don't need a zen garden with trickling fountains and softly cooing doves, but you DO need some sort of sanctuary. This can simply be a comfortable pillow and a candle, away from distractions. If you are trying to sit and drop-in near a pile of unfolded laundry or sink full of dishes, perhaps choose a different spot.

2. Sit for 10 Minutes

There is no maximum time that you must reach in order to "have an experience" or "really meditate", but you should commit to a minimum. Start with 10 minutes: set a timer and see what happens - maybe it feels like an eternity and maybe it flies by. This practice is about steadiness; a commitment to 10 minutes may turn to 15, 30, an hour. A steady commitment WILL help build your practice.

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3. Use Props

You may not be used to sitting up tall for extended periods of time, so rather than suffering through your meditation, use props to find a comfortable seat. A block or bolster under the seat can alleviate tension in the hips and lower back. Blocks under your knees can help support and take pressure off the joints and a rolled-up blanket under your ankles can create a soft padding between your bones and the earth. There's always the option to lay back and rest your spine into the earth or a bolster as well.

Join A Class

Again, meditation is something you learn how to do, especially with the guidance of a teacher. If you are looking to build your tool box, consider joining a class to deepen your understanding of meditation, breathwork, mudras, mantras and gentle poses to prep the body to sit longer.

If you're interested in exploring meditation, join Sarah Zandbeek for Pranayama and Meditation, Wednesday nights at 7pm, Yogalife Studios North.