Welcome to another meditation focused post here on the blog….
If you’re an avid journey goer, then you know the practice of meditation is taking the spotlight right now. And it’s funny, because as human beings,
what we resist persists in life.
Meditation is just that for me…. something that I resist for a plethora of reasons, but will continue to persist due to its incredible importance, benefits, and overall necessity for a healthy lifestyle.
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This post serves three purposes for you + me:
- I’m checking back in on my 2 month meditation journey with The Mindfulness App
- To help set guidelines for a current or not existent meditation practice.
- To offer a handful of helpful tips to get your beautiful self started on the meditation journey!
1. The Mindfulness App
This app is a game changer for your meditation practice.
The Mindfulness App is essentially a personal meditation guru in your pocket, available whenever your heart desires, and simply designed to create/grow/sustain a meditation practice.
As someone who drastically needs to sit myself down, close my eyes, and clear the messiness from the mind, this app is the perfect solution.
While I can be highly motivated to sit down and write blog posts, I somehow lose this momentum when it comes to personal care.
I’m sure many of you can resonate with this…. we spend our precious time outputting energy into the world, but then fall short when it’s time to receive this same precious energy.
The Mindfulness App is a wonderful tool to help combat this issue of not creating “me time” for yourself! Check it out, I promise you won’t be disappointed!
2. Set a Reminder
Just like you set an alarm to get your ass up every day, you should also set an alarm for your meditation practice!
I find that when something is scheduled, it’s much easier to practice and sustain it. This rings true for food shopping/prepping, attending yoga classes, writing blog posts, reading, catching up with friends, having sex, and so on and so forth.
When you download The Mindfulness App, it includes an EPIC tool to set reminders with your specific meditations – body scan, centering, silent meditations, and guided meditations.
3. Create a Space
Create a space for you to plop yourself down, sit up tall, soften your shoulders, inhale a deep breath, and exhale all the clutter from your body.
This space should be inviting – like you could sit there for hours reading a novel type inviting….
For my space, I created an outdoor destination that I lovingly call The Zen Den. Over the years, I’ve collected and made trinkets, added beautiful decorations, and have had many a beautiful breakthrough happen here (crying sessions, girlfriend sessions, craft sessions, yoga sessions, mediation sessions, nap sessions…..).
If you’re thinking to yourself, I don’t have an outdoor space, WTF.
Don’t worry – any space can be yours, so long as you accept the space! Pick a room or a corner of your house and slowly start adding special/beautiful pieces to make it “inviting”.
For a full tutorial on creating a home yoga space, read this baby here.
4. Set Boundaries
This tip is honestly for me… and hopefully some of you resonate with it too.
I find that my biggest deterrent in life is my phone and social media. Eeeeeeek, I HATE admitting that, but damn it’s so true!
Whether it’s meditation, reading a novel, or writing content, I consistently allow social media and online ish to be a distraction. My husband (weird to type that LOL) attributes it to the idea that our mind will do anything to not focus, to not work, to not output results. So to combat “working”, the mind will trick us into focusing on easier or less important things, basically things that don’t require it to work.
The good news is there’s a positive to this mind fuck phenomenon…
If we can focus for 5 minutes uninterrupted, the mind will start spinning, producing, and getting into the flow of work.
If this idea of distraction, inability to focus, and too much social media is resonating… then let’s try an experiment together!
- No social media before 9 am – this will allow for a digital free morning to achieve other goals, like meditation, morning yoga/stretching, reading, or having a quickie with your partner.
- Set specific times during the day to check social media or e-mail, something along the lines of – 9 am, lunchtime, 3 pm, after work, and one last time before bed (can you tell I’m an addict LOL).
- No social media after 8 pm – this will again allow for an evening of either productivity or surrender (both are positives).
p.s. – This whole set boundaries things relates to everything in life, not just social media. Your crux could be your work e-mail, watching TV, giving all your energy to your family, etc.
5. Use Mala Beads
The biggest complaint for meditation seekers is the inability to focus.
People, including me, sit down to meditate and are immediately flooded with a thousand thoughts, emotions, and distractions. This is totally normal and expected when first starting on your meditation journey, so don’t freak.
Mala beads are here to save the day!
A mala necklace is a traditional/ancient technique to help keep the practitioner present and focused. The idea is to hold the necklace in one hand and with each breath you take, you slide the fingers to the next bead. At the end of the necklace, you’ll have breathed 108x and hopefully had a clearer, more aware meditation practice.
For more information on mala beads, check this post out.
6. Incorporate a Mantra
Mmmmm…. mantra work is something I deeply LOVE and highly recommend to everyone. A mantra is a short statement that affirms or strengthens something in your life. It can be anything your heart desires, something you need more of, or something you need to release. The options are truly endless. A simple way to create a mantra is by filling in the blank:
I AM _______.
I am beautiful.
I am strong.
I am intelligent.
I am compassionate.
You get the picture.
In addition to an “I am” statement, you can also flirt with Sanskrit mantras that are deeply rooted in the yoga studies/practices and possibly challenge yourself to a 40 Day Mantra Meditation Challenge.
7. Count Your Breath
Just like mala beads and mantra work, counting the breath is another tool to help experience softness of the senses (aka get the mind to shut the fuck up). The process is super simple –
- Inhale for a count of three – one. two. three.
- Exhale for a count of three – one. two. three.
Continue doing this until you’ve lost track of the numbers…most likely you’ll catch a glimpse of serenity in the confusion of counting and breathing. And when the mind catches up and starts to chatter again, simply start counting all over again!
8. Meditate in Bed
Right when you wake up or just before you lay down to sleep, take a moment for yourself.
Sit up or lay down, close your eyes, place one hand on your heart, one hand on your belly, and breathe.
Take 5 deep breaths.
That’s it yogis, simple and effective.
…..once you got the 5 breaths down, try for 10, and maybe 20!
8. Meditate in the Shower
I never considered the shower as a meditation space until a reader commented that this is her sacred time alone….. and then I tried it and loved it!
Similar to the whole bed thing above, either stand or sit, close your eyes, allow the water to wash away your fears, let the warmth lullaby you into a state of surrender, and breathe.
What a perfect way to end your shower, right?
10. Release Expectations
And lastly, don’t take yourself too seriously with this whole meditation thing.
Like anything in life, it’s important to ebb and flow, to not get hung up on mistakes or shortfalls, and to allow yourself the space to experiment and experience. While it’s great to proclaim – I will meditate for 40 days – it’s just as great to meditate for 3 days or 3 minutes.
There’s LITERALLY no rules when it comes to meditation and yoga.
Find something that works for you, don’t be afraid to try something new, and most importantly – enjoy your journey!
Let’s Talk – Do you currently have a meditation practice? Do you want to start one? Did these tips help you in your meditation journey? What other tools do you use to stay committed to your practice?
As always – Questions, comments, suggestions, or general meditation/yoga love is welcome below.
Until next time – xoxo.
Hey! I’m Allie.
I’m a self-growth student, freedom-seeker, yoga teacher and the founder of a tight-knit online yoga community: the Body Mind Soul Studio. I’m here to teach you how to transform your life on-and-off-the-mat with a holistic yoga practice.
I wanna learn it all!
The Yoga Reset Guide is my FREE 7-step journey to deepen your practice and recenter your body, mind and soul. Self-paced, no equipment necessary, perfect for beginners AND veteran yogis.