While I always try to follow my “no rules” belief when it comes to creating a meditation practice that works for each individual, I also recognize that there are common tips and tricks that seem to work for the majority. I want to share with you my top 5 insights that may help you find a little (or a lot!) more ease with your meditation practice. Let’s dive in!
1. Meditate at the Same Time Each Day
Let’s face it, we are creatures of habit! The downside is we may outgrow these habits (that is a whole other blog post!) but the beautiful side is that our body and mind know what to do when we do something over and over again. Here’s a perfect example. If we eat lunch every day at 12pm, our body begins preparing for that meal before it happens. Think about it: our stomach growls, our mouth waters, and our mind thinks about what it’s going to be eating in the near future. Now if our job changes our lunchtime time to 1pm, we are going to feel all the effects of the 12pm lunch until our body adjusts to the new schedule. It can adjust, it just takes time.
Now let’s look at a meditation practice. Let’s say every day we wake up at 7am and meditate for 20 minutes. Soon, our body will begin to recognize this pattern making it easier and easier to drop into relaxation and focus. Our body and mind won’t feel the need to get up and do something else because they will recognize this is what happens at this time every day. The routine eases the need to be somewhere else creating flow and inner peace. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t meditate if we can’t do it at the same time each day. Let’s be real here, it may not happen this way; however, if there’s a way to create it, even if it’s only 5 minutes, DO IT! You won’t be sorry.
2. Create a Vibe, Man!
Light some candles, play relaxing music or listen to the sounds of nature, wrap your shoulders with your favorite shawl or scarf, play the drum or other sound healing tool, light some incense, surround yourself with images, colors, patterns, or any other object that inspires beauty...the list goes on and on! Using our 5 senses to create a relaxing atmosphere will help our body and mind sit peacefully. Don’t make this too hard! Maybe holding the perfect crystal is all your body needs to feel settled and at peace. Listen to your intuition and find our what works for you.
3. Try Meditating Upon Rising
Awe, yes, before we grab life by the horns, before conversations, cooking, planning, working, grocery shopping, before life sets in with thoughts and worries, meditate! Many people find it easier to do before the day begins. Others find it easier at night before they get some shut eye. Practice and see what works best for you. Maybe twice a day is your jam!
4. Stop Trying to Do it “Right”
The more we think about doing it the ‘right’ way, the more we keep our mind thinking, which is the opposite of meditation. Our goal is to focus the mind as we release thoughts that come in. Yes, thoughts will come in and try to take over even with a seasoned meditator. We mustn’t forget the simple truth that we are humans! Understand when thoughts come up- and they will- it doesn’t mean we blew it! It means we are human. Meditation isn’t about stopping thoughts, its about easily releasing them (check out more on this topic in my other blog). Trust the process and know that having thoughts is a part of being alive! You aren’t failing.
5. Don’t Give Up
Some days are easier than others, it’s just how it is! This doesn’t mean we aren’t successfully meditating nor does it mean we are doing something wrong. Our energy is different every day which means our meditation experiences will vary. The key is to stay consistent. Everything else will work itself out.
Katie Z Robinson is a long time meditator and meditation teacher, among other trades and titles. Spira is honored to collaborate with Katie in offering a Meditation CE & Workshop as a part of our 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training and open to other yoga teachers and students. To read more about Katie, visit her website.