How to meditate and keep it real
It’s all about keeping it real.
Photography by @mxmsurfphoto
I’ve written about meditation a couple of times. People always seem to tell me they like the idea of it, but they can’t get around to it. To be honest, I find it hard myself. The discipline of setting a side a couple of minutes to just sit? Really? I could be brushing my teeth in that time, or sending an email, you know — getting sh*t done. But that’s just it: meditation, even for just 2min a day, should be integrated into your daily routine the same way brushing your teeth has been all your life. If anything, it will help you get sh*t done faster, and more efficiently.
Meditation opens up doorways of your brain you didn’t know you had. Using your breath and training your focus are power tools of the modern day #bossgirl. There is beauty in stillness in the way that your mind will eventually thank you for the mini-workout. A few minutes a day can help you build a roadmap to connect your body to your mind in a really conscious, mindful way. Result? All-round bad-assness. Seriously. If you practice at Yoga 213 or Y7, meditation is even considered gangsta.
But, much like anything in life, it takes a little bit of getting use to : i.e building up to it and not throwing yourself in the deep end. So really, what do you need to do? Here are a few things to make the process a little simpler if you want to give it a go:
1. Meditation can be done anywhere, anytime. Also, you can move.
My former boss (and mentor) use to tell me she meditated in the shower. At first, I didn’t fully understand, as I, along with everyone else, thought that meditation has to happen on the ground and cross legged. She explained that being in the shower, focusing on the feel of the water on her skin, her breath and just tuning in to the surroundings of her bathroom — however unusual— is a way of focusing and letting the mind be present. Much like in a yoga flow when you truly take your time to move consciously, feeling every fingertip, slowing every step, closing your eyes — it does something to your mind, and after a while it feels pretty damn good to tune into that mindset.
So there, I just said it. You can meditate anywhere, even in the shower: cool, huh?
Photography by @MxmSurfphoto
2. It doesn’t have to be long, set a timer: make it 1 min.
Apps like Head Space and Calm are great guides to help you out if you’re unsure what to do at first (It’s pretty basic, but telling someone to breathe in and out is sometimes a really nice reminder). If you really want to break it down, simply set your timer to 1-2 minutes, that’s all you need at first until you gradually build up to longer periods of time. Remember: Practice makes perfect!
3. Try this really easy breathing technique. (Which I also used for my article in Herewith)
This pranayama technique (that’s breathing, to throw a little Sanskrit at you) is really helpful to calm the mind and nervous system, and will help you settle into your meditation. It consists of inhaling through the nose on a count of four (or 6, or 7… whatever you are comfortable with), holding your breath at the top of your inhale, and exhaling your breath for that same count, then holding your breath at the bottom of your exhale. Do this for a couple of rounds, or for the whole meditation period.
Photo by Scott Atherton