The Beginner's Guide to Meditation

Reduced stress, a clear mind, and a greater awareness of yourself and your body: these are some of the benefits of meditation. When we take the time to sit without expectation, our perspective can change, along with our ability to weather the thoughts and feelings that arise throughout the day. 

In time, rather than running away with a certain thought, we become able to observe it, and let it go. 

While plenty of people swear by their daily meditation routine, getting started can feel daunting. Below, we’ve gathered a few of our helpful tips for beginner meditators. 

Tip #1: Choose a time of day that works for you 
When commiting to a new practice, it’s important to think about where it may fit into your day. Maybe your mornings are a time to center and reflect, and meditation is a natural fit into your existing routine. Or, maybe you’re the type who is go-go-go in the mornings, and you’d be better suited for an afternoon pause. Whatever time feels best for you, try to stick to it, as consistency is key here. When looking for the right place to meditate, choose a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. 

Tip #2: Prioritize Comfort 
If you’re uncomfortable during your meditation practice, you may find it hard to complete the exercise and focus on your breathing. Consider investing in a comfortable, supportive meditation cushion. Ours features a round zafu cushion and a square zabuton floor cushion to protect your spine while comfortably supporting your feet and legs. You can also use a blanket for extra comfort. 

Tip #3: Start small 
Maybe your friend or coworker has mentioned meditating for 25 minutes in the morning, or attending a retreat where they meditated all day. Don’t worry about sitting for a long period of time! When you’re just starting out, shorter meditations (5-10 minutes) are ideal. After some time, you can work up to longer periods if you’d like. However, just a few minutes a day is enough for you to experience the benefits of this powerful practice. 

Tip #4: Consider a guided recording 
Anyone can meditate, at any time, and anywhere. However, when you’re just starting out, following a guided recording can be very helpful. You’ll learn how to meditate, and be gently guided back to the exercise when your mind drifts away. We have a grounding meditation here, and a sleep meditation here, both created with beginners in mind. Calm and Headspace are two other helpful tools.  

Tip #5: Practice noting throughout the day 
When you begin meditating, you’ll become familiar with the technique of “noting.” This phrase refers to noticing when you’ve been distracted by a thought, witnessing it, and labeling it simply as “thinking.” Then, you can let go of that thought and continue with the exercise. But beyond your daily meditation, noting is something you can practice throughout the day, as a sort of “mini meditation.” For example, maybe you find yourself thinking about what you’re going to make for dinner when you’re supposed to be focusing on a work task. Here, you can simply “note” the thought (and perhaps write it down!), before continuing with your work. This helps you practice the art of being present, and build your meditation skills, even outside of your daily routine. 

Tip #6: Be patient with yourself
Starting a new practice isn’t easy. It requires a willingness to sit in discomfort, and a willingness to continue showing up, day after day. Be patient with yourself throughout the process. Know that it’s only natural for the mind to wander, and even experienced meditators struggle with this. In time, however, you’ll find the greater clarity and awareness you were searching for. 

As you begin your practice, take a look at our meditation collection. From our signature cushion set to aromatherapy roll-ons and therapeutic candles, we have everything you need to carve out the space for a restorative session, every day.

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