Something as simple as sitting quietly, in a cross-legged position for ten minutes everyday sounds very challenging. However, it can be the most important and beneficial ten minutes of your entire day. Lately, the talk about meditation seems to be the new cool kid on the block, along with yoga and plant-based diets. Yet, more and more research is coming out that all these things matter for our overall health and wellness. A twenty to thirty minute regular yoga practice may seem like an easy life addition, because it’s linked to exercise. A plant-based diet still needs some clarification, because most people think it’s a vegan diet, which is not the case. More on that in another post. But mediation is seen as something only a specific group of people do and that’s just not true. Here’s how you can start meditating today.
Benefits of Meditation
First, let’s understand the benefits of meditation. According to Greenmedinfo.com, meditation can have these health benefits:
- Relieve chronic pain
- Reduce stress
- Slow aging
- Improve sleep
- Alleviate depression
- Reduce headaches
- Among many other benefits
If this doesn’t convince you, then check out this article in The Science of People that further explains some of these benefits with scientific proof. For example, the reason why meditation can reduce stress is because it reduces the density of brain tissue associated with anxiety and worrying. This is according to a study done by The American Journal of Psychiatry. Or how about the fact meditation can improve your cardiovascular health and reduce your risk of heart disease. This is according to a study done by JAMA Internal Medicine.
Who Actually Meditates
You may think meditating is only for people that do yoga or maybe just Buddhist monks. But, some of the most successful business people in the world swear by daily meditation. Who are these people? See below:
- Marc Benioff – CEO of Salesforce
- Russell Simmons – Cofounder of Def Jam Records
- Oprah Winfrey – CEO of Harpo Productions Inc.
- Padmasree Warrior – CTO of Cisco Systems
- Arianna Huffington – Cofounder of Huffington Post
- You can see the full list on Why Am I Unhealthy’s site.
These business leaders don’t meditate for some quiet time, they do it because it makes them become even more successful in their roles. Research shows meditation sharpens skills like attention, memory, and emotional intelligence, according to this article in Harvard Business Review.
Are you ready to start meditating now? I know, it’s still easier said than done. So how can you start meditating today?
Meditating in the morning
For the longest time I tried to meditate. The only time I ever had any success with it, was doing a yoga class and enjoying those few minutes in Shavasana. Finally, earlier this year, I started to listen to guided meditation Youtube videos just before bed. I was doing it about three nights a week for a couple of months. Most of the time I was so tired that I fell asleep during the mediation, which defeated the whole purpose.
Then I had the wonderful privilege of taking level one yoga teacher training through Salt Lake Power Yoga here in Salt Lake City. It was a one-week intensive certification, nine days straight, and every morning we meditated for approximately twenty minutes. Once the certification was complete, I couldn’t go back to my normal routine.
Since August 12th I have meditated every morning, taking a Saturday or Sunday off each week. I absolutely love it!
My advice to you is, do it in the morning. First thing when you wake up, don’t look at your phone except to turn off your alarm. Go to a calm and quiet place in your home, sit in a cross-legged position, making sure you’re sitting up straight. It’s such a powerful way to start your day, because you’re devoting time to yourself, before your day begins.
Don’t feel you need to do silent meditation out of the gate. I proudly do guided meditation and it really helps me to focus on my breathing and the mantras of the meditation.
There are a ton of fantastic guided meditation videos on Youtube. I like to listen to Deepak Chopra or my latest meditation series with Boho Beautiful. I sometimes even listen to short, powerful podcasts about life, mindfulness, intention or any subject that forces me to contemplate life.
Another option is to listen to music. Spotify has a lot of great, calm and beautiful music that is perfect for meditation. Remember when you are listening to music, you need to focus intensely on your breathing and/or repeat a mantra.
Ten minutes is all you need
As much as I would like to meditate for twenty or even thirty minutes in the morning, I know I won’t consistently do that. Ten minutes has been the perfect amount of time to ground myself in the morning and to really embrace every minute. With the busy lives we all live, ten minutes is completely doable.
I’ve even gone so far as to add yoga right after meditating. This is huge for me! I’ve never had an issue exercising, I’m completely self-motivated to pop out of bed at the crack of dawn and go workout. But yoga has been a struggle for years, along with meditating. Now, I can’t imagine going a day without doing a few yoga poses to start my day.
With all the health and wellness news, films and studies coming out lately, it’s no wonder meditation is becoming the talk of the town. But science is backing up all the claims made about having a daily mediation practice. Remember, ten minutes is all you need. Doing it in the morning is probably easier to carve out those ten minutes, than at night when you’re tired from a long day. And a guided meditation session is a perfect way to begin, just remember to focus on your breath and the mantra. So what are you waiting for, start today, or at least, tomorrow morning.