Meditating sounds so zen but does sitting silent for a few minutes really do anything for you? Yes! Find out the benefits of meditation and tips to do it!
Hi all! I apologize for the lack of posting last week. I was feeling a little uninspired and instead of forcing some posts, I decided to just take a mini break.
Today I want to talk meditation. I know, I know, meditation is often seen as a hippy, dippy thing that only yogis and people with no commitments have time for. In fact, I’m guilty of spending shivasana during yoga class thinking about my dinner rather than attempting to meditate. I’m your typical type-A person that is always going, going, going and even when it looks like I’m sitting, reading or resting, I’m actually planning, thinking and preparing.
While there is definitely nothing wrong with being goal oriented, there are definitely benefits to having the ability to clear your mind and relax. Studies have shown that people who meditate are less stressed, have an easier time sleeping, have less anxiety and less depression, have more energy and feel better overall. Besides, we invest so much in products and things to help make us feel better, what if simply taking some quiet time each day is all we really need?
So what to do if you have a constant to-do list in your head that won’t be quiet and practically no time to yourself? Here are a few tips to help you start out with a meditation practice:
Start with small increments of time. Spending just 5 minutes meditating can be beneficial. Slowly build from there. I actually find that I get the most benefit out of 15 minutes because it gives me enough time to clear my mind and relax without it wandering too much. But, if you are short on time, start with small bursts of time to get used to it and then try to increase your time blocks.
Find a mantra. Clearing your mind to meditate is an extremely difficult task for most people. So, give your mind something to focus on. A mantra can be a simple word or phrase or even just a sound that you repeat over and over to yourself as you meditate. For example, a common basic meditation mantra is “hum sah”. As you inhale you say “hum” and as you exhale you say “sah” over and over to yourself. Of course, you can choose any mantra you like but try to choose one that makes it easy to say on the inhale and exhale. By focusing on your mantra, you will have less space for cluttered thoughts or for your mind to wander.
Try a guided meditation. Personally I find meditating on my own to be extremely difficult. A guided meditation makes me feel like I am “officially” meditating plus, listening to someone’s voice and some soft music can be very relaxing. It is also helpful if your mind tends to stray to have a guided meditation. Some of my favorite guided meditations include the meditations on MyYogaWorks.com, Simply Being app, Omvana app and the Mindfulness app.
Set the stage for relaxing meditation. Find a comfortable spot away from distractions, mess and interruptions. You can sit or lie down but try to do so comfortably either on a cushion or pillow or bed. If it helps you, light a candle, dim the lights or do things that will assist you in relaxing.
Try meditating right before bed, while you are commuting or right after a workout. Finding time can be an issue for people but I think these three times are ideal for meditating. If you commute via public transport, taking some time to disconnect from the world and meditate can be a good idea. Many people suffer from insomnia and meditating can definitely help that. I have been guilty of meditating before bed and falling asleep because I’m so relaxed only to leave the light or computer on! Finally you can try meditating after your workout, just like in a yoga class. Even if your workout is a tough run or CrossFit, you can still take a few minutes after stretching to sit and meditate.
Excellent workout as always. It's challenging, fun and easily one of my favorite workouts!
Fantastic class! Great technique pointers. Always new exercises to challenge oneself!
I am excited to take classes with Brittany in person this summer! I have followed Brittany online for some time. I particularly like the Barre and Pilates workout videos. Her workout techniques reflect current thinking and best practices. She supports all levels of fitness. Definitely worth a try!
Brittany is the BEST. She is inspirational, motivational and innovative. No two classes are ever the same. I'm sad when the summer classes end, but I'm looking forward to checking out her online classes this fall and winter.
My wife and I decided to give Balance Barre Fitness a try and we were not disappointed. We thought the classes would be pretty easy but were surprised at how rigorous they were. The class was great for working on our coordination and core strength. I don't get to many ...