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Updated: Jan 4, 2021

There is no way to do it wrong!

The great thing about Mindfulness Meditation is that THERE IS NO WAY TO DO IT WRONG! It’s just deciding to pay attention on purpose even as your attention wanders. It’s a way to build awareness and a way to check in mentally and physically. Think of it as “Mental Maintenance” and just as exercise is crucial for our bodies, meditation is crucial for our mind (listen to my meditation “Smart Maintenance: Self Care Simplified”).

It’s also important to note that there are so many ways to practice meditation that there is a style of meditation out there for everyone - you just have to experiment and find what works for you. I have found that just having the intention to meditate (no matter how the experience goes) builds an awareness muscle that positively effects all aspects of my life. As I have mentioned before, when I start to lose my cool, my children will tell me “Mamma...go meditate” and I do...and it helps immensely. That meditation might look like a solitary walk with our dog Tucker and pausing to look at the moss, the trees, or the pond; or that meditation might look like a few Yin poses, that due to the time held (3-5 minutes) and the relative stillness and silence, yields several mini meditations. It also might look like me sitting on the couch listening to my “Ten Percent Happier” app that lets you choose the length of your meditation (3, 5 or 10 minutes). Some formal meditations favor keeping your mind on a single focal point (like the breath, a mantra or a candle) while others encourage you to allow the mind to drift.

Listen to my meditation “The Value in Drifting Off”- a very Yin-like meditation and one I use often in my Yin classes*.

*I teach Yin Yoga thru Orleans Yoga in studio (up to 6 people during COVID) and virtually. Sign up via this link being sure to sign up for "In Studio" or "Virtual". Yin Yoga can be a great way to practice meditation 3-5 minutes at a time!

Another way to meditate is to have a Gratitude Practice which can be used to turn things around and promote a positive mood, hope and resilience in a matter of minutes. I had my doubts until I started practicing on a regular basis, but when I’d find myself in a sour mood I would turn my attention to and mentally list 3 things I was grateful for and attitude and mood would shift. It’s not magic, science backs it, but why not let your own experimentation with it show you that it works?

Keep in mind there is no special experience to have (no goal) with meditation - we are just taking time to be with our mind as it is. It's an opportunity to develop some clarity around what goes on in our mind, to build awareness and perhaps even to question what our mind is thinking. Try to practice 3-5 minutes a day to start - wherever and whenever you can - then observe how your meditation begins to positively affect your life. Think of it as not only a present to yourself but also a gift to everyone around you.

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