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How-to Meditate

Are you a newbie or used to group or guided meditation? Learn to get zen on your own with guidance from yoga teacher Jonelle Lewis. Jonelle is a yoga teacher, practitioner, mentor and teacher trainer. Meditation helps manage our mental health and makes us more mindful. Studies have shown it makes us happier, too. Try to find a quiet place to practice, make sure you are comfortable, then follow these pointers to get you started.

Start small 

You don’t have to be meditating for long periods to receive the benefits. If you can make space to practice three times a week for three to five minutes, you will notice a positive difference.

Intention helps 

Having ‘an intention’ helps to anchor your practice. It reaffirms why you are meditating. Using a simple statement like “I am calm” or “I am grateful” can help focus your practice.

Space to observe and breathe

I thought I had to have a clear mind when I meditated and that I must be doing it if I was thinking about things. It’s natural to think and all we are doing is making space to observe the thoughts; meditation isn’t the opposite of thinking. We use the breath to make space between the thoughts. If the thoughts take over again, that’s fine, we can use breath awareness as a tool.

Find your focus

Bring awareness to your inhales and exhales. It may help to count these to focus your attention: inhale one, exhale two, inhale three… When you reach 10, start over. Closing the eyes can help with focus, but if that doesn’t work for you try a soft downward gaze instead.

Practice not perfect

Meditation is a practice and it will look and feel different for all of us. This isn’t about perfecting a skill but making space for ourselves and managing our increasingly busy lives. If you start to drift or get uncomfortable during your meditation, don’t give yourself a hard time; remember your breath and intention to stay present.

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