- Kate Mihevc Edwards PT, DPT
How to Meditate
Updated: Jan 26, 2022
I have been consistently meditating for nearly seven years now. Sometimes I miss a few days, but overall, I stick to it because it makes me feel good. I started to meditate when I lost my ability to run and do endurance sports. I used to rely on sports for stress relief, fun, weight management and friendships....so when I lost them I lost my whole identity. I am not sure how I would have managed the stress of being sick, having a child, running a business and life if it weren't for meditation.
If you have been kicking around the idea of beginning a meditation practice OR you are getting back into it after some time off I encourage you to start. You can sign up for my 31 Day Meditation Challenge or find another way to begin- just start. You will be amazed at what you find.
Meditation is not all about sitting quietly, cross legged and having no thoughts. It is about finding a comfortable position to be in and, creating space and continually coming back to the present. You can't mess it up if you are sitting down each day and putting the work in. If your thoughts wander it's okay. You're human.
Here are a couple of tips to get started:
Set up your space
Find a quiet place in your house where you can close the door and not be interrupted. Let you family or housemates know that you are not to be bothered for the 10-30 minutes you are practicing. Below is the meditation stool I use to sit on and I have it facing out the window so that I can see sunshine and the park when I am done. You don't have to sit on a stool cross legged- I do because I like to. I also have created a mantle that I put things I use or want during this time of reflection. I have a gratitude journal, some different rocks/crystals, meditation beads from India, candles, books, sage and cards. You definitely don't need any of that if you aren't feeling it. Meditation is about what makes you comfortable, not about what you think it should be.
You can sit cross legged, on a cushion, with your feet on the ground or even lay down when you meditate. You can even move a little bit if you want to . There are no rules. If you have hip or back pain you may want to sit with your hips higher than your knees. You can do this by sitting on a blanket, yoga mat, yoga blocks or cushion. Below are some examples.
If you have a difficult time sitting upright you might want to sit with you back against a wall or in a comfortable chair.
Neck pain or shoulder tightness? Place your hands on your knees or in your lap. You can also place a pillow in your lap to rest your arms on so that the slack is taken up in the shoulders. You may also want to sit in a chair to rest your head back.
Being consistent is the key. You don't have to meditate for a long time every day. You just have to show up regularly to reap the benefits. It is normal to miss a few days, but as long as you keep coming back to sit you will be successful. I find that if I track my meditation I am more successful and more motivated. Print out the tracking sheet I created here.
Good luck! I hope that you find time for yourself in your busy life..it only takes a few minutes and has a huge impact. If you would like to take the leap sign up here for the 31 Day Meditation Challenge.
*Interested in jumpstarting your health in other ways?
Check out my Get out of your Own Way and Get Healthy Course! Available now.