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adidas / June 2020
Allison Graaff

HOW TO MEDITATE: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE

If you’ve been curious about meditation, there’s no better time to start than now. Find peace of mind with our simple steps for regularly practicing meditation.

WHAT IS MEDITATION?

Sometimes, our minds can feel like they have minds of their own. A mind is a powerful force, one that can bask you in sunshine just as quickly as it can usher in a storm of dark clouds. Many people spend a good portion of their waking hours caught in a swirl of thoughts about the past or future, often without even realizing it. While thinking is an intrinsic part of being human, getting swept up in it can take its toll. Meditation offers an opportunity to quiet the mental noise and simply exist in the present moment. 


Both meditation and mindfulness have gained popularity as more people discover the importance of mental wellness. Meditation is the act of closing your eyes and tuning into your thoughts, and mindfulness is the practice of being aware of the present moment throughout your day rather than going on autopilot. Though they are different practices, meditation is a tool to bring mindfulness to your everyday. 


The benefits of meditation are plenty, from reducing stress and anxiety and channeling better focus to having more compassion for both yourself and others. The more you practice, the more you’ll feel these mindfulness benefits throughout your life. Meditation for beginners isn’t about controlling your thoughts but rather learning to experience them as if you’re watching clouds gently float across the sky. You acknowledge that they’re there, let them pass, and allow for the blue sky to return.

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HOW TO START MEDITATING

Notice where your mind is in this moment. Is it travelling in the future, or is it still lingering in the past? Invite yourself to come to this present moment, the present moment where you just acknowledge the breath, and life can be just what it is.”–Alli Simon, LA yogi and meditation teacher.

Find a time in your day when you won’t be disturbed. When you’re first starting out, try meditating for ten minutes or less. As you get more used to sitting with yourself, you can work up to larger chunks of time.

In the five minutes leading up to your practice, slow your movements down and start to steady your mind to be calm. If you sit down for meditation and find your thoughts wandering, gently bring your attention back to your breath, and try counting your breaths up to 10 if you need something to focus on. Remember that having an active mind doesn’t mean you’re bad at meditation—it means you’re human. When you’re ready, follow these steps to get started with your first meditation and revel in the journey of connecting to your mind, body and spirit.

1. Find a Quiet Space

If you live with other people, let them know you need some quiet time and put your phone on silent. It can also be helpful to use noise cancelling headphones during your meditation to help get in the zone.

2. Get Comfortable

Find a comfortable seated position, either in a chair with feet on the floor or seated on a pillow with your legs crossed. Place your hands gently in your lap and roll your shoulders back. If sitting is uncomfortable, you can lie down but try to pick a spot other than your bed unless your goal is to use meditation to fall asleep.

3. Breathe

With a soft gaze, breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth. This connects you to your breath and lets your mind and body know it’s time to relax.

4. Listen to Your Guide

One of the easiest ways to get started is by trying a short guided meditation via YouTube, an app or a podcast. Try any one of our three guided meditation videos below, led by the soothing voice of Alli Simon.

GUIDED MEDITATION VIDEOS

Body Scan– 9 minutes

This meditation provides a grounding experience by taking you through each part of your body to root yourself in what “is” and affirm your place in this world.


Guided Meditation for Mindful Breathing - 7 minutes

Tune in to your breath. With every exhale, you are invited to release what no longer serves you, inhaling love and connection with your body, mind and heart.


Self-Love and Compassion - 10 minutes

Find deep compassion for yourself as you move through steps of forgiveness, love and gentleness. Fostering compassion and gratitude, this meditation is the perfect way to take steps toward mindfulness, kindness and love.


TURNING MEDITATION INTO A DAILY ROUTINE


When is the best time to meditate? Really, it’s whenever you have a moment to find some peace and quiet. But as with any good lasting habit, it takes hold when it becomes part of your daily routine. Like brushing your teeth, daily meditation can become second nature with practice.

When is the best time to meditate? Really, it’s whenever you have a moment to find some peace and quiet. But as with any good lasting habit, it takes hold when it becomes part of your daily routine. Like brushing your teeth, daily meditation can become second nature with practice.

There are different benefits to meditating in the morning versus the evening. With morning meditation, you can begin your day with a calm mindset, and it can help you focus on what you need to get done. Evening meditation is beneficial if you need to calm your thoughts from the day and find tranquility before falling sleep.

Try meditating at different times to see what you like best. This could be in the morning after making the bed, on a walk at lunch, or even in your car before going home at the end of the day. Life happens, and while you might not be able to meditate at the same time each day, carving out a few minutes can help you feel the amazing benefits of daily meditation. You’ll discover how meditation can adapt to your needs over time, whether you use it to foster creativity, gain clarity or increase motivation. Ultimately it’s a versatile, wonderful exercise that guides you to learn how to strengthen your most important relationship—the one with yourself.

adidas / June 2020
Allison Graaff
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