We all need to take a moment of the day to make a pause and release all the stress that we accumulate in our daily lives. A great way to find a peaceful state of mind and inner calm is by introducing a meditation practice into our schedules; for that purpose, it would be ideal to have a designated space at home that you use only for meditation.
There are a few things that you should consider in terms of creating the ideal spiritual ambiance to support relaxation, focus, and concentration during meditation. If you want to know more about this, continue reading because we gathered some great tips and advice from the experts to achieve this vibe at home and succeed in your meditation practice.
Which area of the home would be ideal for a dedicated meditation space and how would you create the perfect atmosphere using crystals?
Any comfortable and relaxing space in your home is the perfect place for a spot for meditation. Somewhere you can retreat to at any time of the day for some peace and quiet. The key to meditation is being in the moment and focusing on your most important needs; your mind and your breath.
I love being in the sun, so my ideal meditation space is right next to my lounge room window, where the light shines in on me. It’s where I feel cozy and warm! With saying that, simply sitting with my legs crossed on my bed can be just as effective as being in, say, the living room. It’s about being in a space you feel safe to relax and just ‘be’.
For me, crystals are a must-have when meditating or practicing Yoga. They give me focus and the right energy to be able to relax into a state of mindfulness. By using crystals as an aid during meditation, we’re able to still the chatter in our minds and use them as tools to eliminate negative thought patterns.
If for nothing other than their tactile benefits, rolling crystals around in your hands release the mind from getting caught up in any unhelpful or negative thoughts that can weigh us down. Each crystal has a set of properties that help you to find inspiration and enables particular energy to flow through you
As you put plants in and around your home, having crystals around you serve to remind you of the energy they emit and give you the emotional and spiritual support you may need. Allow crystals into your life to help you focus your energy on freeing yourself from the disruptions of the world around you!
By Ashley Bellino from Stoned Crystals
What do you suggest for setting up a meditation space at home?
Determine the purpose of your space.
What is your space’s purpose? Is it to have a private place for meditation or to have a shared room with others? Is it to create a serene feeling in your home or for you to seek inner calm and clarity? The purpose of your space will help you determine where it should be and what you will need.
Find a space.
A meditation space is a useful tool in anyone’s practice. It’s somewhere you can go when you’re feeling strong emotions and need somewhere to cool off, a place where you can “find yourself” daily, and just somewhere important for practice in general.
You don’t need an entire room for meditation – a corner of a room will do. You could also use an empty, spacious closet (if you have one!). Based on the purpose of your space, you could have it in a main area of your house, in the corner of your bedroom, or even in your backyard or garden.
Decorate your space.
Gather your sacred items. My suggestion here is to select one thing for each of the five senses plus something from nature:
- Smell – Incense is traditional, but a candle or essential oil works well too. Perhaps you bring a rose in one day as you meditate on your love of nature.
- Sound – A simple meditation bell, peaceful meditation music, Tibetan singing bowl, or the audio to a guided meditation.
- Touch – Mala beads work nicely as a touchstone to focus on, during your meditation.
- Sight – Select a meaningful picture or statue of a symbol, image, guru, or saint of your choosing. Again, select something or someone that inspires you.
- Taste – A glass of water or a cup of tea nearby is a nice addition to your daily meditation ritual.
- Nature – Don’t forget to include something from nature as one of your sacred items.
What images or objects will fit the purpose of your space? Most people recommend a minimalist approach to decorate a meditation area in order to avoid distractions.
My space has a Buddha statue, candles, and a plant. You might want to incorporate flowers, cushions, and pillows, or special lights. I like having blankets and pillows to create a sense of softness. Choose something that is meaningful to you and sets this area of your home apart.
Supply your space.
You don’t really need anything to meditate besides your body and breath. But if you use a meditation pillow and cushion, a singing bowl, or beads in your practice, you could display them.
An app (or book / audio book) for timeless instruction
As I am a beginner myself, I use apps to help with my meditation as I am still learning to quiet down my mind. Meditating to an app is much easier for me. My favorites are ‘Meditation Studio’, ‘HeadSpace’ and ‘Mindifi’.
Make your space sacred.
By “sacred,” I don’t mean religious or spiritual (although you certainly could if it’s part of your practice). I mean sacred as in the opposite of mundane. You should associate this area of your home with stillness and special time for yourself or your family that is devoted to your practice.
Now, sit in your space and try it out. Not comfortable yet? Add as many cushions, pillows, and blankets as necessary. (Some teachers advise otherwise, but I feel that you should do whatever you can to be comfortable.)
Set a dedicated time for meditation and do everything in your power to stick to it. Don’t schedule anything on top of this time; you need to act like it’s important, even if you’re just starting out.
Wear something comfortable. The last thing you want to do is to be wearing skinny jeans and a tight top.
By Kiran Singh from Kiran Singh
What kind of sitting props and cushions would you suggest to be comfortable while you meditate?
Everyone’s body is different, so the most important thing is to find the perfect cushion and posture for your body. Once you know what size and shape of cushion you need, you can choose the fabrics and designs that inspire you.
The Perfect Combo
My favourite meditation cushion combination is a zafu ‘sit cushion’ on top of a zabuton meditation mat. The words zafu (za-foo) and zabuton (za-booton) are Japanese words meaning sit cushion and sit mat.
The zafu is a round meditation cushion that lifts your hips up, so your spine can straighten naturally. It can be used by itself or paired with a zabuton mat – a large square cushion that provides warmth and softness for the ankles and knees. These cushions feel great together because they support the whole body.
Your Sweet Spot – Finding what your body needs
The first step is finding the right ‘sit cushion’ for your body. Although you can find meditation cushions and props in different shapes and sizes, the round zafu cushions are the most popular. We make our zafu cushions in different heights to accommodate different body types.
Depending on how flexible your hips are, you may need a little bit of lift (2-5”tall ) or a lot of lift (7-9” tall). We find most people in North America need more lift because we have less flexible hips.
We make zafu cushions in 4 sizes, and our most popular is the medium-sized zafu cushion, which is 8” tall. This is double the height of a traditional zafu and most of the cushions you see on-line today.
We started making cushions in different heights because we saw so many people struggling to sit comfortably on the floor. Often, they would give up because they thought they couldn’t meditate. What we found though is that as soon as they found the cushions and posture they needed, they could sit comfortably and meditate successfully.
To find the right cushion you may have to try some different postures. The two most popular postures in North America are ‘Seiza or the Hero Pose’ (a kneeling posture) – and ‘Burmese’ (a cross-legged posture). You can check these out on our website tutorials.
Although the Lotus posture is often featured in images, it is an extremely challenging posture for most North American meditators because we have less flexibility in our hips.
What’s in the stuffing – the natural choice
Meditation cushions and mats can be stuffed with cotton, kapok, foam or buckwheat hulls. The most popular zafu cushions are filled with buckwheat hulls because they are malleable, adjustable and super comfy. They are also natural, which feels good when you meditate. Similarly, we find the zabuton mats stuffed with cotton are also very soft and supportive of the ankles and knees. We love to use natural materials that enhance your environment and breathe with you when you meditate.
By Julie Jarvis from REALthings
Which characteristics should a meditation space at home have to help with relaxation and concentration?
Creating the habit for an at home meditation practice may be easier than you think.
Meditation is a practice to let go of the chatter in our minds and gain focus and clarity. When we worry too much about creating the perfect space, we miss the point of creating the routine of meditation.
From a tiny home to your own private yoga oasis, any space inside or outside can become a meditation space. It is the habit you create to establish your meditation practice that matters.
There is no wrong way to meditate. Day-to-day our meditation experience can change. Some days may feel like we are in it and other days may feel like it just isn’t working. Don’t be attached to the outcome. Continue with the practice.
When I meditate, there are a few things that are important to create a space that feels good:
- Keep it clean. I vacuum all the time to clear away cat hair and dust.
- Clear away clutter. I keep an empty drawer that I can use to hold papers and objects I haven’t sorted yet as a quick way to clear away distractions.
- Bring in decorations. I use artwork to brighten my space. You may want candles, plants, and other calming objects. A large wall hanging is a great way to divide a room and change the scenery.
- Let it be comfortable. I use bolsters, blankets, pillows, and a yoga mat. Sometimes I take a walking meditation or meditate on the couch, my office chair, or in bed.
- Is it available? If you have to hide out in your bathroom to get time to yourself, you may need to establish another routine. If you are a new mom, could you take a walking meditation with the stroller during nap time? If you have roommates, could you make arrangements for a time when you will have five minutes of quiet? Maybe an outdoor bench or a garden would be a nice alternative.
What do you want that will help you create a meditation experience you would enjoy? If it doesn’t feel good or takes too much effort, it is harder to make it a habit.
When you are done, notice – What do you love about your home? What space would you like to create? Is there one thing you would like to change? Have you been holding onto items that don’t serve you?
Our best ideas come when we are present, clear-headed, and with a positive mindset. With the benefits of meditation, you can get inspired to create the home you want to live in.
By Monica Phillips from Spark Plug Labs
How would you create the perfect mood at home for meditation and where would you suggest setting it up?
The most helpful thing for me in creating the perfect meditation setup is consistency. I have a “meditation spot” with my meditation mat, my altar, a lamp that I burn during meditation, and my japa beads. I sit in front of the window so that I can hear the birds outside as I meditate. Even so, I’m sometimes distracted by my partner moving about in the house or noisy neighbors. What has helped the most with setting the mood is to practice consistently so that my brain and body (and spirit) are used to the setting and also the distractions. I also meditate immediately when I wake up before my partner gets up so that I have a quiet morning to myself during my practice. So whether you set it up in a private room or on the patio, consistency is the most important thing to me. Doing it before anyone else wakes up makes it a lot easier 🙂
By Marquis Matson from BookRetreats.com
What kind of settings do you suggest having at home to help you be comfortable while you meditate?
Carving time out of your busy day to make space for meditation is a valuable and healthy endeavor. Bravo if this is an intention you have or if you’re even thinking about doing it. We hope to offer some simple advice on the best ways to encourage a meditation practice in your home. To begin with, designating a space in your home for meditation is an important step. One of the most important considerations is that this space be quiet, clean, and uncluttered. Having a messy and cluttered environment for practicing meditation can be very distracting, like having loud music in the background while you’re trying to concentrate.
Your meditation space could take the form of setting up a special corner in a room or, if you’re pressed for space and want something quickly accessible, you might simply clear off your desk and making some small changes to mark that your meditation practice is beginning. For instance, if you go with the latter approach, you might have a folding fan or a candle or an incense bowl with lit incense to signal your intention to meditate. If you choose to have an altar or a shrine, you can make it as elaborate or as simple as you see fit. Ultimately, it should have meaning for you and represent a feeling of sacredness. For some, that is an offering made of flowers arranged in a beautiful way, a nice candle, stones or crystals, or photos or pictures that represent something inspiring for you.
Having a comfortable seat is also very helpful so that you can sit in a comfortable and more relaxed way. Many options exist, like supportive cushions that come in rectangular, circular, or crescent shapes, benches that enable you to sit higher yet still close to the ground, or on your knees with most of the weight supported on the bench under your bottom. Samadhi is devoted to helping people find the option that would work best for their bodies. It might be a good place to start if you’re thinking of investing in a cushion, but you’re not sure which one to choose.
Finally, practicing meditation is a wonderful, challenging, and worthwhile journey. It asks that we be patient, willing to let go of our expectations, and kind with ourselves in the process. Please feel invited to browse our meditation cushions and supplies and reach out to us if you have any questions.
We wish you the best on your path and that whatever you meet in your practice is of benefit to you and those around you.
By Lisa Steckler from Samadhi Cushions
Where would be the perfect space at home to set up a yoga and meditation space?
The perfect space to set up a yoga and meditation space is somewhere in your home that feels cozy, light, and most importantly where you can get peace and quiet. Because of this, for those with enough space, an area of your bedroom is usually the ideal part of the home to set up a yoga and meditation space. If you have a section of your bedroom where there is room to lay out a yoga mat or put a meditation cushion, it can be easier to make yoga and meditation a daily habit, when it’s possible to roll out of bed and get onto your mat!
A living room, where you can get some time to yourself can also be perfect, as for many there is more space there. For some with families and roommates, it can be harder to get time in a more communal space to be alone and undistracted in your practice.
Natural light is a must (don’t make your yoga space in a room without windows or a basement). You want to feel energized, inspired, and uplifted where you practice. Also, regardless of where in the house you choose, make it beautiful. Hang a photo you love, put a plant there, and add elements that inspire and uplift you. Decorate it to make it your sacred space in the house and add elements that bring a sense of peacefulness.
By Keith Allen from Yoga Download
How can you create the perfect ambiance in your meditation space to help with relaxation and concentration?
Your bedroom is the perfect area to create a meditation space, and it all starts with the walls. Choose a soothing color palette – think neutrals or pastels, or opt for a zen pattern that brings comfort to your mind – for example, nature-inspired landscapes or flowing lines. If you’re struggling for ideas of how to style your bedroom, look to naturally relaxing spaces; Ancient Japanese zen gardens, Buddhist temples, mountains, or waterfalls. Try to keep your bedroom as a quiet zone, with an essential oil diffuser, low-level lighting, and plenty of soft textures. No screens allowed!
By Leila Jones from MuralsWallpaper
Which items do you recommend having in your meditation space at home?
For creating a meditation space at home, add items that evoke a feeling of calm and connection when you sit down on your meditation cushion. Keep it simple as you get inspired by the following ideas:
Find an item that represents nature, e.g., flowers from your garden, seashells from a beach walk, or rocks that you collected with your children. Add something that symbolizes love; this could be a photograph of a loved one, a special object that you associate with love, or a rose quartz crystal, commonly thought of as the heart stone. To honor your family, you could add a picture, a child’s drawing, or anything else that evokes gratitude for the VIPs in your life. Last, but not least, you may want to involve something that has spiritual meaning for you.
Another approach for choosing the right items includes allowing your 5 senses to guide you.
- For the sense of smell, add a flower, a dried lavender sachet, aromatherapy oil, or some incense.
- For the sense of sound, play relaxing meditation music, ring a singing bowl or bell, or listen to the gentle resonance of a rain stick when you begin your practice.
- For the sense of touch, have a soft blanket at hand.
- You may skip the sense of taste or perhaps place a piece of fruit that’s pleasant to look at in your space.
- Adding to the sense of sight, find a piece of art, a photograph, or a candle to complete your set-up.
If you have children, you may want to invite them to pick one special item for them to place in your meditation corner. This will help them feel included and bring joy to your heart when you meditate.
By Sünje O’Clancy from Yoga Rascals
Which items would you put in your meditation space to help you enhance your practice?
A meditation space can be whatever you want it to be. It can start small, and grow as you do in your own personal journey.
Here are a few things you can put into your meditation space:
- MEDITATION CUSHION (For sitting on during your practice.)
- MALA BEADS ( To either practice with or have as a reminder of your intention)
- Something to keep you warm (meditation shawl)
- Something green and living (a plant)
- CRYSTALS or sage (to clear the energy in the space)
- A candle (If you practice flame meditation)
- SINGING BOWL, bell, or symbols for sound (this helps you clear the energy in the space, and also helps cleanse your Mala)
- Affirmation or mantra (To act as a reminder of your intention)
- Buddha or other Deities (A wooden Buddha, a statue of a goddess or deity you look up to)
- Journal (this helps post practice to reflect and close after a sit)
- Timer (if using your Mala beads in your practice, this acts as a natural timer as you go around 108 times. If you use a phone to set a time, turn it to silent and have a gentle sound to signify the practice is over)
Remember — this is a completely personal experience. The area is meant to bring calm and inspire you to connect with yourself. Have fun with it!
By Ashley Wray from Mala Collective
Why should we meditate every day and what benefits can this bring?
Mindfulness is all about being in the present moment. No worrying about the future or ruminating on the past, just being fully aware of what’s going on in the here and now. Studies show that it can reduce anxiety, enhance cognition and improve general wellbeing.
Most people find it difficult to remain mindful, as our minds easily wander, but mindfulness is a skill that can be practiced like any other. We can do this by using an object of focus, which anchors us to the present moment. This is where meditation comes in. While meditating, you simply sit and aim to keep your attention on your object of focus.
The breath is one of the most common objects of focus in practicing meditation, but you can use any other sensation, for example, the sound of a bell, the scent of incense, or the sight of a candle flame. The key is to try to remain focused on whatever your chosen object of focus is.
Your mind will almost certainly wander – that’s completely natural. When this happens, just try to notice it without judgement and return your attention to the meditation. The more you practice, the better you’ll become at remaining in the present moment.
The skill of keeping your attention on your object of focus during meditation transfers to your day-to-day life. You’ll start to notice that it’s easier to stay focused on your work and you’ll also be able to find more joy by paying attention to the simple things in life.
By Steven Yorke from Medito Foundation
What is the easiest meditation technique for a beginner?
From my experience, the worst and hardest way to start meditation as a beginner is to sit and focus on your breathing. All that it will do is encourage feelings of frustration and irritation and often leave you feeling breathless… Rather, it’s best to focus on things that help focus the mind, and in-turn calms the body. My advice for a beginner meditator is to sit, lay or even walk in an open space and work through your senses. Spend a minute focusing on what you can hear, the pauses between sounds, the volume, and the differences. Then move onto touch, what temperature can you feel on your skin, is there a light breeze, or maybe you can feel your clothes on your skin or the floor under your feet. Move onto sight, what red things can you see around you, for example, or what different shades of the same color you can find. Keep going with your other two senses and try not to label, judge or explain your experiences, simply observe. It’s a really nice way of introducing mindfulness whilst focusing your mind on coming from intention and not reaction throughout your day.
From there, you can experiment with all sorts of visualizations and body relaxations! Aim for a practice that keeps the mind occupied without clinging onto anything in particular like Yoga Nidra, guided visualizations, and progressive muscle relaxation. Give it a go for 5 minutes with an open mind, and you’ll be starting well. Good luck!
By Helen from Helen Sian India
How do you suggest for a beginner to start a meditation practice and what should be avoided?
There are two things that really help: starting with a brief daily meditation and having real people you can talk to about meditating.
If you decide that, starting tomorrow, you’re going to wake up at 6 am every day and meditate for 30 minutes before you do anything else, I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll stop after just a few days. Instead, I’d encourage you to honestly ask yourself, “How long can I truly commit to meditating every day?” Maybe the answer is five minutes; maybe it’s just five breaths. The length of time doesn’t matter. The important thing is for it to be realistic. Then, meditate for that length of time right after something else that you always do each day – for example, after you’ve brushed your teeth in the morning. You know you’re going to brush your teeth each day, so you can connect your new meditation habit to that routine. That makes it much more likely that you’ll actually do it.
Then, find a group and a teacher you can practice with and talk to about what’s happening when you meditate. The number one reason people stop meditating is because they think they’re doing it wrong or it’s not working. If you can share your experience, ask questions, and get insight into what’s going on, you’re much less likely to give up. That’s why we started WITHIN meditation – there’s Q&A during every online class to help you stick with your meditation practice.
By Hannah Knapp from WITHIN Meditation
How would you suggest starting a meditation routine, and which tips can you give us to actually stick to it?
I suggest starting your day with a 5-minute (or more!) meditation. Find a comfortable seated position and bring your attention to your breath. Begin by taking several nice long, deep breaths in and out. Trace your breath as it enters and exits your nostrils. As your mind begins to wander, gently guide your attention back to your breath.
If you prefer silent meditation, scan your senses (notice the sound of your breath, any other sounds in the space you are sitting, or outside of the room that you’re in…) or scan your body (consciously relaxing from your head to your toes). Drift your awareness back to your breath. Each time you notice your mind thinking, direct your attention back to your breath.
You may worry about whether you’re doing it “right.” There is no wrong way to meditate! Much like when you are doing biceps curls, each one is strengthening your biceps… when you’re meditating, each time you notice your thoughts, you’re strengthening your presence and awareness.
If you prefer guided meditations, there are many great resources. I personally love the apps Insite Timer and Headspace. Anchor Meditation offers guided private sessions and group class meditations, as well as a 10-Week Intro to Meditation Course online. Receiving support and guidance from an experienced meditation guide is great if you’re new to meditation or feeling stuck or struggling to independently establish a daily practice.
Creating a soothing meditation space in your home will help you feel calm and centered in your practice. Carving out a sanctuary of sacred space for yourself encourages you to fall in love with a daily meditation practice you treasure.
Meditating in the same space each day will begin to infuse your designated space with calm energy, and you’ll begin to feel relaxed just thinking about sitting for meditation. Space for self-reflection helps reduce distractions and increase focus. When you consistently sit in the same space or around the same time, your body and nervous system learn that this is when you practice slowing down, relaxing, and going within.
Commit to practicing for at least 10 days in a row, and each day, reflect on how you’re feeling as you navigate your day. You may notice you’re immediately benefitting from an increased sense of inner peace, better sleep, connection, clarity, focus, and productivity. It’s is common for challenging emotions, stressful thoughts, and feelings to rise to the surface, or for new meditators to notice they are anxious. If this is the case, don’t fret!
Meditation helps to reduce the stress that is accumulated from the past, so you are actually releasing and letting go of stuck, stagnant energy and emotions. The person you spend the most time with is the voice in your head, and so if you notice you have a strong inner critic, rest assured, it can be tamed! You can befriend your inner angel instead, with the help of an experienced guide.
I offer a complimentary class every Sunday evening at 6 pm PST. If you’re curious to see what it’s like to meditate in an online community, please join us! You can register to receive a link to class at anchormeditation.com
By Kelly Ryan from Anchor Meditation
Which practices can calm the mind to help a beginner with meditation?
It’s actually a common misconception that the goal of meditation is to calm the mind. There are some specific practices where this is the goal, but most meditation techniques do not train this trait. In most meditation techniques, you fully allow thoughts to arise and pass without push or pull. For example, if you’re focusing on your breathing and you experience a burst of mental talk, the instruction would be to allow the mental talk to arise, but gently move the spotlight of your attention back to the breath. As you focus on the breath, the mental talk can keep chattering away, but in the background. In the foreground of your awareness is the breath.
There are even some techniques that involve focusing on thoughts as they arise. So if you’re experiencing thoughts, great, that’s something to focus on.
All this being said, there’s another way to interpret “calming the mind”. This alternative interpretation might sound something like, “whether you’re experiencing thoughts or not, calming the mind means an overall softening around your experience”. Softening/accepting your experience absolutely is a goal of most meditation techniques.
There are many practices that might help a beginner soften the mind. Here are some examples: take a few deep breaths, put a slight smile on your face, and maintain global relaxation over your whole body. These three practices can help your mind soften, which leads to a pervading sense of calm. Try taking deep breaths, smiling or relaxing your body during your next meditation and see for yourself.
By Toby Sola from Brightmind
Which tips can you give us to start a meditation practice for a beginner?
I’ve found the key to a successful meditation practice is consistency.
Make meditation part of your daily routine and try to do it in the same place and at the same time each day.
I prefer to meditate first thing in the morning, but others prefer to do it in the evening. I have a cushion that I only use for meditation, so it is a physical reminder to sit down and do it.
Start with a guided meditation on youtube or an app. Perhaps try a few different meditations to start and then stick with one that works best for you.
Also, be patient. Like anything else, meditation takes practice, and each day can feel a little different. Stick with it, and you will feel the positive effects for sure!
Try this short guided meditation that brings awareness and intention to your breath to reduce stress and anxiety.
By Miranda Peterson from Namaste in Nature
Which tips can you give us to create a meditation routine?
Create a Comfortable Practice Space
Your meditation practice will be more successful if you have a comfortable and quiet place to practice. Try finding a place where you can sit distraction-free – put the phone away, turn off the TV, and allow yourself some time to step away from the noise.
Many people believe you have to sit cross-legged on the floor to meditate, but that’s actually not true. You absolutely can sit on the floor cross-legged if that’s comfortable, but you can also sit on a chair, the edge of your bed, or on a bolster to help keep you elevated. If you are sitting on a chair, try to keep your feet flat on the floor (rather than crossed) in order to keep your circulation flowing freely. You can also lie down if you prefer. However, some people tend to fall asleep while meditating lying down. If you want to receive the full effects of your practice, I always recommend sitting in an upright position with a tall spine. You can also place pillows or blankets in a corner of your room against a wall to help make you more comfortable & support your back so you can fully relax!
Sometimes it can be helpful to light candles, use essential oils or burn sage to help create a calming aroma. It’s important to have a specific spot just for your meditation practice so that you can truly focus on the present moment without getting distracted. Plus, every time you come back to this spot, you will be able to feel more relaxed and focused on clearing your mind!
A journal is also another tool that is useful for creating a home meditation space. The purpose of practicing mindfulness is to stay rooted in the present moment and to simply observe your thoughts. Having a journal near your mediation space will allow you the opportunity to write down some of your thoughts after you meditate and can help you reflect on what came up during your session
Start with Small Time Intervals
The best way to begin a mediation practice is to start small. Even a 5-minute meditation in the morning or before bed can help you start to feel benefits and form a habit. In this time period, allow yourself to clear your mind, concentrate on your breath and just be in your body in the present moment. Once you start to feel more comfortable with this, you can begin to lengthen the amount of time you practice for.
Put It in Your Calendar
Like many things in life, if you don’t make time for it on your schedule, it will be easy to forget to practice. Adding meditation into your weekly schedule will help you make sure nothing else gets put ahead of or interferes with your sacred meditation time. Find a time that works best for you – either in the morning before your day begins, in the afternoon during your lunch break, or even in the evening before bed. It doesn’t matter when you meditate, just as long as it works for you at a time, you will be able to actually enjoy it. If your schedule allows, try to plan your practice at the same times each day/week so it’s easier to form a habit.
Be gentle with yourself
Most people think that the purpose of meditation is to shut off your brain completely, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The purpose of meditation is to observe your thoughts as they were clouds in a big blue sky – let them come, acknowledge their presence, and let them float away. When you first start meditating, it may seem overwhelming, and you might let your focus get carried away with your thoughts. Know that it’s totally normal, and you’re absolux|x|tely still doing it right! When you notice this, gently bring your awareness to your breath and back to the present moment. Give yourself some grace and know that it’s not easy. You’re doing great!
By Jessi Moore from Yogapaws
What do you suggest doing to help soothe your mind for meditation?
Here is some advice to settle down before you meditate:
- Choose a time to meditate. The best times are early in the morning just after you wake up, and then again at happy hour, right between work and dinner. Ideally, you meditate at least one hour after eating or before you have a big meal. The body likes rhythm, so choose the same time each day, and make it a routine, just like brushing your teeth or taking a shower. If you can’t do it at your regular time, do it when you can!
- Find a quiet spot to practice where you’ll be undisturbed, ideally away from your electronics. If possible, sit in the same spot each day, though you can really meditate anywhere. Make it special with inspiring books you love, a journal and pen, a candle or incense if you are into it.
- Get comfortable and cozy. Sit up in a posture in which you can be still for the meditation period. Find a blanket or a shawl you can easily wrap around you, so if your body’s temperature lowers a bit, you won’t be uncomfortable. Be sure you give yourself permission to shift your posture slightly if you need to.
- Determine how long you will meditate for before you start, choosing a period of time from 10-30 minutes. This commitment puts your mind at ease during the practice. Staying with the entire practice session will help to make changes in the brain so you become more responsive and less reactive.
- Go analog! Put your phone on DND or airplane mode. You can use it for a timer, but don’t choose anything that will “alarm” you when the meditation ends.
- You can light a candle and use aromatherapy or incense if you are into it. Scents can help to create a mood (churches and temples use them!). Turn off all other sounds and sensory input if possible so when you close your eyes, your attention is easily drawn inward.
- You can bookend your meditations with yoga, music, or reading something inspiring. Choose a reflective song or chant to listen to. You can also stretch or do some easy yoga asanas, and you could read a passage from your favorite spiritual books to inspire you.
- Before you begin your meditation practice, take a few long, slow, deep breaths through your nose. This lets your body know that it’s okay to relax. Make a commitment to let go of all the to-dos and responsibilities during the meditation period. They’ll likely still be there when it’s over.
- Remember, the benefits of meditation will show up as you live your life. So let go of trying to have a certain experience. Instead, treat each meditation as if it is your first one.
- By taking time to meditate each day, you are engaging in a radical act of self-care for your mind and body! You deserve it!
By Sarah McLean from McLean Meditation Institute
How would you suggest making a routine practice of your meditation?
Meditation is more a lifestyle than a short-term effort, project, or course. Creating a meditation routine must have the dual benefit of giving you the benefits of meditation while also ensuring that you’re going to stick with it for the longer term. Here are our recommendations for creating a meditation routine:
- Meditate often and consistently – As with many other things we learn, you’ll want to ease into meditation in small bouts rather than large, inconsistent chunks. This means that you plan to meditate once a day for around 15 minutes and then take it up gradually to twice a day and a longer duration. The first thing you’ll need to do is identify a time in your daily schedule for your meditation and the best time slot proven to make people consistent in their meditation is early in the morning soon after they wake up. We recommend that you treat meditation like a hygiene factor, like brushing your teeth. Often, many people will simply do their meditation right after they’ve brushed their teeth, as an example. This ties into their routine nicely and leaves very little room for thinking, planning, and eventually missing the meditation during the rest of the day. Of course, you’ll have to plan to wake up 15 minutes earlier than usual and set your alarm clock accordingly.
- Create a simple environment in your home conducive to meditation – Choose a quiet place, indoors or outdoors, preferably with less clutter around and more open space. Even better, find a place surrounded by natural objects and not with a lot of things made of plastics or other artificial materials, which inhibit the flow of the natural energy essential for a deeper meditation experience. If you can get a room with sunlight and a window with a view of the sky or greenery outside, that can further enhance your experience.
- During your meditation session: A sustainable meditation routine quickly gives you the benefits that cause you to pursue it effortlessly. To have such a beneficial experience in every session, you’ll need to leave your thoughts, worries, and plans behind during the session and switch off from those temporarily. This can be done by surrendering to the universal force and power that creates and moves everything, the force of Nature. Meditation is about creating the silence inside you, so as you surrender, your ego and thoughts will begin to recede, allowing the silence to seep in gradually. This relaxes you and brings in a host of additional benefits relating to health and self-improvement in the longer term.
- Group meditations are a great enhancement – Meditating in a group means more energy and greater focused attention. There are many options to choose from, including several online meditation programs. Planning for group meditation sessions at least once a week is one of the best strategies to augment doing your meditation at home.
- Dig into more profound benefits beyond mere stress relief – the vast majority of meditations out there sell stress and anxiety relief as the primary benefit, but meditation has the power to change and transform your life, give it a new meaning and become a lifelong tool for self-improvement. Your goal in creating a meditation routine should uncover these deeper level benefits. This will make your meditation routine even more interesting and easier to follow.
By Shankar from Sahaja Online
Why is it important to meditate on a daily basis and what benefits can we expect to have from it?
Meditation is an ancient practice and one of the most important skills we can learn nowadays. It’s no secret that we are living in uncertain and stressful times. Statistics show that we are more stressed, anxious, and depressed than in the previous 30 years. Countless personal testimonies and scientific studies prove that practicing meditation on a daily basis can have a wealth of positive benefits for our well-being from lesser stress to better sleep, increased motivation, and creativity.
However, a common misconception is that meditation is a practice that requires perfect stillness and complete control of the mind, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s a very insightful analogy that invites us to think about meditation as a glass full of stormwater. If we allow the glass to stand, the dirt settles and we are able to see the clear water. When we make meditation a daily habit, we can scratch the surface and become more acquainted with the nature of our minds and the essence of our being. This is vital as the quality of our lives largely depends on who we are and how we perceive things rather than what we do. Being able to shift our focus from the negative thoughts and distracting mental chatter that plagues us so often can make a positive difference for our wellbeing.
When a stressful situation arises, for example, meditators are able to detach themselves from emotionally charged thoughts of anger and frustration. They don’t dwell on what happened in the past or what might happen in the future and are much more mindful of their actions. And the wonderful thing is that, the more we meditate, the more the way we perceive and interact with the world changes. Needless to say, someone who is looking forward to an effective way to balance stress and find inner serenity will greatly benefit from meditation. They will be able to experience much more surprising perks along the way such as better sleep, less anxiety, sharper attention, increased productivity, deeper emotional intelligence, a superior sense of intuition, and quite possibly a stronger immune system.
Of course, all of these benefits come with commitment and the determination to become our best selves.
By Pier del Rio from Synctuition
How do you use crystals for meditation, and which ones do you recommend using?
Meditating with crystals is a powerful two-in-one practice that can support your well-being and state of mind. But how exactly do you do it, and which crystals should you use? This guide to using crystals for meditation will help you learn how to get the most out of your crystal meditation practice.
How to Meditate with Crystals
When it comes to meditating with crystals, there are truly no right or wrong ways to do it. However, to enhance your meditation practice, one of the simplest and most effective ways to use crystals is by holding them in your hands as you meditate. You can choose to either hold a single stone in both hands, or hold a crystal in each hand to bring a greater sense of balance and equilibrium to your meditation. Any shape of crystal can be a powerful addition to your meditation practice, but touchstones, also known as palmstones, are one of the best shapes for meditation because they fit perfectly into the palm of your hand. Other great shapes to hold during meditation are spheres and harmonizers.
If you prefer not to hold crystals in your hands when you meditate or want another way to incorporate crystals into your meditation practice, placing them in the space around you is a great way to connect with their energies. Whether you choose raw crystals to radiate energy throughout your environment or another shape, the crystals around you can strengthen your meditation’s benefits
Top Crystals for Meditation
Just as there is not a right or wrong way to meditate with crystals, there is also not a right or wrong crystal to choose during your meditation practice. One way to decide which crystal to use is by trusting your own intuition and allowing yourself to be called to whichever crystal energy you need at that time.
Another method is to decide what you want to get out of your meditation. Here are some recommendations for common intentions:
Selenite for positivity + energy clearing. As one of the highest vibration crystals, Selenite clears your mind and energy of any unwanted or negative energy, leaving you feeling uplifted.
Amethyst for peace + relaxation. The calming and peaceful presence of this stone can guide you to a state of relaxation through your meditation.
Citrine for happiness + joy. Citrine is connected to the sun, a source of light. This stone reminds you to tap into your inner happiness and joy.
Clear Quartz for clarity + insight. Clear Quartz helps you gain clarity, especially when it comes to making choices or decisions.
By Heather from Energymuse
Which essential oils would you recommend to help relax and concentrate during meditation?
For relaxation and concentration during meditation, we recommend rosemary, frankincense, lavender, and our calming blend, Tracy’s Grace.
- Rosemary– this herbaceous oil is known to help boost focus and is a favorite for studying and times of deep concentration.
- Frankincense- this spicy, sweet oil has a grounding aroma that improves focus and boosts mental clarity
- Lavender- this soothing, floral oil is known for it’s de-stressing abilities. It’s great for relaxing the mind and body.
- Tracy’s Grace- formulated with orange, lavender, and rosemary, this blend was intentionally created to help you relax, refocus, and unwind. It’s one of our most popular blends!
By Meghan Costello from Savhera
What are your preferred meditation oils?
Essential oils contain many therapeutic benefits as well as providing beautiful natural aromas, making them an excellent way to enhance meditation. Here are some of my favorites to consider incorporating into your practice:
Frankincense. A deep, grounding, and calming oil, which helps invoke feelings of peace, emotional stability, and protection. It helps to enhance breathing and soothe the respiratory system, making it an excellent essential oil to encourage steady breathing during meditation. Frankincense has played an important role in religious life in many ancient civilizations, as it is thought to strengthen our connection to spirit.
Ylang Ylang. An uplifting, floral oil that helps to calm the nervous system and promote feelings of joy, happiness, and sensuality. I like to refer to this essential oil as the sunshine oil as it has the ability to lift emotional exhaustion and awaken our senses. Ylang Ylang helps to dissipate negative emotions and bring in a sense of upliftment, so it can be particularly helpful when meditating during times of sadness or stress.
Palo Santo. An earthy, grounding oil that has been used traditionally in native American medicine, preferred by shamans and healers for its metaphysical properties of purification and clearing negativity. Using Palo Santo around your meditation space and body helps to clear negative energy and provide energetic protection, as well as enhancing spiritual awareness. A deeply calming oil, Palo Santo allows us to feel centered and grounded and helps to switch on the body’s relaxation response.
Rose Geranium. A beautifully floral-scented, balancing oil that helps to promote emotional stability, and transform negative feelings into more positive ones. This heart-opening essential oil can enhance emotional healing and self-love, whilst aiding relaxation. Rose Geranium essential oil also helps support mental clarity and focus, making it a wonderful addition to your meditation practice to help you stay centered.
By Corinne Taylor from Corinne Taylor
Which essential oils support meditation and how do you use them?
There are many oils to choose from to enhance meditation, which depends entirely on the meditation’s intention. For example to meditate and connect with self and deep within, oils such as Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides), Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin), and Spikenard aka Nard (Nardostachys jatamansi). (Spikenard is the oil that Mary used to anoint Jesus’s feet) are grounding, stabilizing and assist in going inward. If, however, the desire is to connect with Source and all that IS in an expansive way, oils such as Palo santo (Bursera graveolens), Frankincense (Boswellia sacra), Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) and Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) are uplifting, protective and expansive. BTW, did you know that back in the day, Nostradamus used Nutmeg to enhance his visions?
Other essential oils and extracts commonly associated with meditation and spirituality are the ones associated with the Bible. Frankincense (Boswellia species), Galbanum (Ferula galbaniflua), and Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha). These three oils are distilled or extracted from Resins. Oils that are extracted/distilled from resins are wonderful to assist us with matters of the Spirit and psyche. They are very powerful when used in prayer, rituals, and meditation. The resin of the tree is a type of liquid that is stored in the outer cells, that when broken, release the resin to clog the hole create and saves the life of the tree. This is very analogous to the way we heal with scabs. It makes sense, then, that these oils assist us with deep emotional wounds and the suffering in our emotional body. Oils distilled from the resins are extremely protective and soothing to the psyche and a very powerful addition to any type of meditation.
Inhalation is the most effective way to use essential oils for meditation. Inhalation is the fastest and most impactful way to alter our state of mind and bring us into center and balance A drop or two of the essential oil can be placed in the palm of the hands and then inhaled deeply. Other ways to use essential oils via olfaction is either a diffuser or an aroma stick (which is blank nasal inhaler that you can place the oil of your choice in.) If desired, a drop of oil can also be placed on any of the chakras. I prefer to put a drop on my Brown (third eye) and Root chakras. Lastly, applying the essential oil to center of the soles of the feet and the bottom of the big toe can have profound effects when meditating. The center of the foot chakra helps ground us and the big toe connects to our pineal gland via reflexology points.
Any way that you choose to work with oils will enhance and have profound effects on meditation. There really is nothing like connecting to the essence of the plants and trees when quieting the mind and entering the soul. So, just pick the scent that resonates with you and see what inner journey she takes you on.
By Virginia Joy from Stillpoint Aromatics
How do you recommend introducing mindfulness into your daily life?
I would recommend either setting a timer for certain times of the day (3 would be ideal) or taking time during certain routines like walking, eating, or going to bed to pause. In these moments, close your eyes and take three deep breaths to calm and center yourself. Slowly say to yourself, “Be here now.” Then notice anything about your body, your mind, or your environment (things you see, smell, hear, or taste). Try to notice these things with curiosity instead of judgment. When you make this a daily practice, what you experience each day will change. Notice the changes with curiosity.
By Paige Oldham from Simple Mindfulness
What are the benefits of having a meditation practice?
Many people have been tuning in to the many benefits of meditation. It’s not just a passing trend: more and more studies are demonstrating the value of meditation for improved mental and physical wellbeing.
The mental benefits of meditation are numerous. Regular meditation can:
- Increase our awareness as we learn to become fully present.
- Reduce mind-wandering, allowing for greater focus and ability to concentrate on a given task.
- Reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, rivalling the efficacy of anti-depression medication.
As for the physical benefits of meditation? Many of us know from our own experience how our mental and physical well-being are connected. Research shows that meditation improves our immune system, sleep quality, and energy levels. It also reduces our stress levels, which can, in turn, reduce our blood pressure – much needed in our modern societies that have very high rates of heart disease and other inflammatory illnesses.
If you’ve never tried meditating before, start like this: spend just a few minutes focusing on your breath. Don’t worry if your mind wanders, that’s normal – gently come back to your breath again. If you’d like to try a more structured approach, you can integrate meditation into a regular morning routine.
Meditation is a practice that’s unique to everybody: give it a few tries to see what it does for you.
By Cynthia Rayner from Mang’Oh Yoga
Which music helps you while you meditate, and how does it help you calm and relax?
Music can be a powerful tool for relaxation and stress relief, but when it comes to it, there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
When choosing music to meditate to, it is essential to consider what type of effect you are hoping to achieve. For example, if you are looking to calm your mind and ease anxiety, you may want to choose
soothing music with a slow tempo and gentle melodies.
Some people find that listening to classical music or nature sounds while they meditate can be calming and relaxing. Others may prefer to listen to peaceful instrumental music, such as New Age or ambient music. Still, others may find that listening to calming vocal music, such as mantra meditation or yoga chants, helps them to focus and meditate more efficiently.
Whatever type of music you choose to listen to while you meditate, it is important to make sure that it is something you enjoy and find relaxing. It is also important to make sure that the volume is low enough so that you are not distracted by it. Experiment with different types of music until you find one or two that work best for you and help you relax and focus while meditating.
If you are hoping to boost your energy levels and focus, you may want to choose music with a faster tempo and more upbeat rhythms. Ultimately, the best type of music for meditation is the type that helps you to achieve your desired state of mind. By carefully selecting the right music, you can use meditation as an effective means of relaxation and stress relief.
Now that you have all the tips, advice, and expertise from the very best and more knowledgeable, set up your meditation space and start applying all these to enhance your practice and allow your inner angel to express itself through meditation. In no time, you’ll notice all the benefits that meditation will bring to your physical, emotional, and spiritual health and well-being.