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Yoga and meditation have brought a new level of mindfulness into my life. In fact, they’ve been the most beautiful gifts I’ve ever received — and that’s why I love sharing them.
Meditation is important to me because it allows me the time and focus to center my thoughts and allow my spirit to lead. When coupled with my yoga practice, meditation allows an optimal level of mindfulness in my life — one that I believe I wouldn’t otherwise have.
Meditation became a part of my life early on during my yoga training. At first, I’ll admit: I was very uncomfortable. Sitting in Lotus position was extremely uncomfortable to me. I spent most of the practice peeking and blinking my eyes open to see whether others in my class were in as much pain as I was. I always wondered whether I was doing it right and exactly what it was I was supposed to feel. My mind would race from one thing to the next — first going through my day and then visualizing random things.
And do you know what? That’s perfectly OK. It’s actually very common for beginners to struggle with staying in the moment. So to those of you who are beginning or contemplating a meditative practice, my advice is to be patient with yourself. Meditation is called “a practice” for a reason.
With each meditation, I eventually felt less pain and became more calm. That feeling of calm would stay with me throughout the day. I’ve learned that by ending my day with meditation, I am able to decompress and get a better night’s sleep.
A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation
If you’ve tried meditation in the past but weren’t able to stick with it, now is the perfect time to approach it with an open heart. And if you haven’t meditated before, I encourage you to give it a try and be patient with yourself. Here are some of my favorite tips for anyone looking to establish a meditation practice:
- Set the mood. I like to silence all my devices. Sometimes I’ll light candles or burn sage — anything to set the tone for a calming session. I also try to declutter my meditation space as best I can to eliminate distractions.
- Start with short sessions. To begin, I recommend practicing for five to 10 minutes each day. Don’t get frustrated if you have a hard time sitting in a calm position for that length of time. It’s totally normal to fidget and feel uncomfortable. It will take some time for you to get used to being in complete silence and not let thoughts rule your brain. Be patient and keep with it.
- Timing is everything. Try meditating first thing in the morning, when your mind is calm and fresh after a good night’s sleep.
Meditate Like a Wellness Warrior
The meditations I share in my Wellness Warrior Workout course will help you to go within to work things out and become more aware of who you are. In meditation, we focus on the breath because your breath is always present. Paying attention to your breath will help anchor you in the present moment and silence the thoughts, emotions and sounds that can overwhelm you and prevent you from hearing your inner guide.
Meditation is when I listen to my heart and soul and connect with my spirit. My spirit guides my path and will guide yours if you let it. It’s so difficult to figure out what your authentic truth is. There is so much external noise crowding out your inner voice — from social media and your loved ones to your boss and neighbors. Through meditation and deep breathing, I silence that noise, quiet my mind and tap into my inner guide. Connecting with that inner guide is so important. If you don’t know who you are, how can you know where to go?
Could your strength and stamina use a boost? Are you looking for ways to better connect your mind and body? Let Koya Webb — an internationally recognized yoga teacher, holistic health coach, author, speaker and vegan activist — be your guide. She’s partnered with Oxygen to create Wellness Warrior Workout, an exclusive six-week program that includes progressive workouts, weekly guided yoga flows, guided meditations, breathwork and mindfulness prompts. Plus, she’s sharing more than a dozen of her favorite plant-based recipes. Sign up today!