Meditation has numerous benefits for our health and well-being, yet we struggle to fit it into our daily calendar. The justifications are diverse, from the lack of time to the inability to stay still. The best way to create a meditation routine is to remove all the barriers that stop us from achieving our goal of making meditation a daily habit. First, we need to demystify some beliefs about meditation. You don't need to be a religious person to practice it, meditation is available for anyone who seeks clarity of mind and connection with intuition, no matter what your spiritual beliefs are. Meditation is an all-inclusive practice!
Another misconception is how to sit. To meditate, you don't need to sit in a crossed-legged position, unless of course, it is comfortable for you to rest like that. For instance, if you are a yogi you may find this position comfortable, if you're not a yogi simply sit in a way that is comfortable and effortless for you, it should feel natural and pleasant, this will remove any resistance to the practice and make your new routine more attainable. So, comfort is the key here, but be aware that if it's a morning practice you don't want to be too comfortable otherwise you may fall asleep again. A great way to fight this is to move your body before your morning meditation, do some stretches or yoga ahead.
Although it is nice to have a designated spot you don't need a beautiful and exquisite location to meditate. After all, the idea is to turn inwards. Your spot can be a bed, couch or even during your commute to work if you're using the subway or train. If you do have a dedicated area for meditation you can place a crystal there, such as Clear Quartz or Selenite to amplify the energy and intention.
Most people think that meditation is only effective when you spend a great amount of time doing it, nonstop. But the truth is that if you practice it twice a day, 10 to 20 minutes each time the benefits, in the long run, are tremendous. Also, if you start small, the more chances you will be able to keep up! If you demand too much and start with 20 minutes to one hour of practice, you will probably end up feeling frustrated. The best time is when you wake up and in the late afternoon. In the morning it is great to start the day with the right feet and intention for the day, instead of stressing about the day ahead or checking social media, you will start the day on your own terms and with a clearer mind. In the afternoon it's a great opportunity to check in, calm down and disconnect from the daily grind.
You can check your timer if that's disturbing your attention, especially if you are a beginner. This will allow you to come back fully concentrated and to keep going. You can also use an alarm if you have one that is not too aggressive, something smooth like a small gong or Tibetan singing bowl sound can work truly well for this purpose.
Meditation isn't about controlling or not having thoughts. You are allowed to have thoughts, they will come and go and that's natural, recognize them and let them go, don't get caught on the train though. Concentrate on your breathing instead, how it feels, where you feel it, is it warm or cold? A great trick to keep the concentration on the breath is to count until 10 for each inhale, if you lose track of the number where you were going, gently come back to one. Another option is to use a sound or a mantra that you can chant in your mind or whisper, Om is the most well-known sound for meditation and it comes from the Sanskrit referring to the sound of the universe and its frequency, it is quite relaxing.
The main takeaway is that you don't need a fancy spot, an uncomfortable position or long meditation hours to fully benefit from this practice. Meditation doesn't need to be complicated and it's accessible for all, and like everything in life, the more you do it, the better you become!