How to start Meditation? As it is a great tool to use to mentally reset. To find out I recently talked to Suzanne Mann who is one of my group fitness members at Pymble. We also recorded our conversation which you can find on the Refresh you YOUTUBE channel.
Here is how Suzanne described herself; she is a mum of 3, with 2 dogs. Recently she started a Mindset Coaching business. She is not a meditation guru, no incense- burning yoga grandmaster… as you can see, a normal person.
I hope you can relate to her and the advice and experience we share here.
We broke our conversation into 3 parts to help guide our conversation. The information will then help you try meditation and turn it into a mindset changing habit.
We started with;
MEDITATION MYTH BUSTING
Some things you might have heard about meditation; let us set the record straight.
QUESTION 1: “Do I have to be able to sit in the cross-legged pose as you see on posts or TV?”
No is the first answer, there are no rules. What is important is you are sitting or lying in a comfortable position. Often, I am sitting in my car. Suzanne prefers to lie down or sit on the floor with her back supported her sofa.
Whatever works for you is what works!
QUESTION 2: “Do only incense burning vegans to do it?”
No, Suzanne is a plant-based eater, so yes Vegan’s do meditate. But you can be a meat-eater as well. Again, there are no rules.
Do you have to light incense? Of course not. Suzanne likes to light candles, as she felt that helped her get into the right place for her meditation.
It is best to find somewhere quiet and develop a ritual that prepares you for meditation. This could be burning some incense or lighting a candle, or it could be drinking a cup of tea.
QUESTION 3: “Is it only for women?”
NO, again it is for anybody who wants to try it. Women are often more willing to try something new and are a bit more in touch with what they might need to do. But men also meditate. Hugh Jackman, Michael Jordan and LeBron James are examples of well-known men who meditate.
A great example is also the “Menditation” group Suzanne has set up, for men only, which she now runs via zoom. An experienced male Mindset coach Each hosts each session only. To all those men out there looking for a way to try meditation, this might be the way to get started.
QUESTION 4: “What about falling asleep during meditation?”
“Well, of course it can happen”, Suzanne said. In fact, she often falls asleep. She did say that opinions differ on this one, depending on how much of a traditionalist you are. Some think you have not managed to meditate to the point of clarity if you fall asleep.
Suzanne’s advice, “if you fall asleep it is what your body needed, so that is good in the total health space. “Sleep is not a bad thing.”
QUESTION 5: “Is there only one type of meditation?”
I asked Suzanne and the answer was no!
There are so many different types of meditation which is very like exercise. Explore and take some time trying different types or presenters, you will find a type that works for you. Like exercise, not everybody enjoys going to a gym, or dance, some people like outdoor training.
Her advice is “be open-minded, explore and search for something that works for you. Try different styles.”
HOW TO GET STARTED:
Having said there are no rules to meditation, Suzanne says that she finds the following 2 tips can help;
1.SET ASIDE THE TIME:
When you have decided to try meditation. Set aside some time for especially for your meditation.
2.TRY NOT TO BE OVER AMBITIOUS:
Trying for a 30 minutes meditation on your first attempt is not sensible. Start short and build up your skill.
Once you have started and used these 2 tips, you then have two options:
- Find somebody who will teach you or guide you through a meditation class. The advantage you get here is social and communal interaction.
- Download an app onto your device. This is how I have started my meditation journey. Most apps will have Free and Purchased content. There are also likely to be beginner courses you can follow to help you get started.
Apps will also allow you to search under needs. Meditation for stress, anxiety or sleep are some examples.
I currently use the INSIGHT app which has some great free content. Enough variety to get your mediation practice started and finding out what works for you.
Suzanne has suggested CALM and SMILING MIND, which is an Australian based app.
Finally, we’d like to suggest tip number 3;
3.IF THE FIRST MEDITATION YOU TRIED DID NOT WORK FOR YOU, TRY AGAIN.
Try female and male presenters, different countries of origin or different types. DO NOT GIVE UP on the first attempt.
ROADBLOCKS or THE “BUT” SECTION
We finished our conversation with a couple of great solutions to Roadblock statements. These are the “I would love to BUT” statements.
“I tried but I can’t do it”
Suzanne’s best advice for this reaches back to some points she made earlier.
- Keep practicing, like exercise you must keep trying.
- Explore different types, presenters, durations.
- Lower your expectations, you won’t find yourself floating off the ceiling. Things won’t instantly change.
- Stay in it for the long-term gains, like exercise, it takes time and practice.
- Think of meditation as the exercise of relaxing your mind.
“I am so stressed, and I don’t have time”
Suzanne likened this to a bit like the chicken and the egg question. If you want to get out of a stressed state of mind, then something must change. It may be hard to start making the change, to find the time. But the benefits extend beyond the present.
- Realise you do not have to set aside a great amount of time to practice.
- You can do meditation anywhere; Suzanne sometimes uses the time she has waiting for her tea to cool off.
- Challenge yourself to do it for an amount of time each day.
- A little consistent practice will lead to the best results.
We will leave it at that for now, but I am sure we will find more related topics to have a good chat about soon.
For those interested in following Suzanne, she is on all the socials,