If you’re new to a daily mediation practice, the idea of doing something every day may seem daunting. But I encourage my students to do a little bit often rather than feel they have to take on a lot all at once. I’ve always believed that we get the best results when we work at a pace that feels right for us personally.
Follow these steps, from my book, Deep Listening, to set up your daily deep listening practice and get started with your perfect meditation ritual:
Time for meditation
The best time to practice is anytime you can commit to it regularly. Personally, I like to practice first thing in the morning, as it sets the tone for my day and ensures that I don’t get sidetracked by responsibilities and distractions.
What is important is regularity. Find a 10- to 30-minute slot in your day that you can dedicate to your practice. If you can stretch out one to three longer practices (20 to 60 minutes) during the week, add those in to your weekly schedule. Remember, a little + often = a lot.
The more comfortable and happy you are in your practice space, the more you will want to show up there. Think of this as a special space where you feel cared for and at ease. Choose a spot that is private, warm, and quiet. It’s helpful if there are no phones or distracting devices. You should have enough space to stand on your yoga mat and also reach in all directions for the perfect meditation session.
It’s lovely to add some personal heart-warming objects to your space, such as photos of loved ones, a special rock from a hike, maybe flowers. I recommend keeping a journal near your mat. I find that after practice my mind and heart are open, and then writing comes more easily. Sometimes I get a flow of insight as I am practicing. I pause to make a note in my journal while these thoughts are fresh.
- Yoga mat: I recommend practicing on an actual yoga mat. Their grip offers more safety than a towel or carpet. (Buy now: Gaiam Premium Print Yoga Mat, $22-$44, amazon.com.)
- Yoga strap: For this practice, you don’t need a fancy strap. You can buy one if you wish, but truly, a belt or scarf will do. (Buy now: Reehut Yoga Strap, $4-$8, amazon.com.)
- Yoga blocks: Yoga blocks are made from wood, cork, or foam. I find that foam is most comfortable for use underneath the body in resting poses. (Buy now: Gaiam Yoga Block, $10, amazon.com.)
- Yoga blankets: Yoga blankets offer consistent, even support. However, you can use oversize beach towels as well, if they have a consistent, even density. (Buy now: YogaAccessories Traditional Mexican Yoga Blanket, $16, amazon.com.)