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Woman Meditating Indoors
Wellness
Published Tuesday Mar 17, 2020 by Julie Sacks

How to Meditate: A Beginner's Guide

Meditation
Perspective
Personal Growth

Meditation will change your life if you let it.

The pace of our modern life is at least ten times what it was just 10 years ago. Technology improved our lives but also created a more frenetic and stressful pace.

If we decided to stop, breathe, and become more mindful, we would reduce stress and experience much more enjoyment in each moment of our everyday lives.

 

What is meditation?

Meditation is the practice of concentrating on a single point of focus, with the goal of releasing tension in the mind. The most popular types of meditation are Vedic meditation, Transcendental Meditation™ (derived from Vedic), Kundalini, and mindfulness. Though different, all have the same objective: to help you become more present in your life and help alleviate stress.


Schedule time every day

The key word here is practice. We must practice daily, even if it’s just one to five minutes of meditation to start. Then, build up to ten, even 20 minutes.


How to start practicing


1. Start by focusing on your breath to help your body be still and quiet your mind.

2. Turn the ringer off on your phone. (Use your phone as a timer if you need too, but put it face down so you’re not distracted.)

3. Take a moment to stretch, move around, and get comfortable enough to sit for a few minutes.

4. Sit, with your spine straight and your hands on your knees; close your eyes.

5. Focus on your breath as it comes in and out of your body. Breathe deeply through your nose in for five seconds and out for five seconds. Be aware of the cool air coming in and warm air going out of your nostrils.

6. As you breathe in and out, you’ll find your mind may wander, which is fine. When you are aware that your mind has wandered, let any thoughts go and keep your focus on the breath, bringing you back to the present moment.

7. Focus on one thing you would like to improve upon or achieve today, then bring yourself back to a few deep breaths in and out.

8. Start to see yourself manifesting this improvement or achievement. Once you see this clearly, bring yourself back to your breath for a few deep breaths, in and out.

9. Start to move your hands, and feet, stretch and open your eyes.


Right away, you’ll feel more relaxed and calm. The more you practice each day, you will find yourself reacting much less to the outside noise. Your inner calm can help bring you greater happiness, now and in the future.

Julie Sacks
Written by
Julie Sacks
Founder and CEO, Vie
About the author
Julie Sacks is the Founder and CEO of Vie.
shanila sattar
Wellness
Published Wednesday Mar 17, 2021 by Shanila Sattar

Foundational Steps to Cultivating a Daily Self-love Practice

Self-care
Expert Advice
Personal Growth
Wellness

When you think of self-love what do you think of? Bubble baths, walks on the beach, facemasks, or what? Self-love can mean so many different things but when we think about self-love, we have to acknowledge loving ourselves both on the outside and on the inside. The way that we show ourselves love is one of the most important things we will ever do. 

How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love?

As self-love defines and redefined itself for you over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.

 

Step 1: Learn to set boundaries

Don’t we love this one? Loving ourselves has a lot to do with the boundaries that we have for ourselves, with others, and for others. Take time to think about your own emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs when setting boundaries that reflect your personal needs. Boundaries don’t have to be big and scary; they are here to remind us that you get to have your lived experience and still have expectations about how you’d like to be treated and what you’d like to feel.

When thinking about your boundaries, ask yourself:

  • How do I feel without having boundaries?
  • What would I like to have boundaries around?
  • Are my boundaries actual boundaries or am I creating walls in my life?
  • How do I plan to uphold my boundaries?
Step 2: Cultivate self-compassion

In a world where perfectionism and curated existences have been rewarded, begin to cultivate compassion for yourself. You are a soul having a human experience and it’s totally okay if things are not perfect. 

Mindfulness exercises such as Breathwork, self-care activities, and self-compassion, all help train the mind, emotions, and even the body’s stress chemicals to be able to deal with undesired situations. Self-compassion means, can you be nice to yourself? Can you find empathy and kindness for yourself in the middle of what feels chaotic, stressful, or unwanted? Self-compassion means that we get to make mistakes, have our plans not work out the way that we wanted, and we still get to celebrate that we are doing the best that we can and it is enough.

When thinking about self-compassion, ask yourself:

  • How do I respond to stressful situations?
  • How hard am I on myself?
  • How do I celebrate myself?
  • How do I show myself kindness?
Step 3: Nourish yourself

In every sense of the word “nourishment”, begin to learn what nourishes you and what depletes you. Nourishment doesn’t just mean food for yourself; it means that whatever you are consuming whether it be media, podcasts, people, energy, information, etc. all impact the way that we think, feel, and experience life.

Nourishing yourself definitely goes right along the lines of having your boundaries intact and practicing self-compassion. 

When thinking about nourishment, ask yourself:

  • How do I nourish my emotional well-being?
  • How do I nourish my mental well-being?
  • How do I nourish my physical well-being?
  • How do I nourish my spiritual well-being?
  • How do I nourish my social well-being?
  • How do I nourish my financial well-being?

That’s it. Those are the foundational steps to cultivating a self-love practice that you can ease into your daily routine. Come back to these questions often, because like anything else, self-love is a practice and it takes effort, time, and intention to maintain. 

If you’d like to try breathwork, mindfulness, or play classes with me, check out these workshops and training sessions that work with your schedule. For other breathwork classes, browse Mindbody.

 

About the author
Shanila is a 4th generation sound healer, breathwork coach, mentor, women’s researcher, and speaker. She is the Founder of AlwaysPlayStudios where she trains breathwork facilitators and sound healers. Her background is in tech, having co-founded an award-winning web agency, and in women’s research, specifically in mindsets, implicit bias, perfectionism, women's health, and societal experiences supported through the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, and several universities. She has implemented several health and wellbeing programs in underserved populations throughout the US. Shanila mentors healers on their healing and intuitive wellness journeys. Connect: @shanila.sattar