Zen Out: A Guide to Meditation

Zen Out: A Guide to Meditation

How to create a meditation practice that you'll stick with, according to four major yogis

Even though the physical practice of yoga can be challenging, sometimes just sitting still with a calm mind can be the most insanely difficult part. Since May is National Meditation Month, we're taking this opportunity to dive a little deeper. We asked a few of our om-azing yogis what their own meditation practices look like and their advice to people who want to start their own. Their tips? Everything from a YouTube series to helpful apps to just letting your mind do its thing (yes, really).

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Caley Alyssa

How she practices meditation

I meditate every day, twice a day for 20 minutes, once in the morning and once in the late afternoon. It's just like brushing my teeth! Hygiene for my mind. Most of the time I use a mantra-based meditation, but I also use other techniques and really enjoy guided meditations. The apps I use are Insight Timer, 1Giant Mind and Getting into the Vortex.

Her advice on finding your zen

Meditation isn't all about rainbows and awesomeness. It's a powerful technique for recovery from our unresolved past. So the discomfort may just get worse before they get better. Just like coming off of narcotics, with meditation you are learning how to break your unhealthy addiction to the stress hormone, cortisol. Withdrawals can spike anxiety! And be warned, stress has a very convincing way of getting us to believe that the future is far more important then the present. Make your meditation your most important meeting with your most important person: YOU. Start small—sit in silence for five minutes and focus on the breath. If you need guidance, I have a free 21-day introduction to meditation on my YouTube channel you can try. Or, download the apps I mentioned if you're nervous to do it on your own.

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Koya Webb

How she practices mindfulness

I practice mindfulness by going within for the answers I seek in the world or for help with any problems I face. I go within through meditation.

Her advice on finding your zen

Start with 10 minutes of sitting, breathing and allowing your mind to empty. If this is difficult, you can try to think about your happy place and take yourself there for 10 minutes.

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Alissa Kepas

How she practices meditation

I make meditation my number one priority—it's how I start my day. If I have a really busy day and don't have time to sit and meditate at home, then I make sure I listen and chant mantras on my way to work. Currently I'm doing a 40-day Sadhana with a specific mantra. I chant the same mantra every single day during my morning commute for 20 minutes. This practice has helped me break any bad habit and be more mindful in my daily interactions. It's like the mantra is then in the back of my mind all day long, reminding me the greater purpose of my life rather than allowing my mind to get stuck on trivial day-to-day irritations.

Her advice on finding your zen

When I started meditating, I was extremely nervous. I didn't want to sit quietly with my thoughts because they never stopped. At that point in my practice, I would have gladly chosen 50 Chaturangas over 15 minutes of meditation. Once I realized that thinking is what my mind is supposed to do, meditation became so much easier. One visualization that helped me become comfortable meditating was to imagine my thoughts were like clouds passing by, not becoming too attached to any one in particular. I also love apps like Calm and Insight Timermany of them have guided meditations that make it much easier.

Andrew Sealy

How he practices meditation

Meditation has profoundly changed my life. I have experienced an abundance of benefits from it that I can only begin to scratch the surface on—it has heightened my awareness of self, enhanced my listening capacity and sharpened my senses. My daily practice of 20-minute meditation in the morning and 20-minute meditation at night has allowed me to become more compassionate and mindful in my day-to-day life. This has led to even more passionate experiences and deeper empathy in my close relationships.

His advice on finding your zen

The best advice I can give anyone who wants to try meditation or strengthen their own practice is to BE CONSISTENT. Any action when done with repetition creates a strong bond in the mind that will help you to truly witness your transformation. Consistent practice makes for consistent results. Persistence patience and positivity are key.