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How to Start Meditating

We get it, you can't figure out how yogis sitting in the lotus position have any place in your hectic life of work, home, relationship, etc. But with all the business of the Western world today, more and more people are finding that a little Eastern influence goes a long way toward relaxation.

1. First, lower your expectations. Whatever they are, lower them. Bottom line -- you aren't going to master it immediately. But the good news is, there is no wrong way to meditate. Simply sitting quietly for five minutes every morning counts. Initially, it’ll probably feel even more uncomfortable than your general life, but give it some time. Your brain isn’t used to taking a break from all the details, thoughts, and worries. Eventually, you’ll develop a tolerance for it, and be able to sit quietly for longer and longer periods of time. Just try not to judge yourself if you have trouble at first.

2. Why spend the time? Studies have shown that learning is consolidated when your mind is inactive, like during sleep and other downtime. In other words, your brain is working even when you’re not consciously thinking, and it can actually make connections and have realizations it’s not capable of during regular thought. Even if meditating means you spend a little bit less time working, the work you do will ultimately be more creative and efficient. Plus, meditation will help you feel more relaxed and rested in general.

3. Yoga is also a great way to get into the practice of meditation -- classes generally start and end with a period of savasana, which is a kind of guided relaxation that will introduce you to the practice and help you begin to see what it feels like. Guided meditation classes are also good options for getting started.