how tos | meditate
Meditation Basics with Angela Kukhahn
Meditation is meant to be a peaceful practice, but getting started for the first time can be a bit intimidating.
We sat down (in Lotus pose) with Angela Kukhahn for some beginners’ advice. She’s one of LA’s top yoga instructors, the co-designer of our Crystal Cove meditation pillow, and has been practicing meditation and mindfulness for years as a way to start each morning with a clear head.
Watch the video below for a demonstration of some common mudras, or hand gestures, for meditation. Then, read Angela's pointers for reaching that serene state of mind. Special thanks to our friends at Strut This for the yoga gear!
First and foremost, if you’re new to meditation, don't put too much pressure on yourself. Keep it simple and set realistic goals.
Start small with a 3 minute meditation, then work your way to longer sessions as you become accustomed to the process. It doesn't have to be a long, drawn out meditation to have a positive effect.
Find your perfect position
Meditate in the position that’s best for you and your body. Sitting, standing, or from the comfort of your bed are all perfectly acceptable options.
If you’re planning on some more extended meditation sessions, consider investing in a meditation pillow. It’ll add some height to your seated pose, keeping your spine in proper alignment so you can sit for longer and more comfortably.
No judgement, no rules — this is your practice!
This is my favorite little trick for getting myself in the meditative mood - start with gratitude. Pick three things that you are grateful for, and think about the joy they bring into your life. This small moment of reflection on the things you love will melt away any anger, fear, or overwhelming feelings you may be having. It’ll soften your resistance to meditating, making slipping into the right state of mind a bit easier.
There’s no “right way”
Don't worry about doing it "right". Meditation is not something that you must do perfectly. In fact, it has much more to do with undoing than doing. Just sit down, breathe and let whatever thoughts comes up, come up. Whatever happens is exactly what needed to happen.
If you thought about something the whole time and couldn't get your mind to be quiet, oh well — it still counts. You are a human. Thoughts will come and go. Let them pass like clouds drifting by. Don't judge them or yourself, because the whole point is to witness and let go.
Keep a smooth and steady rhythm of breath. This will work wonders — it’s much easier to be in a balanced state of mind when your breath is full and deep. The breath is always a reflection of what the mind is doing. When you deepen your breathing, your mind will automatically follow and mimic it by slowing down as well. Magic!
Love yourself and your imperfections. The biggest hinderance to meditation is our obsession with perfection. Accept that you are a flawed and beautiful being that may never have a so-called "perfect meditation session" (do they even exist?) and then do it anyways.