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The beginner’s guide to meditation

14.05.19 Learn Blog SumoSalad
Breathe meditation
No longer an alternative practice, meditation has well and truly propelled into the mainstream. Everyone from school kids to Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are experiencing the benefits, like less stress, more focus and some blissful relief from the overstimulation that plagues us in the digital age. In time for World Meditation Day on May 21, we caught up with Mandy Millan, meditation teacher and founder of corporate wellbeing company, FLO Wellbeing, to give us the low-down on getting zen in just ten minutes a day.   

What is meditation?

While meditation may seem like a wishy-washy kind of concept, it’s actually a very useful and practical tool. “Meditation is a practice that enables you to slow down and connect within,” says Mandy. “It brings focused attention to the present moment with self-compassion and without judgement.”

Generally, meditation is split between guided and unguided styles – which means exactly what it says on the label. Guided styles are a great starting point – a teacher, app or recording will take you through the meditation. Unguided is a practice that allows you to silently connect with your body and mind. There are many types of meditation, so it’s worth trying a few styles and seeing what works best for you.

How often should you meditate?

There are no set rules about how often you should meditate, however Mandy encourages you to view it like any other kind of training. “It’s just like when you train your muscles, they become stronger. The same principle applies with the brain. The more you practice, the better you become at meditation.”

First step: try just ten minutes a day. “Find a quiet time, where you will have no interruptions,” says Mandy. “Try this for a week. Then increase to two 10 minute sessions a day. Soon you will be able to sit for longer periods. Ideally, you’ll gradually make it part of your habitual routine and you’ll feel such great benefits. It is like any other healthy habit, like eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep.”

Is meditation worth the time?

Meditation

Even Sumo Man finds time to meditate!

The short answer is yes. For very little time, you can get big benefits. “When freed from dealing with an information overload, the brain has the opportunity to focus its resources differently,” Mandy explains. “For this reason, meditation can often lead to us to experience so many wonderful things, such as greater creativity, concentration, focus and memory. It also helps us to get very present, ‘enjoy the moment’ and reduce stress. It’s such a fantastic life tool that is free to use. Everyone should tap into it and reap the rewards!”

Ten minutes a day is very achievable. Most of us spend at least ten minutes mindlessly scrolling on our phones, so if you need to find some spare time, that’s a great place to cut back. You also might find that with your newfound focus, you’ll be more productive and gain back some time anyway!

Get started with meditation

If you’re sold, there’s plenty of ways to get on board. There are meditation apps, like Headspace, that make getting started simple. You can also look into introductory meditation courses near you – they will help build a solid foundation for future practice. If you’d like to listen to a guided meditation and get a taste of what it’s like, you can try a FLO Wellbeing meditation – find a great one here. Ultimately, you have nothing to lose – so it’s worth giving it a go and experiencing the benefits for yourself!


Mandy Millan Meditation

Mandy Millan

Mandy Millan is the founder of FLO Wellbeing and has been practicing and teaching pilates and meditation for fifteen years. FLO Wellbeing is an Australian corporate wellbeing company that brings movement and mindfulness into the workplace through group pilates, yoga and mindfulness sessions, as well as education through tailored workshops and retreats.

Main photo by Max van den Oetelaar on Unsplash

POSTED BY: Anthea England
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