In some ways, meditation – being and breathing in the present moment – should be the easiest thing in the world. But, as we all know, it’s just not. Our minds are stuffed to the brim with more clutter than ever before these days and finding the path back to centered, mindful calm can be tougher than it seems.
The gorgeous new MNDFL studios on East 8th Street in New York have been designed to help us achieve a state of bliss (or at least a state of calm) – dare we say it? – ‘conveniently.’ We love the new space, the strong concept, and the fact that MNDFL teachers can also come to you right in the office! Whether you are lucky enough to live nearby and snag a cushion in one of their new classes or just need a little reminder on how to properly set aside that time for yourself at home, founders Ellie and Lodro are sharing their perspective on daily meditation with these accessible tips…
Let’s face it: Meditation isn’t easy. The benefits are lovely, like lowered stress levels and more presence in your daily life, but starting a practice can feel a little gnarly. You sit down in your home, set a timer on your phone and dive in. A minute later you’re thinking about how you need to vacuum your rug, someone is texting you, and your mind is still running at 100 miles per hour.
We founded MNDFL, New York City’s premier meditation studio, for people like you. An optimal environment to launch a meditation practice, we supply the quiet, the teacher, the cushions and even a hot cup of tea on the house. But, if you’re not based in New York and can’t visit us, we can still help you. There are some time-tested tips that we have found help whenever someone launches a meditation practice. Here’s the bottom line: Consistency is key.
And if you’re still having trouble connecting to your own cushion, you can always offer up a little incentive to help create the environment. Consider what would happen if you gave yourself some breathing room in your very busy life.
How to Stick to a Meditation Practice
Consistent Amount of Time
When someone drops into one of our 30 or 45 minute classes, they’re meditating for a good chunk of that time and (thankfully) someone else is keeping an eye on the clock, guiding them every step of the way. We know this kind of meditation accountability is a luxury and most of us don’t have a meditation teacher as a roommate. If you’re at home though, the best thing to do is set a consistent amount of time you can meditate – we recommend between 10 and 20 minutes – and stick to it every single day. Having a consistent amount of time you set aside each day allows this new activity to become a habit; one that will benefit you for life.
Consistent Time of Day
We recommend you set aside a consistent time every day during which you meditate. A lot of people visit us right before or right after work. While Ellie prefers to meditate in the morning and then again in the late afternoon, Lodro does a long session in the morning. The right time to meditate is simply the time you can do it. While some people prefer the morning, some new meditators often prefer the evening, using it as a tool to unwind from the stress of the day. No matter your preference, it’s really about building it into the normal routines of your daily life, so skipping it becomes as odd as skipping showering or brushing your teeth. Helpful tip for morning meditators: Do it before you look at your inbox.
We built MNDFL as a space that people can drop into, any time of day, and immediately relax. If you’re meditating at home, you want the space you practice in to invoke the same feeling. This might mean setting aside a corner of your living room as your dedicated spot for meditation practice. It helps to indicate that this space is intended for meditation by putting a cushion and candle incense burner there so you feel magnetized to that spot and it’s ready and waiting for you to sit there.
If you meditate for three weeks in a row, it starts to become a fully formed habit in your brain. The more you meditate, the greater the effects, kind of like what happens when you go to the gym consistently. It’s fine for science to say it, or for us to encourage you but, like most things, you should probably just try it yourself and see if it meshes with your experience.