BY: Rachel Grayling
Over the last decade, the practice of learning to meditate has been reimagined to better serve us. Here and now, meditation is a fairly casual method of self care—it comes at no cost and can take place anywhere. There are so many forms these methods of release have taken in effort to match our broad range of lifestyles: from on-the-go guided meditations for those who have trouble slowing down, whether you’re in the midst of running errands, reorganizing your office, or driving home after a long day. Silent meditations for those who like to find refuge from the noise. Loving Awareness meditation for those who like to dive deep. Transcendental meditation for those who like to quiet their inner voice or balance their cerebral self. The less strenuous yogic practices, like kundalini, kirtan, and yin yoga for those who recharge with movement, sound, and collectivity. And lest we forget, water meditation for those who like to reach the blissful calm associated with our very first sensory experience, being in the womb. It seems the entire world has adopted a quieting practice in one shape or another. What a beautiful time to collectively recognize that we all need a moment to ground ourselves in order to be present for one another. Below we highlighted the ways we meditate and have been exploring recently.
Hear me out my lovely cynics, this is an app and it’s the real deal. I know it can be a bit funky settling into an automated meditation. You may have judgments or doubt, but start with a shorter meditation and you may find yourself at ease, thinking it isn’t so different from listening to your favorite podcast. This is because Insight Timer’s guided meditations are from real people: spiritual leaders, activists, counsellors, wellness educators, authors, and artists. These teachers offer diverse focuses such as Self-Care In Times Of Uncertainty, Mindful Breathing, and Affirmations & Mantras To Kickstart Your Day.
Once you become comfortable sitting with yourself, thoughts and all, you’ll want to lose the training wheels that a guide provides. I bet your holistic care idols ritually practice waking up with the sun. Now you don’t have to wake up at sunrise, but aiming for 10 minutes in the sun (between 7 and 9am) before you hop behind a computer screen for hours will impact the rest of your day. Sun exposure offers a vitamin D boost, insight for your body’s natural circadian rhythm, and the release of serotonin that generates feeling focused and calm. With meditating I find getting to a relaxed state is half of the battle.
I maintain that our deepest urges are an expression of truth. If your mind is signaling towards release, embodiment, better focus, or claiming your agency, listen to it and meditate! You are oh-so capable.”