Learn How to Meditate in 5 Quick Steps (You Can Start Today!)

You may know meditation can reduce stress and increase happiness. You may have also heard that it supports your healthy lifestyle and can even slow aging. So now you’re ready to join the increasing number of yogis who have already taken up the practice, but do you know how to meditate?
You’re wondering, “Where do I sign up?” Then that thought is followed by, “How am I going to find the time?” And then possibly, “How the heck do I meditate?” Don’t worry.
We’ve got your back with this simple, direct, and concise beginner’s guide to meditation that will teach you how to meditate.

Learn How to Meditate With These 5 Steps

Now that you’ve decided to start your journey of meditation, let’s dive into how to actually do the thing.

Step 1. Get Comfortable

Find a comfortable seat with a tall spine and start your timer. Begin with a few deep ujjayi breaths. Exhale through an open mouth a few times. Then, let your breath return to its normal rhythm, breathing in and out through your nose.
Send some love to yourself. Send some compassion to all those beings struggling out there.
Own your space. This is you taking control of your mind. Notice what feels good and forget what doesn’t. You’re like a mountain: upright, strong, stable.
Good. You’re ready.

Step 2: Settle In With Pranayama

The thoughts are going to come quick, and that’s totally normal. Or, perhaps you’ll want to zone out and fall asleep, and that’s normal too. So, before we do anything, let’s use a little pranayama to settle in.
All you have to do is count your breath. Breathe in for a count of four. Hold for a count of three. Exhale for a count of five. After a few rounds of this pranayama technique, allow your breath to settle back into its natural rhythm.


Step 3: Notice Your Breath

Tune into the sensations of your breath. Is it choppy and hot? Is it deep and fine? Be still and discover. Make your meditation your whole world. Let your thoughts fall to the background of your awareness. Wake up to an incredible experience of what it feels like to be alive, here and now.

Step 4: Tune In

Next, tune into your senses.
What you hear? What’s the most distant thing you can hear? You don’t have to label the sound (i.e. “passing car,” or “chirping bird”). Just notice how it feels to hear.
Tune into your sense of touch. What does it feel like to have gravity pull you towards your cushion? What does it feel like to have toes on your feet? Warm? Cool? Tingling?
Move through the rest of your senses with this air of curiosity and discovery.

Step 5: You’re Ready to Meditate

Now it’s time for the meat of your practice. Tune into your breath again, and breathe naturally. It’s here you’re going to start building the “mental muscle” called “reflexive awareness.” This is simply the ability to return your attention to your breath whenever you get distracted. Just like with physical muscle building, this is going to take patience, time, and consistency.
When you finish meditating and your timer rings, hear its sound all the way to the end. Bring motion back into your body with mindfulness. Slowly open your eyes. Take care of yourself with a few stretches, and perhaps rub your face and shoulders. Then, take this mindfulness with you throughout your day.
Take this – 20-Minute Guided Meditation

Now That You’ve Learned How to Meditate, Keep These Final Notes in Mind

As you learn how to meditate, thoughts, feelings, and sensations are going to come to your attention. Sometimes, you’ll get hooked. You’ll get pulled away from your awareness of breath. You’ll follow those thoughts, storylines, and dramas, and get caught up in feelings and sensations.
When you meditate, your only job is to notice when you get caught, and to return to the awareness of your breath moving in and out of your body. This, simply, is mindfulness. This is the practice. Meditation is not easy but it is simple.
Happy meditating!

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Mindfulness Meditation Guide: How to Start a Daily Practice
Mindfulness meditation is a tool that we can use daily to manage stress, improve mental health, and cultivate happiness. This guide has everything you need.
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Erik Vienneau

Erik Vienneau of AWAKE Mindful Living meets people where they are along the path of wellness to offer opportunities to discover a peaceful and health-filled life. When he's not on his cushion you'll find him being simple and easy with friends and family. He believes "Peaceful Minds Create a Peaceful Planet.”

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