Mindful meditation has never been more necessary than during transitional times and moments of stress and unrest, and with the year we’ve had, there is no better time to start cleansing our minds than now. Here, members of our Brain Trust share what they’ve learned from personal practice and how they de-stress and gain mental clarity in a world of uncertainty.
From guided meditation apps like Calm, Headspace, Aura, Liberate (developed specifically for people of color), Zen, and so many more, options for reaching a state of bliss now fit in the palms of our hands. “The Insight Timer is an easy-to-use meditation app. It has everything from guided sleep meditations with soothing music to sessions centered on anxiety, stress, focus, and creativity.” —Tara Bradley Connell, RYT-200 Yoga Instructor
“For beginners, I am a big fan of the Breathing App by Eddie Stern with Deepak Chopra and Moby. It guides you in a paced breathing exercise that helps you regulate a proper breath frequency of about six rounds per minute during your practice, which is slowed down from our typical 15 breaths per minute, and is more ideal for meditation.” —Tess Koenig, Yoga and Meditation Expert
Set the Mood
In order to welcome feelings, emotions, thoughts and beliefs, both mind and body must be prepared to find joy. “Meditating can seem overwhelming at first, but the beauty of the process is that it’s all about relaxing. Make yourself comfortable with soft pillows and blankets, and then let your body find stillness while the mind calms and clears.” —Tara Bradley Connell
Whether the mode is transcendental, spiritual, mindful, or focused, research suggests that meditating in the morning is the most ideal time. “Morning is a good time to meditate because it starts your day off on a grounded and centered path. I practice a combination of pranayama (breath control) and meditation every morning for about 10 minutes. I use a mantra to help me stay focused when I’m groggy after just rolling out of bed, and end with simple breathing and meditating.” —Tess Koenig
From outdoor runs to time spent in nature, movement meditation helps recalibrate and reduce stress by incorporating fresh air and vitamin D. “I use my trips to the beach as meditation sessions. I can’t concentrate at home, so I put my headphones in, open my meditation app and silently watch the water. Grounding my feet in the sand helps me connect with nature, which makes my experience even more relaxing.” —Katya Bychkova, Founder of Stylesprinter.com
“Although I practiced transcendental meditation for many years, I’m also a big runner and I now look at running as my meditation. I run outside with nothing, no music and no headphones. It’s just me and the ground. That’s my real meditation and it’s when I do my best thinking. It’s the greatest way to clear your head. I’ll go into a trance a few miles in and return ready for the day.” —Ian Ginsberg, President of C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries