The question of how to best set yourself up for a “successful” meditation at home is a question we get asked quite a bit. So if you’re sitting at home, pondering this exact thing, know that you are not alone!
If you’re looking for some insider tips and tricks to developing a meditation practice and having a great meditation experience at home, we’ve got you covered! Before we dive in, we do want to mention that your meditation practice is going to be unique to you, and there’s a really good chance that your meditation practice is going to change over time – and that’s totally normal! Below are some of our recommendations and things to take into consideration – read through, see what resonates with you right now, and try implementing what feels right to you.
Your meditation space
While it would be really lovely to have a dedicated meditation space in your home that’s only ever used for meditating – that’s just not possible for a lot of people. If you find yourself really craving the look and feel of a meditation space, but don’t have an area of your home you can leave always set up, you can consider having a few key items that you can easily bring out for your meditation and then pack up again afterwards. You can turn setting up your meditation space into a ritual – something that begins to set the stage for your meditation, a signal to your brain that it’s about to begin meditating.
Some things you could consider using for your meditation space include a pillow, a soft blanket, a candle, a diffuser, crystals, or an eye pillow if you’re laying down. These are all things that you can easily pack up and put away when you’re done your meditation, but will still give you the feel of a dedicated meditation space.
If setting the space for your meditation isn’t something that feels important to you, then you can simply choose a comfortable space in your home. We do recommend choosing somewhere that you’re not going to be bothered or distracted by people walking by, watching TV, making a snack, etc. If you’re able to find a space where you know you won’t be disturbed, it can make it much easier for you to get deeper in your meditation. If that’s not possible for you, then you can simply let the people around you know that you’re about to start a meditation and to please be mindful of keeping noise down and to not disturb you until you’re finished.
Choosing when to meditate
We so often get asked the question, “when is the best time to meditate?”. And our answer is always – it really depends. There is no one universal “best” time to meditate. The best time for you to meditate really depends on a few things, like what you’d like to get out of the meditation session, your schedule and when you are able to carve out time, and if you’re a morning lark or night owl.
If you’re a morning person and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day, you might do best with meditating first thing in the morning. Depending on just how early you like to wake up, you might even have the whole place to yourself! This can be the perfect time to fit in your meditation before you get started with the rest of your day – it ensures that no matter how busy or offtrack your day gets, you still got in your meditation.
However, if you’re naturally a night owl, waking up early in the morning to fit in your meditation might not work so well for you. You might just find yourself fighting against your nature and frequently falling asleep during your meditation. If this sounds like you, it might work better for you to get your meditation in a bit later in the day when you’re not so prone to falling back asleep!
The other thing to really consider is what you’re looking to get out of your meditation – other than a calmer mind, a deeper connection to your breath, your body, and your higher self, and all of the other good stuff that goes along with meditating! If you’re looking to set some powerful intentions and the mood for your day, you might want to consider a morning meditation with that as the focus. This can be such a beautiful way of intentionally starting your day off on the right foot.
If you find yourself getting caught up in the busyness of your day and start to feel frazzled, you might want to carve out some time in the middle of your day to meditate. Popping a meditation in the middle of a busy day can act as a beautiful way to reset, come back to centre, and continue your day from that place. It’s incredible just how restorative a 15-20 minute meditation in the middle of the day can be!
If you’re looking for your meditation practice to help you get a better night’s sleep, then you’re going to want to pop your meditation in at the end of your day. You could consider a meditation at the beginning of your wind down period in the evening to help you release anything you picked up during the day – tension, stress, emotions, you name it. This can set you up for a really nice and relaxing evening and a restful sleep. Or you could consider popping a meditation on once you’re in bed. There are a lot of meditations geared specifically towards helping you relax and fall asleep.
Now you’ve got that all sorted – what type of meditation should you do?
Again – this really depends on you, on the specific day, and what you’re looking to get from your meditation! If you haven’t yet explored all the various types of meditation out there, that’s where we’d recommend you start off! It’s great to explore and see what’s available, that way when you’re sitting down for a meditation, you’ll have some ideas of what you might want to dive into that day.
A lot of people really enjoy guided meditations – it can be so incredibly helpful to have that person’s voice there to guide you through the meditation. If your mind is feeling pretty busy and you struggle to quiet it, a guided meditation might be just the thing for you! Other times you might really appreciate sitting in meditation with only relaxing music in the background. This can be a great style of meditation if you’re meditating on something in particular and looking for clarity or answers. If you’re looking for a deep, healing meditation then a sound bath might be your go-to!
Feel free to mix up your meditation practice and explore all of the various styles of meditation out there. You’ll be arming yourself with the knowledge and experience to choose just the right meditation for you in any given moment.
Remember to be compassionate with yourself
While this is the last item on our list, it’s certainly not an afterthought! This is something we emphasize in just about every in-person meditation we host. People are so quick to criticize themselves for the things they feel they didn’t do right during a meditation – their bodies were uncomfortable and they needed to shift around a bit during meditation, their mind got distracted a few times and they wandered down a rabbit hole, or they fell asleep after 15 minutes.
Remember – it’s called a meditation practice for a reason! Quieting our minds and allowing our bodies to still and come to rest is a skill we don’t come pre-programmed with. It’s something we have to learn and practice on a regular basis. Understand that even monks have some meditations that feel more difficult than others – they still have that monkey mind pop up that tries to lead them down the rabbit hole.
Even if you only got a minute or two out of your whole meditation where you were able to quiet your mind and remain present in the meditation, that’s two minutes of calm you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise! Be compassionate with yourself and celebrate all of the things that went well in your meditation. Be proud of yourself for setting the time aside to meditate, for working on developing this skill, and allow those moments of stillness to add up over time. You’ll be amazed what a difference they can make!
Most importantly – take the pressure off yourself! Know that there isn’t one perfect meditation position, time of day to meditate, or one perfect meditation you must do. Allow yourself to explore and find what works best for you!