By Mardi Rogers
If you’ve ever joined me for a meditation group you’ll probably know that I like to encourage everyone to meditate regularly – daily preferably. And if you’ve ever tried to stick to a daily meditation practice you’ve probably found it’s not as simple as it sounds.
Making meditation a priority (essentially sitting and ‘doing’ nothing) can be tricky – as often something more ‘important’ will get in your way to meditate. Have you found this? However, by prioritising and scheduling your practice, even if it’s only for 3-5mins a day, your mind will become more accustom to directing thoughts where you choose – and this is the secret to a more peaceful life.
How to help cultivate a daily meditation practice
One of the best ways I’ve found to go about cultivating a Healthy Habit of daily meditation is to set yourself a challenge. During school holiday breaks I often invite my attendees to join me for a group challenge – by choosing one meditation that we’ll practice together over the break when we don’t meet up weekly. But you don’t need to wait for a break in classes – a meditation challenge can be started anytime – just by choosing a meditation and committing to practice it for a set number of days.
It’s been said it takes 21 days to create a habit – so I recommend you start with that. But you don’t need to stop there. In the Kundalini yoga practice of Sadhana they begin a challenge at 40 days – choosing a meditation or kriya to work on a certain aspect. Then they may choose to deepen the practice to 90 days, 120 days, even 1000 days – to incorporate the benefits of the meditation into the body, mind and soul at much deeper levels.
It’s also a good idea to set a time for your daily sessions. When beginning it’s best to start small – 3-5 mins then you might want to work your way up – adding a couple of minutes each week to increase the practice as desired. For example, in a 21 day/3 week challenge you might want to start the first week with 5 mins a day – then 7 minutes for the second week then 10 mins for the third week.
There is no failure
I’d like to note that while you might be setting yourself a challenge, one thing you don’t want to do if you break your challenge is consider it a failure and give up! If you miss a day – or two – or a week, don’t worry. You don’t loose any points, no harm, no foul. Just begin again. And again, if needed. In Kundalini yoga Sadhana practice if you miss a day you start again from day one – but it’s up to you how disciplined you’d like your practice to be.
Not a chore
Meditation practice should never been seen as a chore – but as a self care practice. If you’re really struggling with meditating daily, lessen the time, or change the time of day you’re practising.
You are the creator of your practice, and you get to choose what’s best for you. Your practice is YOUR time – however you choose to practice. Like brushing your teeth – see meditation as the habit of cleaning your mind.
See below for meditation challenges I’ve shared with my groups, or pick a meditation from my book Pyjama Meditation