Charmed Life

Tips for Starting a Meditation Routine

Anjali Sunita of Baltimore Yoga Village shares her relaxation techniques.

Many of us have tried a plethora of remedies to reduce stress and stay calm—from exercise to essential oils and everything in between. If you’re open to trying something new—meditation might be the right choice. We learned all about meditation from Baltimore Yoga Village’s Anjali Sunita. Here are her tips:

Where to Start:

“When you sit down to meditate and realize a thousand other things that are running through your mind at the same time, you can feel your emotions more,” Sunita says. “That’s where people really struggle.” Many people equate this emotional overload to believing that they aren’t good at meditation. The good news? You’re not alone—and there are things you can do to settle your mind.

Sunita suggests doing something that matches your energy level before beginning a seated practice. For example, taking a walk or doing yoga can help release energy to feel calm when meditating. She also assures that you only need a few minutes for meditating, as long as you can become aware and relaxed at the same time.

What You Need:

There is one thing that Sunita advises not to sacrifice: comfort. Beyond a cushion or pillow, objects will vary based on the type of meditation that you like.

“Just as different people learn different ways, different people find different techniques more appealing,” she adds. Open-eyed meditation practices may require an object to focus on—like a candle. Some people find that reading a book also helps to focus their minds. Others are more drawn toward sounds, and might benefit from repeating a particular mantra or listening to a guide. “Everything is an opportunity to pay deep attention,” Sunita says. “When you pay deeper attention to things, it becomes a meditation.”

When You Should Meditate:

Sunita recommends that meditation be included in your daily routine, but it can also be done randomly. She notes that, while the morning is most common, meditating in a moment of stress is also a beneficial use of the practice. “Make it your friend at a regular time if you can,” she says. “Or make it your friend at random times a day, so it will stay simple and become a daily comfort, support, and practice.”