When starting a meditation practice, one of the biggest questions that come to mind is regarding duration. Meditation is totally an individual journey and it might take different durations for everybody to find the desired level of focus or to start the correct process for themselves.
When should I practice meditation?
This is your own life and it totally depends on your priorities. If you wish, you may wake up 10 minutes earlier then your routine and you can meditate before starting your day or you may create this time for yourself before going to bed. Morning meditation generally helps you to have a fresher and calmer day and also you can apply the techniques that you learn during your morning meditation throughout the day.
The important thing with meditation is to start in a calm and quiet environment away from strong stimulants such as TV, phone or any device, which might interrupt you, and make necessary preparations for a comfortable seated position.
When the mind is in chaos, the body is automatically contracted. Whenever you are going through mentally and emotionally heavy period, just give a small break and start observing the body. When you get stuck in traffic, you might find your abdomen contracted; when you’re trying to catch a deadline in front of the computer in the office, you might find your shoulders tightened or during a tough and stressful conversation you might notice that you clench your teeth. And relaxing and releasing these parts of the body will impact your state of emotions and hormones and this will ease the whole situation for you.
For how long should I meditate?
With most of us the thought of sparing time for something every day regularly, even if it’s just 10 minutes, creates a resistance in the first place. Generally speaking, new practitioners of meditation start with 5 to 15 minutes and then they extend the time however long they would like to. So 10 minutes every day is quite ideal for a start. You may also think like this: During the day for how many unnecessary actions, unwilling conversations, meetings, activities do you spare time only because you have to, only out of courtesy or because of your habits? How long do you stare at the TV? Or how many minutes do you spend on social media? How many minutes of your time do you spend on the phone only chitchatting or how long time do you lose in a meeting that you don’t really would like to do? While going through all of these, please don’t judge or criticize yourself; just see them as opportunities to open up some space for a new experience. I’m sure that you’ll spare that 10-minute of your time gladly when you have the intention to see through yourself honestly, with the intention to achieve something only for yourself.