How to Prepare for Yoga Meditation

Опубликовал Admin
13-01-2021, 21:10
Yoga and meditation are the perfect pair if you’re looking to get more in touch with your inner self. Done in tandem, these practices are a great way to release tension, ease anxiety, and lift depression. Preparing your space is important to ensure you get the most benefits from your practice. Warming up with a few stretches and yoga poses is optional, but it will loosen your muscles so you can comfortably hold the ideal meditation posture. The more you practice, the better you’ll feel and the more you’ll be able to soothe any tough emotions that may come along in your day to day life.

Setting Up Your Space

  1. Find a quiet, uncluttered room with space for a mat. Go into a room that feels comfortable for you. This can be your bedroom, living room, den, or even your home office if that’s a space where you feel relaxed and calm. If you need to, take some time to clean and tidy up the room so it feels expansive and inviting.
    • Make sure the temperature of the room is comfortable for you so you’re not too cold or too hot. However, if it’s too hot or too cold, don’t let that stop you from meditating—it’s all about focusing your mind even with minor distractions.
    • You can also do yoga meditation outside, as long as you feel comfortable sitting down and closing your eyes. A patio, garden, or secluded area in a public park is a good choice.
  2. Roll out your yoga mat with at least 2 ft (0.61 m) of room around it. Unroll your mat and make sure it’s away from any furniture or walls so you don’t hit them if you decide to do some long stretches in any direction. Whether you have carpet or a hardwood floor, make sure the yoga mat grips well to the surface so it doesn’t slide around or bunch up from your movements.
    • If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned your mat, spray it with a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar and wipe it down.
    • If you don’t have a yoga mat, you can use a piece of foam carpet underlay or nothing at all. Just make sure your bare feet have a good grip on the floor.
    • Using a mat is optional if you’re practicing outside because the grass offers plenty of traction.
  3. Incorporate plants into your meditation space if you're inside. Plants can improve your mood, so move small indoor plants into your meditation space if you have some. Position them in front of you or around you to create a feeling of peace and oneness with nature.
    • It's perfectly okay if you don't have any plants. All you really need to meditate is yourself and your breath!
  4. Place any spiritual trinkets or totems you like to meditate with nearby. If you have a Buddha statue, geodes, crystals, candles, incense, or sage, place them in your meditation space so you can access them once you're ready to start. Light up the candles, incense, or sage and place any totems or rocks you have in a pleasing formation around where you plan to sit to create a serene, safe space.
    • These aren't necessary, but they can help set the mood for your practice.
  5. Set a timer nearby if you're taking a relaxation break from a tight schedule. If you only have 10 or 20 minutes before you have to get back to your daily doings, keep your phone or a kitchen timer nearby so you can enjoy your relaxation time without stressing about being late for something. If you like, download a meditation application that has a timer so you can come out of the meditation with a soothing sound instead of a harsh beep.
    • If you're using a timer on your phone, make sure your ringer and notifications are off—put it in airplane mode if you must.

Getting Comfortable

  1. Wear comfortable, stretchy clothing you can move and breathe in. Put on a loose, comfy t-shirt and some stretchy pants so you're as relaxed as possible. Breathe deeply into your lower belly to make sure your clothes aren’t constricting in any way. Move your arms and legs around to make sure you have a full range of motion without having to adjust anything for modesty or comfort’s sake.
    • If need to, tie your hair back so it’s out of the way and take off any jewelry.
    • If your pants have a drawstring, loosen them up a little so you don't feel it tightening against your waist as you breathe in.
    • If you're taking a quick meditation and yoga break at work where you have to dress up, take a minute to loosen up your tie, unbutton a few buttons, and undo your belt. Just make sure you're in a private area where nobody can walk in on you.
  2. Listen to some calming music beforehand to get you in the mood. Put on some Tibetan flute music, nature sounds, or anything you can imagine a masseuse playing while you're getting a massage. Your media diet is just as important as your physical diet to balancing your mind and body, so don't jam out to anything like death metal or punk before you plan to sit on the mat.
    • Music can physically relax your body, easing tension and helping you stay present with your breath as you meditate.
    • If you have a computer nearby, look up "meditation music" and let that play at a low volume before and during your practice.
  3. Stick to water or decaffeinated tea to keep a clear head. If you're thirsty before you plan to practice, sip on 6 fluid ounces (180 mL) of water or herbal tea. Avoid any drugs like caffeine (in excessive amounts), nicotine, or alcohol because they can put you in a hyperactive or depressive state, making it harder to calm or focus your mind.
    • Calming, caffeine-free teas like hibiscus, chamomile, lavender, and mint are all good pre-meditation choices.
    • It’s okay if you like to meditate after having your morning coffee, just don’t overdo it by having more than 1 cup right before you practice so you don’t have to pause for a bathroom break.
    • While you may think alcohol might relax you before you start your practice, save it for fun times with friends. It’s a depressant that will stop you from experiencing the full benefits of yoga and meditation.
  4. Practice on an empty stomach or eat a light, healthy snack. Don't eat a heavy meal before you plan to practice. It’s best to practice on an empty stomach. However, if you're starving to the point where you feel weak or fuzzy-headed, eat something light like a piece of fruit, a handful of nuts, or a small cup of yogurt about 20 minutes beforehand. You can always eat a nutritious feast afterward!
    • Stick to whole foods without a lot of oils, trans fats, or simple carbs because these will make you feel sluggish and may cause your belly to be upset.
    • Keep your portion sizes in check before you practice because eating too much can make it uncomfortable to breathe deeply into your belly.
  5. Use the bathroom and wash your hands, feet, and face if you like. Whether you need to go or not, it's a good idea to use the restroom before you sit down to meditate because yoga can stimulate your bowels and bladder. That way, you're more comfortable and you won't have to pause your session to use the bathroom. Do any cleansing rituals like washing your hands, feet, or face if that helps you relax.
    • If you do have to get up to use the restroom, do so. Be gentle with yourself (i.e., don’t judge yourself for having to pause) and take care of your body’s needs.

Doing Warm-up Stretches

  1. Salute the sun 5 times to energize and stretch your total body. Start standing in mountain pose, then bend over and extend your hands toward the ground. Move your feet back so you're in a plank pose and then lower yourself down and lift your head up into cobra pose. Raise your buttocks upward and make a straight line from your tailbone to your hands to go into downward dog. Step or jump your feet forward to return to a forward bend. Then raise your arms upward at your sides and return to your starting position.
    • Stay in each pose for at least 1 full inhale and exhale.
    • This is a good warm-up in and of itself, but it’s okay if you’d rather do simple stretches instead.
  2. Do 10 shoulder shrugs to loosen up your shoulders. Stand in an upright position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lift your shoulders up toward your ears as you inhale, hold them for a second, and then release them back down as you exhale.
    • Make sure to stand with good posture. Don’t let your neck crane forward or over-arch your back.
  3. Roll your neck from right to left 5 times and from left to right 5 times. Drop your head forward, pushing your chin toward your chest. Slowly roll your head to the right side, as if touching your ear to your shoulder, and then stop once your ear is directly over your shoulder blade. Slowly return your head to the center and roll it to the left. Go slow and make each roll last at least as long as it takes you to do 2 full inhales and exhales.
    • Keep it cool and relaxed; don’t try to stretch your neck so far to the point it hurts.
    • Move your legs so that your knees are still bent outward and your feet are touching. Pull your feet in toward you. Bring your knees up and down for 2 minutes, in the butterfly position.
  4. Switch between cat and cow pose to loosen your neck, shoulders, back, and torso. Get on your hands and knees, with your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees hip-width apart. Arch your back gently, like a cat, and hold the posture as you exhale. Allow your head and pelvis to fall as you do this. Invert the position as you inhale, with your back flexed and your head and pelvis pointing toward the ceiling. Do this sequence slowly for 2 to 3 minutes.
    • Feel free to do poses without coordinating them to your breath if you’d like to hold them longer (e.g., do cat position for 2 full inhales and exhales and then switch to cow position for 2 more inhales and exhales).
  5. Loosen up your hips and thighs by doing child’s pose. Kneel down on your mat with your toes together and your knees hip-width apart. Lower your torso so your belly rests between your knees and extend your arms forward with your palms flat on the mat. Hold it for at least 2 to 3 minutes. Don't forget to breathe!
    • Try to relax your shoulders toward the ground while you're in child's pose so you get the best upper and mid-back stretch.

Starting Your Meditation Practice

  1. Sit on your mat with your legs crossed or assume the lotus position. Sit down with your legs in the criss-cross (applesauce) position. Make sure your butt is stable on the ground and your back is straight. If you’re a little more flexible and want to do the lotus position, take your right foot and place it on your left thigh and lift your left foot onto your right thigh.
    • If you’re doing the lotus position, consider sitting on a zafu (a meditation cushion) or a small, firm pillow so you’re more stable and comfortable. You can buy zafus at specialty shops, yoga and meditation centers, or online.
    • If you have a knee problem, place bolsters or blankets beneath your knees so they don’t get strained.
    • If you have a back problem and can’t sit up straight, lean against pillows or blankets to find a comfortable semi-upright position. As long as your spine is straight, you’re good to go!
    • You can lay down flat if you like, just be sure not to doze off!
  2. Place your hands on top of your knees or put your hands in your lap. Simply rest your palms face down on your knees with your fingers relaxed. If you’re more comfortable with them in your lap, that’s an option too. To do this with some monkish style, layer your fingers on one hand on top of the fingers on your other hand with your palms facing up. Set them in your lap up against your body and press the tips of your thumbs together to make a triangle.
    • If you'd like, try the wisdom seal position by placing your hands palms-up on your knees and holding your thumb and index finger together.
  3. Chant the “OM” mantra 5 to 10 times if you desire. Take a deep inhale into your belly and half-speak, half-sing the mantra “OM” (which is pronounced “ohm” or “aum”). Sustain the mantra for as long as you can as you exhale.
    • This mantra is thought to focus on purification and dissolving negativity.
  4. Breathe from your diaphragm, focusing on each inhale and exhale. Inhale through your nose all the way into the bottom of your belly. Take note of your belly extending and contracting as you inhale and exhale—your shoulders shouldn’t move up and down. As you do this, you might think to yourself, "breathing in, I calm my mind and body, breathing out, I smile to my body."
    • If you like a more structured approach, try inhaling slowly for 8 counts, holding your breath for 8 counts, and exhaling for 8 counts.
    • There’s no right way to breathe in meditation so find what works for you.
    • If you feel strained or lightheaded from breathing a certain way, try a different way.
    • After you become familiar with basic breathing techniques, you can practice yogic styles of breathing that energize the body (like bhastrika or kapalabhati).


  • Try to meditate at the same time every day, like in the morning after you wake up or in the evening before bed, so it becomes a habit.
  • Always do yoga with bare feet so you have a better grip on the mat.
  • Set up a meditation space in your home, if possible. That way, you'll have everything you need ready to go when you're ready to practice.
  • Follow guided meditation and yoga videos if you’re new to the practice.
  • Find local yoga and meditation centers in your area so you can start practicing with others and expand your social circle.


  • If any movement or position hurts, stop doing it so you don’t over-stretch or strain a muscle. Be kind to your body and work with where you are when it comes to flexibility and strength.
  • If you feel lightheaded or experience fear, panic, or any alarming emotion during or after meditation, consider seeking out a professional yogi or meditation teacher who can help you work through the difficult experience.
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