May is mindfulness and meditation month, but meditation can be intimidating. I know that when people participate in my guided meditations they are always nervous and giggly. They don't know if they should sit still with their legs crossed, lay down, or chant "Om" a billion and one times. And that is so ok and so understandable. Meditation has incredible benefits that improve one's life, but it's hard and one must commit to it — even one big, deep belly breath a day is an honorable start.
Many give up because they feel like they're bad at it. And, many don't even try to meditate because it seems unrealistic to just clear their minds and shut it off. And it is. I for one struggle with turning off my anxious thoughts and zoning in on my self-awareness, but that's why I practice. It's a self-care skill that one must learn.
Meditation isn't about letting go of your thoughts.
We are human — we are animals that think. It's impossible to just let it go like it's easy. Our mind is programmed to automatically think and society's constant chitter-chatter doesn't help, either. So, instead of clearing our minds, meditation is about letting go of our attachments to these thoughts. Our judgments. Our fears. Our anxiety.
Meditation is about awareness and perspective as you look inward and observe these thoughts without trying to change, control, or judge them. It's a mind, body, and spirit connection. Sounds nice, right? It is, but it's damn hard to achieve and that's why the practice starts right here, right now. A ton of my friends and peers always ask me how to start and professional guided meditations are the best ways to dive into your personal practice.
My number one tip is to have a mantra or something that you can focus on. Even the statement, "inhale and exhale" can help you look inward. Remember, you can't empty your thoughts but you can practice observing them.
Here are 16 guided meditations that I personally listen to and that I know will help you find your zen, especially during this tiring time.
1. Lindsey Gaterman
I recently found Lindsey and I'm so happy I did. I find her so relatable and balancing.
2. Alo Moves' Guided Meditations
Definitely check out Alo Moves' YouTube channel to find different meditations to help harness your inner peace.
3. Boho Beautiful
From yoga to pilates to meditation, Juliana's soothing voice will guide you towards your goals.
4. Thara Natalie
Check out Thara's Instagram for her Daily Meds – you won't regret it. I highly recommend her chakra series. If you have no idea what in the world a chakra is, don't worry, she breaks it all down for you.
5. Body Scan Meditations
Body scan meditations are my favorite because I can really concentrate on my body awareness.
6. Chill Meditation
Chill Meditation is a meditation studio based in Chicago, but they have complimentary, live virtual meditation sessions every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 12:30 p.m. CDT and on their Instagram Live every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday at 9 a.m. CDT.
7. F*ck That: An Honest Meditation
An honest meditation that gets straight to the point.
8. Sheer Lev's Guided Dance Meditation
Let loose and just feel the music move through your body. Even if you're not a dancer, lock yourself up in your room and just move a little.
9. Deepak Chopra
If you want to know anything about alternative medicine, start with Deepak Chopra.
10. CorePower Guided Meditations
CorePower is not only a fierce yoga studio chain, but also offers meditations that help you use your breath to cultivate peace and harmony.
11. The Honest Guys
Okay, I just really like their accents.
12. MDNFL TV
MNDFL Meditation is a New York City meditation studio and I can't wait for quarantine to be over so I can experience the studio firsthand.
13. Sofia Adler
As a mindset and leadership coach, Sofia always knows how to support you through hardships.
14. Yoga With Adrienne
If you have ever searched for yoga on YouTube, you have definitely stumbled upon one of Adrienne's videos. It's time to check out her meditations, as well.
15. Tracks To Relax
Check out their Spotify playlists for more!
16. Alex Hooper's MIS-Guided Meditations
Becuase it's okay to relax, let loose, and have fun! Don't be so serious and, most importantly, enjoy yourself.
If you have any questions about meditation or interested in taking one of my classes, follow me on Instagram, and feel free to DM!