So, you’ve joined the app and AppMeditate community. Now what? To best support your wellness journey, we’re going to answer the most common questions about best supporting a meditation practice. These insider tips will make sure you get the most out of our guided meditation series.
1. Set up your daily reminder (with pleasant sounds)
Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to begin getting ready for your daily sit. This is especially helpful when you are first beginning your meditation and may need a bit of help to remember when it’s time to sit.
When you’re ready to begin, our guided meditations will help you enter into your meditation practice and run for the entire duration of your sit. No need for a second alarm! However, if at the end of the guided meditation, you wish to sit for an extended period in silence, then creating a pleasant bell sound to close your site is very helpful. A sound that is peaceful and gentle will be considerate of your deepened state at the end of your meditation.
2. What’s the best posture?
Meditation may be done in several ways: sitting down, moving, or laying down. For our guided meditations, we advise you to choose to sit down to promote wakefulness. Some people choose to lay down, but the risk of falling asleep increases, and you cannot meditate while you sleep! So unless you are listening to one of our sleeping meditation categories, we suggest you sit.
Choose a cushion, chair, or the floor. Make sure your spine is kept straight. This helps you have a healthy posture and it allows your blood and energy to flow most freely. Try not to slouch. Rest your hands gently in your lap, and hold the body up in a way that is integral but does not strain.
Some people ask, “is it best to sit in a lotus position?” And the answer is no, it is not necessary. You may sit in the lotus position if you choose, or with regular crossed legs if you like, but it is not necessary.
3. Should I meditate before or after I eat?
The simple answer is that it doesn’t matter. Meditation is about being with the present moment as it is, and so the sensations that come from an empty stomach or a full one are equally as valuable. Just keep in mind that the condition of your body will have predictable effects on your mind. This is a true moment to moment as much as it is true for meditation.
For example, if you eat spicy food before you meditate, then you can expect to feel a lot of firey sensations (heat, buzzing). Heavy food will give you earth sensations (heavy, perhaps tired). Drinking too much may make you have to go to the bathroom. If these effects distract you from your meditation and focus, then it is best to avoid these foods and meditate on an empty stomach or after a light meal.
If you find yourself feeling too airy (dizzy, unfocused), then it may be helpful to eat a light meal to help ground you into your physical body. This will put you in touch with your sensations during your sit and help prevent excessive daydreaming.
4. Should I sit alone or with others?
Ultimately, both approaches will work for you. Our guided meditations at AppMediate create a sense that the experience is being shared since we are guiding you through each meditation.
Sitting with others does help to create accountability and it is an excellent strategy to help you maintain your discipline and focus. When you carve space out to meditate with others on a regular basis, you are more likely to keep your practice alive in the long run. Play our guided meditations over speakers so that you and your partner or group can all follow the meditation at the same time. This will even give you an opportunity to discuss the meditation after it is complete. Many of us choose to sit with a group at least once a week.
Sitting solo is the most convenient option in terms of scheduling. Meditation helps to improve your discipline, and sitting solo requires this same discipline. For those who meditate during a passive commute, or as a part of their morning or nighttime routine, this option may work best.