Mind & Body

How To Start Meditating – And Stick To It

Better sleep, glowing skin and a happier headspace: the benefits of meditation can be huge – but starting is often the most difficult step. Here, LA-based meditation expert SUSY MARKOE SCHIEFFELIN reveals how to find respite in the modern world


You will never have time to meditate until you make time to meditate

“The most powerful thing you can do is to commit. Start by deciding on a length of meditation that you are realistically able to commit to. It can be two minutes, it can be five minutes, it can be 20 minutes. You don’t have to go crazy, but start somewhere that feels digestible and possible for you. I recommend committing to five minutes per day. It might feel like a stretch at first, but five minutes of meditation is one of the greatest investments you can make. Many meditation apps have guided practices for set lengths of time, so you can choose a five-minute meditation or sound bath and receive guidance from a teacher to help you make the most of those minutes.”

There is no ‘right’ way to meditate

“There are so many different paths, so many different practices, and so many different modalities. Do not get overwhelmed! Ultimately, the only ‘right’ way is the one that works for you – and that may even change and shift throughout your life.”

Try meditating first thing in the morning

“There’s a saying that I think can be really helpful when it comes to meditation, and it’s RPM, which means ‘rise, pee, meditate’. The best thing you can do is to get your meditation out of the way first thing in the morning. If you let your day get away from you, chances are you are not going to have time. You will forget, life will happen, and then you will be too tired, believe your excuses and go to bed at night without having meditated that day.”

Start with a meditation app

“One of my favorite apps is the Alo Moves app. I have many sound baths and kundalini meditations on Alo Moves. Insight Timer is another great app that has guided meditations and a helpful timer, too.”

Then move on to a class…

“If you [can], try an in-person mediation class. There are so many great meditation studios out there, and one of my favorites is Unplug Meditation in LA, which also has a great meditation app and [a selection of] virtual classes. Don’t be afraid to try a few – finding a teacher you love and connect with is essential.”

Forgive yourself if your practice is imperfect

“You meditate for a couple of days in a row, and then life happens, you get busy, forget, and miss a day. And then, because we miss a day, we procrastinate, so then we miss another day. If you do this, forgive yourself and recommit. If you can meditate for only one minute that day, do it.”

You can meditate anywhere

“But find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed or interrupted. This should ideally be somewhere that feels safe and private to you. You might want to add different elements to the space that makes it feel calming and energetically aligned with how you want to feel – try adding fresh flowers or plants, which bring in life-force energy, [or] crystals, [which] bring in different healing energies. [Alternatively], have inspirational books or a journal nearby in case you want to read or write before or after you meditate.”

Feeling anxious? Try a sound bath

“If you often find yourself feeling wired, tired and anxious, I recommend trying sound-bath meditations. In a sound bath, specially attuned frequencies of sound are played that can help to effortlessly shift your brain waves into deep states of rest, relaxation, meditation and healing – the sound does the work for you.”

Meditation can help to enhance memory and make you look younger

“Seriously. It can help to improve sleep; it can help with pain management; it can help decrease blood pressure. It can also help you to look and feel younger [by decreasing your stress levels] – after all, stress is one of the greatest agers! Meditation can support you in being able to respond rather than to react, too. It helps you develop a sort of bird’s-eye view of life, so that you can observe the events of your life happening, but not feel swept up into them with a sense of urgency.”

Try meditating with crystals

“Rose quartz, clear quartz and amethyst are my favorite crystals to get started with when you are first beginning to meditate. Crystals can help to support you in a particular intention and help to bring in different energy. Rose quartz brings in the energy of compassion, love and forgiveness.”

Susy Markoe Schieffelin can be found on Instagram @thecoppervessel


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