It’s been studied that meditation helps improve well-being physically, mentally, and emotionally. For me, it feels like meditating connects me to the parts of myself that are powerful and clear, and lessens the parts of myself more prone to struggle.
However to get the benefits of meditation, one must actually mediate.
The form, format, duration of one’s meditation is less important, than the action and consistency of actually meditating. You don’t have to be on a certain cushion, or in a certain place at a specific time of day, to make this practice a consistent and powerful part of your life.
Unfortunately, many don’t meditate because of a lack of time, or not having enough alone time. Luckily, you can meditate more easily than you might think in some unexpected or public places. Oftentimes, you can do it discreetly without anyone noticing!
While certain places may be easier to meditate in than others, it’s very possible to drop into a powerful meditation in the park, on an airplane, or sitting in a waiting room. Don’t let your location stop you from fitting even a few minutes of meditation into your day! The tips below will help you learn how meditate more, regardless of where you are.
Here are 6 tips to get good at meditating anywhere (particularly in public)!
If you do not want people noticing you meditating, sunglasses are your best friend. These can make meditating on a park bench or train, simply make it seem like you’re just sitting there or thinking. If you’re sitting in a public place, with sunglasses on, people usually cannot see your eyes, and have no idea they are closed.
Sunglasses can also feel like your security blanket and allow you to go deeper into your meditation, without having to worry that you’re standing out or concerned that you’re being judged (although anyone who judges someone for quietly meditating, is missing out, in my humble opinion). Still, sunglasses take other people’s input and energy out of the equation of your personal meditation journey. Also, upon opening your eyes after a powerful meditation session and re-entering the public space you’re in, sunglasses make the transition a little gentler.
Headphones can make the biggest difference from being focused on the outer world versus tuning inwards toward a meditative state. Sometimes, the moment you have to meditate is in a loud place. Overhearing construction noises, someone’s conversation about what they ate for lunch, or a baby crying, can make it incredibly difficult to find your inner zen. Ambient music is my go to, and takes me from my sometimes chaotic surroundings, to a place of internal peace.
There’s also an abundance of apps and guided meditations to choose from, that you can access with headphones. My favorite combo to get into the zone in a public place is combining tip 1 (sunglasses) with tip 2 (headphones).
3. Remember that Even 5 minutes of Meditation is Powerful
Sometimes we have moments to meditate out in the world, that may be briefer than we think are worthwhile. Remember, even 3 deeps breaths or 5 minutes of meditation, can make a massive difference in your day! If you only have a few spare moments, it’s still beneficial to meditate.
For many, meditating consistently for a few minutes (or even seconds) per day, is more powerful in the long run, than practicing meditation once every month for several hours. It’s making meditation a regular part of your life that matters, so remember, the effort to meditate, is worthy, even if it’s not for as long as you’d like.
4. Public Transportation is a Perfect Meditation Opportunity
Often when we’re on the go on buses, trains, or planes, we spend time listening to music or reading. All too often, this time is spent mindlessly looking at our phones or doing nothing. Meditating during travel time, can turn your commute into the most potent and transformative part of your day.
On trains or buses, having a general idea of how far away your stop is can help you relax and drop in without worrying you’ll miss where you need to get off! Using headphones (and sunglasses) here can also make your meditation discreet and focused. I’ve meditated a lot on New York City subways and love to meditate flying on planes, during times I might otherwise just be sitting here.
5. Keep Touch With Your Belongings
In busier spaces or on public transportation, you’ll be able to relax more into your meditation if you’re physically touching your stuff and don’t have to worry about theft. The main reason for this tip, is the security of knowing your belongings are safe, which allows for a deeper meditation, free from worry and not on high alert!
Crime rates vary drastically around the world, but if you’re in a place that you’re visibly meditating, you’ll want to be sure to keep tabs on your backpack or belongings. You don’t have to hold tight, as even having your bag against your leg will allow you to feel if anyone tried to take it. Luckily, I’ve never had to come out of meditating in a public space because of theft, but again, it’s the ability to relax for a nice meditation session, that is the benefit of this tip.
6. Care Less What Others Think
Simply letting go of insecurity about another person seeing your meditating, is sometimes all you need to feel comfortable enough to calmly meditate in a place you may be visible to others. There is nothing to feel bad about for meditating, and not giving energy to worrying about what others think is liberating (whether in this instance or in general in life).
While sunglasses are useful in making yourself discreet, there’s nothing wrong with visibly and shamelessly meditating. For some, it’s harder to drop in knowing others can see them, but I’ve gotten more comfortable over the years, meditating on beaches or on planes when it’s possible others can see me. Caring less, allows for deeper meditation, which allows for more amazing benefits of meditation. Furthermore, meditating openly might inspire someone else to do the same when they feel like it.
Of course, some places and moments in time are more suited for meditation than others. You might have your favorite meditation spot, that gets you into the zone. That said, be flexible on where this powerful practice can transpire and use these 6 tips to meditate more, regardless of where you are!
By Keith Allen
Keith is a teacher on YogaDownload.com and teaches yoga internationally. Connect with him by practicing his yoga and meditation classes on YogaDownload, or connecting with him on Instagram or his website.
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