5 Places to Meditate (that aren’t on a yoga mat or silent retreat)

5 Places to Meditate (that aren’t on a yoga mat or silent retreat)

If you’ve turned on the TV in the last few months there’s no doubt you’ve seen the commercials for the app Calm plastered on your screen.  Meditation, it’s all the rage these days!  There are apps, retreats, books, and entire youtube channels dedicated to it, showcasing just how important mindfulness and relaxation have become in our modern and fast-paced society.

ashley manley

Even with accessible as it is, some people are skeptical.  And, being totally honest, I get it.  If 5-years ago someone would have told me meditation would be part of my daily routine of my future self, I would have laughed and laughed.  “I won’t be that weird!” I would have thought.  But here I am, happy to wear a graphic tee bragging HEAVILY MEDITATED.

If you are someone that’s still doubtful over the meditation movement and that you could actually benefit, I hear you.  I also want to tell you as much as I understand your skepticism (for whatever reason) that I really believe incorporating it into your life, even if just for a few minutes daily, is so worth it.

Even if you are someone that feels uncomfortable with the thought of sitting in a room on a pillow with a huge mandala on it while burning incense and closing your eyes to the soft sounds of waterfalls, YOU CAN STILL MEDITATE!  It doesn’t matter what your religion is or where you live, meditation, when practiced regularly, can help you be more present in your life experiences and connect more with the people around you.  Meditation teaches us how to listen, how to pause, and how to calm the loudness of our minds…and let’s be real, who doesn’t need help with that?!

Whether you feel like you don’t have time to sit and meditate or you don’t feel comfortable trying it, today I’m sharing with you 5 ordinary places you can meditate in your everyday life.  As you read through these (and start trying them out!) remember: Meditation is NOT ABOUT EMPTYING YOUR MIND! That’s impossible! Our brains are always working! Meditation is about letting your thoughts happen without you becoming a hostage to them.  It’s about having better control over your focus and being more mindful.  And lastly- it is HARD! It takes practice.  Some days are better than others, but with time, you will get better.

Ok, let’s get to work!

WHILE DOING HOUSEWORK

We all have chores that we have to get done on a daily basis.  The good news is, using some of those less than desirable tasks we also get a chance to mediate.  My favorite way to mediate during housework like cooking or cleaning is to do a quick sensory scan.  While taking mindful breaths, ask yourself:

  • What do I feel? Hot water on my hands, the silverware in the sink, soap sliding through my fingers, etc

  • What do I see? Birds out the window, snow everywhere, dishes in the sink, a chip in a mug, etc

  • What do I smell? The soap, food cooking, etc

Continue to do this by asking yourself what you taste and hear as well.  Be slow to answer and continue to mindfully breathe!

WHILE ON A WALK

You could do a sensory scan, but you can also repeat a mantra and breathe “I live in a beautiful world” or “I am strong as I walk on this ground”…whatever you want it to be! Inhale, let the words float in your head, exhale long.  Really observe the things you walk by- focus on the beauty of your walk and power of your body instead of all the things outside of that moment.

WHILE DRIVING

First, KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN!  Much like the last option of meditating while on a walk, you can focus on what you see.  How many times have you driven somewhere only to show up at your destination and not really see anything you drove by?! Isn’t that so weird?!  Take time to really SEE the things you drive by.  Observe the houses, the benches, the fields.  

LAYING IN BED

This is a great time to try out an app or a guided meditation.  However, if you aren’t all about mixing technology and meditation, you can also do a short meditation based on a theme.  If I do my meditation in bed at the end of the day, I like to lay and think of all the things I’m grateful for from the day.  I start with a few deep breaths that I count: 1 (inhale) 2 (exhale) 3 (inhale) etc…all the way up to 10.  Then I repeat: I am grateful for (the nutritious food I ate, seeing my son read a book, watching my daughter laugh, my husband that works so hard…etc. Be specific and purposeful with your list!)

IN THE SHOWER

You can use any of the techniques I talked about for the previous scenarios while you are in a shower.  Your senses, a mantra, or reciting things based on a theme (gratitude, love, etc)


And there you have it! Easy tips and tricks to get you meditating in some of the least woo-woo spaces of your life.  Wherever you do it, be patient with yourself.  If your mind starts to wander, let it happen and gently bring your thoughts back to your breath…remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your ability to meditate!

Still have more questions on meditation? We explore it much deeper in week 3 of my eGuide Becoming Homegrown. You can learn more about it HERE!