What do you get when you combine 2,000 crazy-busy, mindful New Yorkers, a 20-minute group meditation and sound bath, live musical performances, plus a bunch of uber-cool wellness brands?
The Big Quiet’s latest (and largest) event yet.
Last night, the meditation social club—in conjunction with Well+Good!—put on a magically zen event, filled with cool in-the-know brands, from MNDFL meditation, Sky Ting Yoga, and downtown-girl activewear fave Outdoor Voices, to feminine hygiene innovator Thinx and travel-savvy luggage brand Away. Plus, there were deliciously healthy snacks and treats from Sweetgreen, Inday, and Sweet Loren’s—and even a special celebrity sighting.
If you weren’t lucky enough to catch the meditation in person (although it’s still available to check out via Facebook Live on our page!), we’ve tapped all the wellness gurus in attendance for meditation intel: habits, tips, and tricks for brand-new meditators and seasoned vets alike.
Scroll down to find out brilliant wellness hacks for your next meditation session.
1. Learn from a pro
Co-founder & special programs director, Sky Ting Yoga
Find a teacher, whether it’s in an app if you can’t go to a class or see an in-person teacher—find one however you can. It shouldn’t be a guessing game; meditation takes practice!
2. Be consistent
There are four things I recommend: First, a consistent amount of time. Just 10 minutes a day goes a long way. Two: Meditating at a consistent time of day. Three: Always choosing a consistent environment. If you can get to MNDFL and do a class with us, great, but if you even just have a cushion at home, or a candle, an incense burner, a statue, an image of someone you admire—something that says, “This is where I meditate”—that’s helpful. And four: Keeping to a consistent pace. If you do something 11 days in a row, it starts to become habit-forming in the brain. If you can do it 11 days in a row for 10 minutes a day, you’ll launch the practice.
3. Don’t let a wandering mind discourage you
Creative director, Inday
When meditation “isn’t happening,” it is actually happening! When I get distracted and my mind wanders—which is pretty much every time—I realize and bring it back. No judgment or anger. That is the key to mindfulness: Not letting self-judgment bring you down. Once you are able to do this, you will be on your way to true happiness.
4. Utilize meditation at work
Chief marketing officer, Parsley Health
I’m lucky to work in a place where going to meditate when you need to is totally acceptable. When I feel stressed out, I go meditate. Or, if I see someone is getting frustrated, I tell them to go meditate. It helps us not hold on to things as much, and professionally, I can see the bigger picture better.
5. Let meditation permeate your whole life
Head of community and events, Thinx
One of the greatest things I learned is that life is your meditation—it’s not 20 minutes on a mat. It’s how I see and speak to you. It’s how I live my life. It’s me being more physically present and authentic in how I interact. I light a candle, sit with my eyes closed, and just be present with myself and my thoughts. There’s this notion that meditation is not having any thoughts, but really it’s about having peace with the thoughts that do arise.
6. It doesn’t have to be a huge thing
Rather than finding new time to meditate, leverage the time you have—like on your daily commute. Whether you’re on a train or have some sort of waiting time between two things, just replace the time you would spend on your phone and sit with your eyes closed—just count your breath for whatever that time is. Don’t even think of it as meditation, just allow yourself to be still for those few minutes. You don’t have to make it a big thing but the second you sit and count 10 breaths, that’s all you think about, you’ll understand how it makes you feel. Once you feel it, it’s hard to stop doing it.
7. Meditate like you exercise
CEO, Outdoor Voices
I used to use fitness and movement as my form of mind-clearing meditation, so it’s been eye-opening for me to take sort of the opposite approach by finding stillness and not moving. There is so much value in that stillness. I think it’s way harder to do, but it’s so important and helpful.
8. Let meditation replace your snooze alarm
Brand partnerships, Away
I usually wake up and, before getting ready or having anything to drink or eat, I’ll meditate for 10 minutes. I have an insanely difficult time waking up in the morning—I usually have to blast NPR to wake myself up—but meditation has helped me so much with waking up first thing.
9. Keep it simple
Co-founder & yoga director, Sky Ting
The most important thing is to keep it simple and commit to a certain amount of time and a certain number of days. Start small and build from there.
Ready to try meditating? This five-minute meditation will stress-proof your mind. And don’t stress if you have trouble getting started—Lena Dunham can relate.