Vedic Meditation teacher and wellness expert Jacqui Lewis lends her knowledge on reaching ultimate zen.
What’s the best time of day to meditate?
Ultimately meditation can be done at any time at all! I recommend first thing in the morning as then it’s done, and the day can begin after that with a clearer more grounded approach. In Vedic Meditation it’s twice a day for 20 minutes. It sounds like a lot, but the productivity pay-off is unparalleled. 20 minutes of meditation = 2 hours of rest/sleep. So you’re better off to wake up a little earlier and get in your meditation – you’ll feel better for it. I also recommend an afternoon meditation, around 3pm. Replace your usual caffeine/sugar hit with a quick 15-20 minutes. You’ll be refreshed and powering for hours.
What’s the benefit of meditation?
The most beneficial result I see is the reduction in stress, tension and fatigue, and the clarity that comes with Vedic Meditation. It’s a truly remarkable way in which to also be happier, calmer, experience better physical health, and less anxiety, worry and fear. It really does make you a more grounded person.
Are meditation methods for mums different to “normal” meditation methods?
With Vedic Meditation we aim for 20 minutes meditation twice a day, and with mum’s there is a special mums program. For mum’s (either pregnant or with little bubs) they can meditate as little or as long as they like, and however many times they need, as it’s incredibly nourishing and nurturing and alleviates the fatigue and stress that stores in the body with babies involved. It’s also important for mums not to beat themselves up if they miss a mediation, a day or a week. We don’t want to add more stress – we want to take it out!
What sort of things should you do before you meditate?
All types of meditation are practiced very differently! It’s something that is like sport, you do them differently and get different results from them. With Vedic, we sit anywhere with the back supported and simply close our eyes. No chanting or sitting in uncomfortable positions. It’s best not to eat or have any stimulants before meditation – they two don’t work so well together.
Is it recommended for pregnant ladies to meditate?
I think it is one of the most valuable tools a pregnant woman can have. Rest, rejuvenation, connection with your ever-changing body. It’s a godsend!
How long does meditation take?
Vedic Meditation sessions take between 10-20 minutes per sitting, and we aim for 1-2 a day. Two sessions a day is where the magic happens, but even one meditation a day results in a massive benefit.
Are there certain iPhone apps you can recommend for beginners?
For beginners that want to dip their toe in, I would recommend Smiling Mind. For the people that are ready for a life changing practice, that is easy and successful, I would recommend Vedic. Or try a ‘mind cleanse’ – it’s a great way to learn about the basics and clear the clutter from your mind before you jump into the real deal.
What are things you should think of when you meditate, or is it best to clear your mind?
We think a mantra in Vedic Meditation that is given to each student by a teacher in person. Then it’s the way in which we use that gets the results. So with Vedic we practice in an effortless way and that is what clears the mind. There’s no stopping the thoughts and taming the monkey mind or anything like that, it occurs naturally as a result of how we practice. Nice and easy, no strain and frustration.
Jacqui Lewis is also the co-founder of The Broad Place.
What’s your favourite way to meditate? Tell us in the comments below…