Inspired

Get Zen: A Guide to Meditation

January 27, 2017

We’ve organized our closets and cooked some healthy food, but there is one more thing on our 2017 to-do list: meditate. This is where INSCAPE comes in. The new meditation studio puts a contemporary spin on meditation and lucky for us, it just opened a few blocks from our office. (If you’re not in NYC, don’t worry, they also have an app!) We asked founder Khajak Keledijan to break down the world of meditating for us – if you’re a beginner, this guide is for you! Here’s to a zen year!

What is the biggest misconception people have about meditation?

People think it takes years to “become good” at meditation. Meditation’s a practice that takes practice but you can start feeling the benefits right away. Just like when you work out: it’s good for you even the first time… it becomes easier, but it’s still worthwhile even as a beginner.

Meditation isn’t an Eastern religion or all about monks. We focus on technique and we’ve re-imagined the approach to be secular, contemporary and relevant to 21st century living. Balance is a pillar we live by, it's key to integrate mindfulness into your life, rather than go from one extreme to another. I haven't given everything up. I've found a balance of modern wellness and mindful luxury.

You don't need to stop your thoughts during meditation - it's impossible to completely shut down your thoughts. It's okay if your mind wanders during meditation. If you shut down your thoughts, you die! The way it's marketed isn't necessarily correct. The only thing you can do is tame your thoughts down.

What’s the easiest way to get started?

For you to make a habit and familiarize yourself with meditation, you can start by using an app. Ours is designed so you can jump right in. You install the app, answer a few questions and hit the play button.
In today's fast-paced world, the ability to relate to the experience and integrate it into your life easily is key to creating new habits. If you use the app in the same environment, at the same time every day, you’re starting to create a habit where the distractions are minimized because the noises and sounds are familiar.

You can also start in a group setting because generally the environment is controlled. You can take the essence of what you've experienced in a group setting and then immerse yourself into that state wherever you are, via the app. The two experiences complement each other.

Top tips for beginners:

1. Choose a time of day to dedicate to your practice. Consistency is a major component when you're creating a new habit.

2. Utilize breath work exercises when you're new to meditation. These experiences keep you present and focused.

3. Find a consistent space to meditate where you are accustomed to the sounds, scents and other environmental factors that can be distracting. The more you meditate within the same, familiar space, the fewer distractions you will have, which makes it easier to stay focused and present.

4. In our app, we designed our content to guide the user gently. I recommend starting with breath work that’s under five minutes (in our relaxation section) to become used to centering yourself and focusing inward.

In NYC? Visit INSCAPE at 45 W. 21st Street, #1
New York, NY 10010

INSCAPE is offering Veronica Beard customers one month free access to the app. To download, click here.