Meditation by Alysa

What are the benefits of keeping up a regular meditation practice? According to the American yoga teacher Alysa Volpe, it delivers more than just a feeling of calm.

Can regular meditation practice make you more beautiful?
– Beauty is subjective, isn’t it? I think it helps increase one’s ability to appreciate beauty when it enters your life, whether it’s the beauty of the sky, or the uniqueness of a crooked smile. If you’re able to lessen the constant expectation for yourself to look a certain way to ‘be beautiful’, then you can relax. You can laugh more and that always makes one more beautiful!

When it comes to meditation, what are the biggest mistakes beginners make?
They believe they aren't supposed to think and that there’s a right and wrong way of doing it. The mind will wander. Observe that with curiosity instead of with expectations or judgmental assertions and then just return to your breath, a mantra, an image, or whatever meditation tool resonates with you. 

How can you make your meditation more fruitful?
First you have to not judge your meditation as good or bad…it just is! Sometimes we try to make these practices too difficult and elusive. It's as if you must have a special brain to meditate… which is just not true. 

What are your best tips on how to meditate in an easy and fun way?
– I think finding a comfortable and undisturbed spot in your house or outdoors is a good way to begin. Setting a timer will keep you from being distracted with worry regarding time, too. It is important to set a schedule and make it regular, but don’t get overly attached – it doesn’t matter if you miss a day or two. It’s not an ‘all or nothing’ sort of practice, just set an intention to do it and feel pleased with yourself when you do.

Words by: Photographs by: Alysa Volpe