3 tips from Atlanta experts to make meditating less intimidating

Resolve to slow down this new year


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Meditation doesn’t require fancy gear, but it does require sitting still and being silent, which can be intimidating to the uninitiated. Here, three experts share their tips.

Shop Around
“Sitting still is uncomfortable enough without having a voice or app that makes it more challenging,” says Meryl Arnett, co-owner of Sacred Chill West, which offers meditation classes as well as a weekly podcast called the Mindful Minute. “If you’re bored or just don’t get it, keep searching until you find a teacher or voice that speaks to you.” She likes the apps Calm and Headspace.

Start Small
Shannon Salter Sliger, owner of SAMA: Food for Balance, recommends beginners start with five or 10 minutes daily. Try warming up with light mat work first. At SAMA, the studio’s namesake class includes yoga and breathwork prior to meditation “to get your mind and body comfortable and ready to sit still,” explains Salter Sliger.

Practice Makes Perfect
“A lot of people expect to relax immediately, and they’re surprised that there’s some effort involved in meditation,” says Daniel Phillips, director of the Atlanta Shambhala Center. “You have to train your mind the same way you train your body.”

This article appears in our January 2019 issue.