Tis the season of New Year’s Resolutions, and for many that means not drinking (unless it’s green and tastes like hell), working out with a vengeance and generally taking care of ourselves. I say go ahead and get that body in shape but don’t forget about one important thing: your sanity!
For that reason, meditating is on the top of my New Year, New Me list and I hope it’s on yours too. For a look at why meditating is the best and some tips to get started (and keep it going), I recently checked in with fellow girl crush Ali Tate. She’s a model, vegetarian, feminist and an all around cool (and centered) lady. Let’s get into it!
Ali, thanks so much for taking time to talk. I’m still a beginner, but I love how relaxed I feel after meditating. How did you get started in the first place?
I started with meditation when I was very young, around 11 years old. I went to a soccer camp every year where we had mandatory meditation every day. I would relish the time we would lay down on a mat and shut out the world!
First of all, that’s the coolest soccer camp ever. Second, I wish I had started meditating (and, you know, speaking mandarin) when I was 11! It’s so much easier to form new habits as a kid. How has it stayed with you since then?
I really seriously started mediation when I was 21 and I would try to go to mindfulness classes, which then progressed into more complex meditations. I had a life transforming experience when I was meditating on an 8 day juice fast in Israel, and I saw colors and had an extreme sense of euphoria. It was after that I thought, “this really does something.” I also had a powerful experience in Bali this summer where I did a breath work meditation, and cried hysterically. But when I finished, I felt truly in line with the universe and so grateful for the gift of being alive. It was cathartic.
That sounds so intense and trippy! What does your practice look like in your current life?
Because I travel about 4 days a week, and I am trying to finish my degree online, have a relationship, and I just bought a house, my mediation practice has suffered. I wish I could devote an hour every day to it but that’s simply not possible. I feel myself getting back to that ‘normal’ state of being where I am anxious, overthinking, and feeling stressed out. I recently downloaded an app that takes me through a guided meditation for 10 minutes for 10 days in a row, and I can feel a great difference! I feel more relaxed and composed.
Yes! I think I have that same app! One thing that trips me up sometimes is what to wear while meditating. Are you in workout gear or just your OOTD or ….??
When I meditate I look like a hot mess. My outfit is always comfortable, and often bra-less. I don’t like to feel strapped in when I am trying to escape my mind.
That makes sense – will have to try ditching the bra. So do you encounter any common misperceptions about meditation?
One misperception about meditation is that it takes a long time before you actually reap any benefits, and that’s totally untrue. You can feel the benefits of mediation right after your first go. You will feel calmer and lighter, and with time, that feeing will be with you all the time if you keep meditating.
I am a testament to that. Finally, starting a new practice can be crazy intimidating. Any tips to help people get over the hump?
For anyone who is a little intimidated of all this hunky dory about meditation, don’t be. It’s so easy, and a natural state of being we all simply return to. We get so overwrought with thinking what with all the stimulus we have in modern society, but meditation is simply the art of letting all that go. You are not your passing thoughts, you are that stillness inside of you. All you need is to start with 10 minutes 3 days a week and see how you feel!
The “art of letting all that go” is very well put! Couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Thanks for the tips and inspiration Ali! xx