1. What should I wear?
Anything that feels comfortable is perfect. Sometimes I am in my PJs and other times I am still in my work clothes when I meditate.
2. Should I be breathing a certain way?
Nope. You want to breath normally without controlling your breath in any way.
3. Do I have to sit on the floor with my legs crossed like a pretzel when I meditate?
No! In fact, I encourage you to do what feel most comfortable for you. You could sit in a comfy chair or on the couch. You can even lie down. The idea is to be comfortable and not in pain during your practice.
4. When should I meditate?
Finding a time that works for you is the most important thing. If you are not a morning person, meditating in the morning probably won't work for you. The key is finding a chunk of time in your routine that you can dedicate to the practice so that the habit forms.
5. Where should I meditate?
Finding a place that is quiet with minimal distractions will be helpful.
6. What's the difference between mindfulness and meditation?
Meditation is practiced formally sitting down at a specific time and place. It cannot be practiced anywhere and anytime. For example, you would not meditate while driving a car.
Mindfulness on the other hand, can be practiced informally (any time/place) as well as formally (specific time/place). For example, you could practice mindfulness while riding your bike through the park or while eating dinner with your family. You could also do a formal mindfulness practice by sitting for a set amount of time and focusing on the present moment with kind attention.
7. Should I practice with my eyes open or closed?
It would be best to close your eyes for meditation and formal mindfulness practices in order to cut down on visual distractions.
Informal mindfulness practices can be practiced with your eyes open or closed. For example, you may mindfully look at a painting or mindfully eat a raspberry with your eyes closed.
Alyssa Mancini is a certified secondary biology and chemistry teacher. She started teaching high school biology and chemistry in 2007 and spent the first 12 years of her career teaching in NYC public schools. She is a registered yoga instructor, mindfulness facilitator, and herbalist. Her mission is to inspire and support teachers interested in bringing mindfulness and yoga to the classroom.