Alternative Times for Meditation

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Morning meditation allows us to wake up and rise with the day. It’s easier to practice in the morning when the air is still fresh and our mind is not cluttered with too many thoughts. But then our schedule changes and we have to adjust.

In this article, we will discuss alternative times for meditation for those who cannot do their practice in the morning.

Midday, Before Lunch

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with work and get stressed. We eat lunch at our desk with eyes glued on the screen. Some people even feel guilty from taking a break because it feels like wasting time. The truth is taking a break helps us recharge and avoid burnouts.

When it’s time to take a break, leave your desk to sit and meditate. Find a place with minimal distractions. Turn off your gadget (except the stopwatch alarm, if you use it to time your practice). You don’t need to spend hours to meditate. It can be 5 to 10 minutes of conscious breathing before going for lunch. It’s the quality, not the length of time that matters.

Why not after lunch, you might ask.

It’s easier to meditate on empty stomach. When the body uses its energy to digest food, there won’t be much left to do other things. We’ll feel weak and heavy. It doesn’t mean we have to starve ourselves, though. Eating a fruit or snack or drinking a cup of tea before meditation will work.

Dusk, After Work

Another great time for meditation is after we go home from work. In Qi Gong practice, sunset is considered the time to greet the yinness of the night. Many yogis in the past practiced during sunset, calling it a sandhya kal (or sandhya kala).

Sadhguru defined sandhya kala as times of transition. It includes sunrise, sunset, midday, and midnight. He mentioned practicing during these times will help us transcend limitations.

Once we reach home, take a shower before hitting the cushion. Brew a cup of tea and listen to relaxing instrumental music. Don’t forget about meditating on empty stomach. Avoid heavy meals before doing your practice.

Except there are still works be done afterwards, we can spend more time to meditate during these hours.

Evening, Before Sleep

There have been mixed opinions regarding evening meditation. Some do not recommend evening meditation because it makes us alert. Others believe evening meditation helps us relax and sleep more easily.

Sri Chinmoy points that evening meditation will be challenging since for the whole day, our body has absorbed negative energies from our surroundings. However, he suggests anyone who wants to meditate at night to practice 30 to 40 minutes before eating dinner.

Whether evening meditation helps or disturbs one’s ability to sleep may depend on the types of meditation. When in doubt, ask your guru or instructor before doing your practice at night.

What about you? What’s your favorite alternative time to meditate?