Many of us want to be a little calmer, find peace and feel more balanced in our daily lives but we simply don’t know where to start. To give you some inspiration on cultivating your own practice, we reached out to a pro. Our resident yogi expert, Charlotte Dodson, is one seriously Zen babe. We endeavoured to channel a little of her calm and balance when we chatted to her about her daily meditation practice.

Do you meditate? If so, how often?

Yes, I meditate on a daily basis! My ‘Mysore ashtanga yoga’ practice is my moving meditation method, which I practice everyday for approximately two hours.

It’s a mindful technique wherein practitioners move with their breath, using a distinct reference point to turn inwardly, allowing the continuous flow of the sequences to guide them further into a deep state of peace, well-being, strength and openness.

Where do you like to meditate?

I study with my teacher, Eileen Hall on a daily basis, which enables me to constantly develop my mindful practice. When I’m on the road, I love to practice near the ocean – soaking up the positive vibes and immersing myself with nature. I feel more connected to the earth this way as it provides a deep sense of serenity and helpful grounding energies.

Do you prefer mornings or night?

I love meditation in the mornings, it’s the best method to getting a head start on your routine! I begin my practice around six in the morning or even earlier. It sets me up in a positive way for the whole day.

If your mind is full, what do you like to do to get in the mood and calm down?

A few deep exhalations can brush any “monkey mind” chatter away, and legs-up-the-wall will calm a few busy nerves as well. Alternatively, going for a brisk walk along the ocean’s edge is a form of meditation in itself, and very effective at relaxing the emotions.

Why do you think meditating is so important?

Meditation is like an inner sanctuary to which you can retreat – at any time – and simply be yourself. Every time I practice this moving meditation, it cultivates a sense of both lightness in my body and clarity in the mind. It puts me into a gentle space of kindness and ease – viewing the world in a positive light.

What’s you advice for first-time meditators?

Begin in a simple way: sit quietly in a special place (maybe under a tree or near the water) and take a few deep breaths. Let your exhalation be a release – a feeling of letting go. Don’t worry if you catch your mind wandering to thoughts of the past or future, just simply bring it back to a resting point that’s found on your breath. In time, you can train your mind to quieten and observe rather than focus on any thoughts as they pass through your awareness. By giving yourself this precious timeout, you’ll always feel refreshed and revitalized, and ready to take on the world with clarity and grace.

Feature image shot by Chris Prestidge / @atdusk