• Grace Gavilanes

How Yoga Teachers Meditate (& What You Can Be Doing Differently)

Grace Gavilanes is a Chicago-based writer who is embarking on her first-ever yoga journey using the Yoga Wake Up app.


Turn off your TV. Get cozy. Close your eyes. Breathe.

Sound familiar?

While yoga focuses on movement, meditating is all about staying still, balancing your breathing and steadying your focus. With everything that’s happening in the world right now, a moment of zen might be all you’re craving. So, we enlisted three of our favorite yogis for their expert tips on how they meditate. Spoiler: Their advice will inspire you to keep up your practice!

Keep reading to find out how the pros do it – and then try it out yourself with our Yoga Wake Up app.

3 Yoga Teachers Reveal Their Meditation Tips



Ali Owens, @aliomyoga

Yoga and meditation teacher with 12 years of experience

Starting out is always difficult - what tweaks have you made to improve your meditation experience?

I have invested in props and essential oils that improve my meditation experience. The props I love are yoga bolsters and an eye cover. I buy essential oils periodically and apply them or use a diffuser during my practice.

Why do you meditate?

I meditate to keep a balanced mind. I use it as a tool to return to the present moment when I get caught up planning for the future or analyzing the past. I use it as a way to develop better clarity and focus. I also use it to energize my body when I am feeling fatigued or calm my mind so I can fall asleep.

What is your tried-and-true tip for the best meditation session?

I suggest letting go of expectations. Our practice is always available to us. Oftentimes, I drop into a meditation the moment I feel out of alignment. This can be a short 60-second practice or, if I find myself with more time, I may set up an optimal environment with music, essential oils, proper support so I can recline, etc. I think if we approach the practice with an open mind, we have a better experience – perhaps better than the one we originally planned or anticipated.



Derek Beres, @derekberes

Los Angeles-based author and fitness instructor with 20+ years of experience.

Starting out is always difficult - what tweaks have you made to improve your meditation experience?

To not have any goal. I’ve found that when I approach meditation with a specific goal I rarely stick with the format. I simply enjoy the quiet now. This way, I’m able to be engaged with the process of observation without any destination.

Why do you meditate?

I sit for 10-20 minutes depending on the day and how I’m feeling. I try to sit daily, though that does not always happen. Meditation is a bonus to my physical routine, which involves weight training, cycling, and yoga.

What is your tried-and-true tip for the best meditation session?

I don’t like to get caught up in terms like “best” as it’s like grading my quiet time on a scale. If I let go of expectations and just sit and breathe, I usually stand back up a bit calmer and more focused. That’s all I could ask for.



Emilie Perz, @emilieperzyoga

Movement specialist and yoga educator with over 20 years of experience

Starting out is always difficult - what tweaks have you made to improve your meditation experience?

There is never a perfect moment or right time. Put the simplicity of the practice into use whenever you need it. Traffic, at your desk, in an elevator. Once you learn how to tune in you can take the practice with you everywhere.

Why do you meditate?

I meditate to keep my nervous system in check so I can sleep better and be less anxious throughout the day. I practice every day for up to 20 minutes at a time. But no set time/schedule.

What is your tried-and-true tip for the best meditation session?

Doing slow, continuous breath work (counting my breath, Nadi Shodhana, etc.) prior to my meditation to ground my body, focus my mind and allow my heart rate to slow down.

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