Start off the New Year on a harmonious note by calming your mind, body and soul with these tips on meditation.

You have a hectic schedule and a full social calendar. You have a family to take care of, and you’re often worried about what you need to do for work the next day. You have your cell phone glued to your hand all day and by your nightstand at bedtime. You run at 100 km per hour running errands and barely take the time to slow down to breathe because, let’s face it, there aren’t enough hours in the day for you to get things done. Sound familiar?

The question for many of us is: When do we make time for ourselves? Are we allowed to let go of the daily rigors of life to wind down and catch our breath? The answer is yes, if you want it.

One of the great ways to decompress is through yoga or meditation. And before you think “meditation, what?” it’s not what you think. Quite often, when one thinks of meditation they think of Indian gurus chanting mantras, legs crossed on mats amidst a room filled with smoking incense wafting in the air. While you can do that, all it really takes is a few minutes of quiet time to yourself. Not only will you feel peaceful and relaxed, you’ll also become more alert and happy.

At the opening of the new Chopra Yoga Center in Toronto, members of the media were treated to a tour of the facilities (located on Queen’s Quay at Spadina) including the many yoga and wellness rooms. We also did a meditation demo class led by one of the centers certified instructors, Donna Diodoro, who gave great tips on how important meditation is and how to do it.

“Day to day, we’re so frazzled and so busy that’s it’s important we come out of that and quiet our minds and relax our bodies,” Diodoro says. “Meditation does that. When you relax your mind, your body rejuvenates, recovers and repairs. Twenty minutes of meditation will give you the results of two hours of sleep.”

Tips on meditation:

  • Start your routine with the notion of RPM: Rise, Pee, Meditate. Yes, you read it right. It means, when you wake, go to the washroom and then meditate. According to practitioners this is a great time to do your meditation so you can start your day with peace, calm and harmony.
  • Quiet your mind slowly. At the beginning you definitely have some thoughts coming and jumping at you. But if you don’t give them any energy you can start to relax and go to your mantra, sound or an affirmation that you repeat than that will really help to quiet and slow your mind down.
  • At home, find a quiet space and use the same space all the time. You need to build a routine in the same spot.
  • Light a candle or incense. With a certain scent your mind with identify with it and will immediately know  that it’s time to quiet down and relax.
  • Repeat a mantra, an affirmation or listen to calm music.
  • Start by meditating for five to ten minutes and work your way up to 20 minutes.
  • You can also do an active meditation through walking or  jogging. It doesn’t have to be inside on the mat.


The Chopra Yoga Center offers yoga and meditation classes as well as Naturopathic Medicine, Ayurveda, Massage Therapy and Holistic Nutrition. Location: 350 Queens Quay West, Suite 204, Toronto, Ontario.


—Toni-Marie Ippolito




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


HTML tags are not allowed.