How 10 minutes of meditation a day can change your life

by | Apr 19, 2017 | Wellness, Yoga

When was the last time you stopped and enjoyed a moment of complete calm, without thinking about the worries of work, the kids or what you’re having for dinner?

Sometimes the very thought of being fully present in the moment, without doubts about the past, or fears for the future, seems impossible and even stressful to some.

But such a thing is possible, according to Andy Puddicombe, top meditation guru and , the cofounder of, it’s easier to achieve than you think.

“I want to get as many people as possible to take 10 minutes out of their day to get a bit of headspace.

“Most people think they haven’t got time to meditate, they think they’re going to have to sit down for an hour and you really don’t.

“You wouldn’t run a marathon if you’ve never trained before, you start with a short run and build up – and it’s the same with meditation.”

The words meditation and mindfulness have become interchangeable in recent years, with the latter adopted as a term to debunk the myths around meditation. But Puddicombe’s quick to point out there’s a crucial difference:

Mindfulness is about being present in the moment, meditation is simply the technique in which you can learn mindfulness.”

Like any skill, you should learn to meditate and you can’t expect to get it right straight away.

“Your mind won’t automatically stop when you sit down to meditate,” says Puddicombe.

“The road was built to carry cars, your mind was built to carry thoughts, so you need to be realistic in your expectations.”

Puddicombe has 3 Analogies that are great when trying to understand the practice.


“Meditation shines a big light on your mind, which is like a road – sometimes it’s very busy, sometimes it’s very quiet.

“The temptation is to run out into the road and try to control the traffic – there’s a lot of resistance to negative thoughts and engagement with pleasant ones.

“We’re hard-wired into thinking, ’Oh my God, horrible thought, push it away’. So we’re constantly involved in all these battles rather than just watching the thoughts go by. But the more you witness the thoughts coming and going, the mind responds and the volume of traffic on the road decreases, so you have fewer thoughts overall.”


“Most people try a little too hard to meditate, like trying to get to sleep. But trying is the antithesis of relaxing. My Tibetan teacher gave me a nice analogy: in Tibet they have to capture wild horses to break them in and rather than grabbing hold of it and jumping on its back, they put it on the end of a really long rope in a big open space so the horse doesn’t feel like it’s being hemmed in.

“They slowly bring the horse in, so the horse gets used to being in a confined space, until it comes to a natural place of rest and then they can work more skillfully with the horse.

“Why should your mind immediately sit still simply because you start meditating? It’s been busy all day, so you need to slowly bring it to rest.”


“We’ve got this idea that through meditation, we’ve got to create a state of mind or a space of no thought. But that actually isn’t true. If you get in a plane and fly up through the clouds, on the other side is blue sky. The fundamental nature or essence of mind is like the blue sky, it’s always there, it’s just that we get so caught up in the clouds being the thoughts, that we forget there’s any blue sky there at all.

“Occasionally nice things happen and a bit of blue sky shines through but there’s such a momentum with all these clouds, we don’t get to experience much blue sky.

“Meditation is stepping back and allowing the clouds to part and pass so it reveals what’s already there, rather than trying to create relaxation or happiness or calm because that is a recipe for disaster. Meditation is rediscovering that blue sky.”


A step by step guide to a quick, easy and enlightening 10 minute meditation – provided by Andy Puddicombe. All you need is 10 minutes, and it can do wonders.

  • Sit with your hands resting in your lap or on your knees, keeping your back straight.
  • Your neck should be relaxed, with your chin slightly tucked in.
  • Un-focus your eyes, gazing into the middle distance.
  • Take five deep breaths, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.
  • On the last exhalation, allow your eyes to close.
  • Slowly settle into your body. Observe your posture and notice the sensations where your body touches the chair and your feet meet the ground.
  • Feel the weight of your arms and hands resting on your legs.
  • Acknowledge your senses: Notice anything you can smell, hear or taste; sensations of heat, cold, or wind.
  • Turn your mind inward. Scan your body from head to toe, observing any tension or discomfort.
  • Scan again, this time noticing which parts of the body feel relaxed. Spend twenty seconds on each scan.
  • Turn your awareness to your thoughts. Notice the ones that arise, without attempting to alter them.
  • Consider why you are sitting today. You may realize you are trying to stop your thoughts – remind yourself it is impossible to do so.
  • Next, observe the rising and falling sensation your breathing creates in the body. Notice where the sensations occur; whether they are in your stomach, chest or shoulders.
  • Focus on the quality of each breath, noticing whether the breaths are deep or shallow, long or short, fast or slow.
  • It’s normal for thoughts to bubble up at this moment, so simply guide your attention back to the breath when you realize your mind has started to wander.
  • Silently count your breaths as they pass; one as you inhale, two as you exhale, three on the next inhalation, and four on the exhalation, until you reach ten.
  • Then, start again at one.
  • Let go of any focus on the breath now. Spend thirty seconds just sitting. You may be inundated with thoughts or feel calm and focused – just let your mind be as it is.
  • Become aware of the physical feelings – the chair beneath you, your feet on the floor, your arms and hands in your lap. Notice anything you can hear, smell, taste or feel.
  • Slowly open your eyes.
  • Form a clear idea about what you are going to do next, like brushing your teeth or returning to your workday. It’s easy to jump up off the seat and lose the calm you’ve just created. Carry this awareness with you to the next activity.

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