Guided meditations for beginners are a great way to familiarize yourself with the practice without taking up too much time. Whether you’re new to mindfulness or have trouble focusing, these two short sessions can help and take less than 10 minutes.
As the name suggests, guided meditations are conducted by an expert via audio or video. Anyone can use guided meditations, but they’re especially helpful for those learning to meditate (opens in a new tab)as they can help you stay focused, clear your mind and restore some inner peace.
“For beginners and those easily distracted, guided meditations offer a structured path toward these desired outcomes,” Derek Aidoo, meditation coach at audio-guided workout app, WithU (opens in a new tab), tell us. “With guided meditation, one can relax and rest assured that they will journey to calmness and peace,” adds Aidoo.
We spoke to meditation instructors to help unpack the practice and explain the benefits guided meditation for beginners can bring. We’ve also included some guided meditations that you can try for yourself.
Derek Aidoo has been teaching meditation for over 10 years after forming a passion for helping others develop a foundation of positive thinking to deal with stress and understand themselves more deeply. He is committed to assisting people in developing the tools needed to meet life’s ever-present challenges.
What are guided meditations?
Guided meditations are meditations led by a meditation instructor or teacher. This can happen in person or through video and audio recordings.
“Depending on the technique, the instructor may offer various suggestions to support the listener in cultivating mindfulness and compassion,” Dora Kamau, Mindfulness and Meditation Teacher at Headspace (opens in a new tab)explains.
“In a guided meditation, a teacher can share what meditation is about and how to approach it with your mind,” Kamau continues. “They will also share and explain the technique used and offer guidance on integrating meditation into their daily lives.”
Dora Kamau’s journey of meditation and mindfulness began in 2010. After experiencing a series of unfortunate events, she began exploring holistic approaches to healing her mind, body, and spirit. By 2016, Dora was fully engaged in a daily practice. In 2019, she completed a 200-hour formal meditation teacher training with the Lab of Meditation.
Some people try meditation and find they can’t sharpen their focus, stop the mental rush, or be present. But try not to worry—it’s a common challenge, especially if you’re just starting out. However, guided practice is great meditation advice for beginners (opens in a new tab) try.
Instead of trying to do too many things at once, all you have to do is sit back, relax, and allow your teacher to carry you on your journey to a calmer state of mind.
Guided meditations for beginners
So that you don’t have to hunt down some expert-guided meditations for beginners, we’ve rounded up three guided sessions to get you started. All you need is 10 minutes and a quiet place to sit. A set of training earphones (opens in a new tab) it can help drown out some background noise if needed.
Try Aysha Bell’s 10-minute visualization guided meditation
This 10-minute practice from meditation coach Aysha Bell (opens in a new tab) (registered exclusively for Fit&Well) uses a technique known as visualization meditation. To begin, sit upright cross-legged with your spine long and straight.
Keep your hands pointing down (to help you ground yourself) or up (said to encourage receptivity). Find a quiet space, watch the rhythm of your breathing, and start visualizing Bell’s instructions.
Aysha Bell is a meditation coach specializing in transformative healing and trauma release. Bell does this through sound, yoga, tantric breathing, manifestation, journaling and meditation.
Try Dora Kamau’s three-minute calming guided meditation
Need help keeping your mind off racing? In this short three-minute guided meditation, Dora Kamau, meditation instructor at Headspace, shares a grounded visualization meditation practice to help bring your mind back to the present moment.
All you have to do is find a quiet space, adopt a comfortable and relaxed position and start practicing Dora’s breathing techniques to gently clear the clutter from your mind and increase your mental strength (opens in a new tab).
Are guided meditations good for beginners?
Guided meditations are a great starting point for beginners. “Guided meditations can relieve the listener’s mental pressure by allowing him to gently follow spoken cues that bring him to a state of peace,” says Aidoo.
“Just a few minutes a day can improve your confidence and truly provide you with the mental break you need to manage your mental health and contribute to your daily self-care.”
And, when it comes to self-care ideas (opens in a new tab)Meditation is a valuable skill to have in your wellness toolbox. Not only is it free and may only take a few minutes, but research tells us that meditation has many psychological and physiological benefits.
In a study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology (opens in a new tab)researchers claimed that just 15 minutes of meditation could boost your well-being and reduce stress levels and compared it to the benefits that a day of vacation can bring.
While the research published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (opens in a new tab) found that slow breathing (a common meditation technique) helps reduce anxiety, anger and depression.
Learning a new skill can seem daunting, so guided sessions are the perfect option for beginners. You are guided through the practice by an expert and taught the tools needed to develop mindfulness throughout the day.
“A guided meditation is like having an expert driver sitting next to you when you’re learning to drive,” Kamau tells us. “Not only do they give you instructions, but they can provide encouragement and support.”
“As we become more experienced with guidance or meditation, we may reduce the amount of guidance we need, or we may still want company with us to enjoy the journey.”
Are there any guided meditation apps?
There are many guided meditation apps and websites that you can use for quick sessions and longer practices. Some of the best known are Headspace (opens in a new tab) and Calm (opens in a new tab)which are premium services but offer free trials if you want to try them out before committing.
Surprisingly, many of the best workout apps (opens in a new tab) they also include meditation sessions. In recent years, there has been much more attention to holistic approaches to mindfulness, fitness and wellbeing.
That’s why Chris Hemsworth’s workout app Centr (opens in a new tab) has guided meditations for beginners, like this 10-minute breathing session (opens in a new tab) led by Hemsworth himself.
Meditation helps you develop mindfulness, an awareness of the present moment. But that’s not the only way to add mindful moments to your day. And our sister site, Coach, has a guide to the best mindfulness apps (opens in a new tab) to meditate and improve your well-being.