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How to Focus & Avoid Distraction while Meditating

Learn how to focus and avoid distraction while meditating from yoga instructor Lisa Dawn Angerame in this Howcast video.


Hi, I'm Lisa Dawn Angerame. I'm one of the founding partners of Nava NYC, a collective of nine yoga and meditation teachers in New York City. Our website is Today I will be talking to you about meditation.

How to focus and avoid distraction is a question about meditation that we get all the time. But focus and distraction is, in fact, the practice of meditation. It is to stay focused, even with the distraction that comes. At any time in your meditation practice, there could be any number of distractions; a sound of a door opening, a car honking outside, a sound of a child's voice in the background. So, all of these things can pull you out of your meditation practice. But the practice of meditation isn't about turning those sounds off, or forcing yourself not to hear them. It is about hearing those sounds, letting them enter into your system, and just acknowledge it and let it go. But not to make a story out of it. Not to say 'oh, I hear a child crying' or 'oh, I hear a door opening or closing'.

The practice of meditation to focus, is to use a point of focus that is steady. So, for example, your breath. Your breath is always there. So you sit down on your cushion, or your block. You close your eyes. You begin to notice the breath, as it moves in and out of your body. You can count your breaths. So, on the inhale you can silently say 'inhale', and on the exhale say, 'exhale one'. 'Inhale', 'exhale two', and on like this. And when you notice that you're, all of the sudden, not counting, you lost your place, you just start again. 'Inhale', 'exhale one'.

Another way to focus yourself, is to use a mantra, like, 'Let Go'. On your inhale silently say, 'Let', and on your exhale silently say, 'Go'. So, your breath is your point of focus, your mantra is your point of focus, and any distractions that come are a test. They're actually good. You almost want those distractions, to see if you can allow yourself not to be drawn out of your meditation, and find that sense of calm that comes with not being drawn away. And then focus and distraction, are just part of your meditation practice.

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