190: How to Create Guided Meditations with Kelly Smith
In most typical or mainstream yoga class settings, an aspect of yoga that doesn’t get too much attention is meditation. Many of us have encountered students complaining that they don’t have time to meditate or people who really struggle with laying still and quieting their minds – perhaps that’s even something you have struggled with. There’s where guided meditations can be helpful, and Kelly Smith has some tips and insights for us on the topic.
Kelly Smith is a meditation teacher, yoga teacher trainer, and the founder of Yoga For You, a location independent yoga and meditation school. She also hosts the Mindful in Minutes podcast, where she shares her personal guided meditations. By focusing on the less physical yoga practices like meditation, yoga nidra, restorative yoga and mindful flows, Kelly helps people find their true selves and begin living the joyful life they deserve through mentorship, private sessions, teacher trainings and online courses.
Kelly shares some of the benefits of meditation and highlights some of the differences between guided imagery, guided meditations and savasana. She has tips on how to write guided meditations and the nitty-gritty details of how to record a meditation and share it online. Kelly also tackles some of the common misconceptions around meditation, and why it’s so important to meet your students where they are in their meditation journey.
If you’ve been wondering how to get students interested in meditation, how to create your own guided meditation practice, or how to get those meditations online, this interview with Kelly is a great starting point.
[8:07] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode – Kelly Smith.
[9:33] Where did Kelly’s journey with yoga begin?
[12:53] What are three things Kelly would highlight to people that want to skip out on savasana?
“No one ever educated me on the benefits or why we do savasana.”
[15:09] Shannon and Kelly discuss why it’s so important to meet students where they’re at when it comes to meditation.
[17:38] How long do you need to meditate to get the benefits of meditation?
“The science shows us that anywhere from 8 to 12 minutes a day is enough to get the neurological and physiological benefits of meditation.” ~ Kelly Smith
[20:11] What does Kelly offer now in terms of meditation?
“There’s this common misconception that meditation is kind of like doing nothing. If that’s what people think, then we haven’t done our job in educating our students.” ~ Kelly Smith
[21:37] What is the difference between some of the common forms of mediation like guided meditation, guided imagery and Savasana?
[26:19] Where can we start if we decide to write our own guided meditations? What are some steps to follow?
“We start by writing the guided meditation by thinking about how the story that we’re telling is going to end.” ~ Kelly Smith
[27:55] Kelly walks through an example of what writing your own guided meditation could look like.
[33:44] What has Kelly learned along the way in creating and writing meditations?
[39:48] Kelly recommends keeping a big document as your Idea Parking Lot, and a separate document to record descriptive words and images.
[42:09] How can you record and share a guided meditation or guided savasana for your students to take home?
[44:20] Find out more about Kelly’s work at her website.
[46:13] Shannon shares her key takeaways for this episode.
- 2021 Planning Party
- Kelly Smith, Yoga for You
- Mindful in Minutes Podcast
- How Meditation Can Reshape Our Brains: Sara Lazar at TEDxCambridge 2011
Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity and Pelvic Health Professionals
Thank you Shannon! What I have always loved about you is your courage to say “I don’t know” and then to follow up with “lets learn more”. I feel like this podcast is the perfect way to take me a long your learning journey. Your willingness to show up as you is so inspirational. You always manage to ask the questions I need to hear answers to. I am so glad I listen, it truly helps me feel connected to other yogis and highlights that the search for knowledge is a connected thing.
Thanks Amanda! Your words mean so much.
Thanks Shannon for your ongoing work on the podcast. As a long time listener, it’s great that you offer such a diversity of topics. This episode was really relevant for me right now as I have a guided meditation project coming up. I appreciate that the podcast has gone on so long, there’s such depth to the episodes. If I need a resource, all I need to do is check the podcast library. I appreciate the long term resource.
I am so glad that this episode is landing at the perfect time for your guided meditation project Christa! Thanks for taking the time to share a comment and tell me how it is helping you.
Thank you for this episode! Like you, Shannon I appreciated Kelly’s suggestion of a ‘virtual parking lot’ for new ideas. One thing that I would like to add was that a discussion about people who skip Savasana must recognize that people with a history of trauma can have great difficulty with stillness and attending to internal sensations. It can trigger a trauma response where they feel overwhelmed and emotionally dysregulated. Educating them about the benefits of Savasana will not change this response and we can risk eliciting shame when people feel like something is wrong with them or they can’t do it ‘right’. What can help is the teacher recognizing that this can happen during Savansana or meditation and offering options. For example, offering options for positioning the body (e.g. lying on side or front, or sitting – perhaps with the back against the wall) or option to keep eyes open can be helpful. Trauma-sensitive yoga (TSY) and mindfulness training is becoming more widely available and accessible. Some resources are: http://www.davidtreleaven.com, http://www.traumasensitiveyoga.com and there are many books on the subject. My dream is for TSY to be incorporated into every 200-hour YTT!
Thanks so much for reaching out and sharing your love for this episode. I have to remind myself about the idea parking lot so often. I want to just dive into new projects, so this helps me a lot in my entire business.
I haven’t studied much meditation so this episode caught my attention. I think I’ve shied away from teaching meditation because I didn’t know what to say. It never occurred to me that I could write my own scripts (duh!). The format that Kelly shared was simple yet powerful. I look forward to giving it a try. Thanks, Shannon, for having great diversity in your podcast topics. I always find something of interest and learn something new.
Thank you, Mary, I’m so glad you found this episode helpful!