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What’s the right amount of time to meditate?

Andy Puddicombe

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  • Question
  • Andy's answer


"Hi Andy — After successfully bumping my meditation session time from 10 to 15 minutes, I decided to try a 20-minute session. But I found that it was then much more difficult for me to sit still. Does the session length matter? Should I do 20 minutes because it’s so much harder for me, or should I do 15 minutes because 10 seems easy and 15 seems like a good balance?"

052917 MeditateTime Feature (WP)

Andy's answer:

Hi, thanks for your question and it raises several great points: how much is too much? What is the optimal amount of time to sit for? And does a harder session mean we are getting better results? Let's take one at a time... If it feels like too much time, it probably is. It's best to approach meditation much like anything else in life: start small, build up slowly and find your own personal sweet spot. For some people, this sweet spot is 10 minutes and for others, it's 60 minutes.

As for the final question: without wanting to sit on the fence, everything is about balance. If the session feels unbearable and continues to feel unbearable, and we are unable to discover the source of that resistance, then that is not time well spent. At the same time, it is often in those more challenging sessions that we discover the most about ourselves. But time alone is unlikely to be a good judge of this, so it would be my recommendation that you stick with your sweet spot, 15 minutes—a little longer than 10 minutes so it feels challenging, but not as long as 20 minutes so that it feels unhelpful or demotivating. Sound like a plan? Let us know how you get on and we'll be sure to take a look at how we can better give guidance on duration for those starting out on the Headspace journey.

Warm wishes,


READ NEXT: Can you meditate lying down?

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