Personal Trainer Holly Rilinger Resisted Meditating for Years, But Now It’s a Daily Habit that Changed Her Life

An opinionated ex had a lasting impact.

Loading the player...

When it comes to meditation, the world can be divided into two camps: People who meditate, and people who don’t meditate but have been told by multiple friends that they should “definitely try meditating.”

Nike Master Trainer Holly Rilinger used to be in Group B. It took the right person saying the right thing at the right time for her to give it a shot.

“I was a dating a girl who was very big into meditation,” says Rilinger. “She said to me, ‘You should really start to meditate because your life’s about to get really crazy.’”

She was right: Although Rilinger may look calm and breezy, she lives a jam-packed life. Rilinger teaches multiple fitness classes in New York City, is featured on the Bravo show Work Out New York, and is a certified personal trainer.

But like other non-meditators, Rilinger was resistant. “It’s kind of like when your mom tells you to do something, a lot of times you don’t want to listen,” she says. “But I would sit down with her sometimes, and I would meditate.”

The pro-meditation girlfriend would often sit for 30 minutes at a time, which Rilinger says is a bit too much for her to handle. “I wouldn’t always make it for the full 30 minutes,” she recalls. “I might make it for 10, or 15, or 20.”

“I did notice that it really allowed me to separate the crazy parts of my day,” says Rilinger. “It allowed me to separate from my thoughts. It allowed me to step outside of myself and create a space for myself.”

Most people find themselves with similarly busy schedules and could probably benefit from this mental down time. Numerous studies have shown that meditation may benefit people with a variety of conditions, including hypertension, menopause, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, and even cancer. These are conditions that may cause or be worsened by stress, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

“For me, doing it in the morning is really important because it lays down the foundation of calmness as I head into the rest of the crazy day,” says Rilinger. Find out more about why Holly starts her day with meditation.

But beyond the morning zen sesh, Rilinger also uses “micro meditation” throughout the day when needed. That means taking a quick minute or two to step away from the chaos and just do some mindful breathing to reset. Meditation strategies like counting meditation are great for on-the-spot relaxation.

Rilinger may be known for her physical strength, but her mental strength is just as important to her. Get more deets from Rilinger here: