Monday, October 31, 2011

60 Day Meditation Challenge-Week 1

Week 1
                What is meditation?  It is the practice of relaxing and turning inward.  By working to “tune out” the mind chatter, to do lists and worries, meditation offers the unique opportunity to focus completely on yourself and what YOU need.  The benefits are numerous, but some of them include stress reduction, calm mind, and an open heart.  As we progress through the 60 days, you may find that you have more energy, patience and compassion.  That’s meditation!  Helping you to live your life rather than muddle through it.
 The first principle of meditation is “Be kind to yourself.”  Meditation doesn’t have to be hard, boring or serious!  You are engaging in an activity (or non-activity as it were) designed to be nurturing.  When you sit for meditation, do so with the spirit of taking care of yourself.  Don’t try to control the situation or outcome, and don’t become angry with yourself for doing it wrong.  I’ve got news for you!  You can’t mess up meditation.  As long as you’re sitting and breathing, you’re doing it right!
The Breath
                Each week we will practice a new breathing technique that can be used prior to meditation.  Breathing before meditation can help to quiet and balance the mind, thereby making your meditation practice more seamless.  For week one, we are simply going to observe the breath.  For a minute or two before meditation, just sit, close your eyes and breathe naturally.  Don’t try to change or control the breath, just observe it!
Meditation Challenge
                For week one, our goal is to meditate for at least 5 minutes per day.  If you’d like to sit for longer, go for it!  But really, all you need to experience the benefits of meditation is five minutes.  Remember principle #1:  Be kind to yourself!  Don’t push too hard or turn this in to a chore.
                To begin:  Find a comfortable place to sit, where you will be warm, and can be undisturbed.  Set your alarm for 7 minutes (2 for breathing and 5 for meditation).  I recommend using your phone’s alarm clock feature and choosing a soothing ring tone.  Once you are comfortable, rest your hands in your lap, close your eyes and begin to observe your breath.  Don’t worry if you do this for the full two minutes or not, just until you feel your mind quiet down a bit.  Now you’re ready to meditate.  Our meditation this week will also focus on the breath.  For the next five minutes or so, you will sit and breathe.  As you breathe in, think to yourself “I am breathing in.”  as you exhale, think “I am breathing out.”  The repetition of these phrases helps to train the mind to shut out the mind chatter and noise and bring the focus inward.  Continue the repetition of these phrases until your alarm sounds.  Then take a few moments to sit quietly before gently opening the eyes.
Summary of Week 1
1.       Sit and observe the breath for one to two minutes
2.       Meditate for five minutes repeating phrases, “I am breathing in,” I am breathing out”.
3.       Try to do this once per day this week.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Guided Mediation with Erich Schiffman

Recently, my posts have been about meditation.  Meditation is "the real deal" as Erich Schiffmann says.  It is the most important part of yoga, but more than that, it is important in life.  Science is catching up with the Yogis, and are finding a regular mediation practice profoundly impacts the health and well being of the practitioner.  I won't go on about science in this post.  Just click on the "om" below to be taken to a 13 minute guided meditation with guru, Erich Schiffmann.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Guided Meditation with Deepak Chopra

Take time to meditate today!  Click on the link below to experience a 5 minute guided mediation with Deepak Chopra.  Besides taking 5 minutes for yourself, the benefits of meditation will extend through the rest of your day.  Enjoy!