I was in a yoga workshop last Saturday when I had this thought: the yoga challenge. A few years ago, I did yoga 5/wk and it transformed my body and my soul. In recent time I have let it slip away..a little here, a little there. I am ready to recommit. The challenge is thirty practices in thirty days. See how yoga and meditation can change your life. I know everyone is very busy and how can you add one more activity to your day. But, I ask you how can afford not to?
The “craziness” that most people approach their daily life is a mental perception. Chances are if you feel that you have a million things to do, that number seldom goes down regardless of what you accomplish. Meditation and yoga can help ground you in the present. The more aware we are of the present, the more we realize we are right we are supposed to be. It is amazing how much more we actually get done and how much better we do it. Same list of “have-tos”; minus the craziness.
So, to start this challenge begin with as little as ten minutes a day. If you know yoga, do some poses. In the simplest form, breathe in, breathe out. Again, breathe in breathe out. Don’t direct and try to control your thoughts. Acknowledge your thoughts, let go and bring your awareness back to breath. There are also ways to bring meditation into daily life activities as most of us go through our day unaware. We get in automatic mode for eating, driving, taking a shower etc. There are ways to become more present in these activities. Thich Nhat Hanh has authored two books on bringing mindfulness into daily life. These books are Peace is Every Step and Peace is Every Breath.
There is more and more research coming out in favor of meditation and yoga. I was recently at a pain management seminar with Mary O’Brien, MD who spoke about the benefits of meditation: decreased stress and the effects of cortisol (the stress hormone), decreased high blood pressure, decreased depression, improved sleep, increased satisfaction for life. She said the only reason doctors are not prescribing it more is that there isn’t a billing code for it. You have the power to change your life with every breath or yoga pose. Please take the challenge with me. Notice how your life can change.
I welcome your thoughts and your stories.