Even though I’m a yoga teacher, meditation comes really difficult for me. I’m good in breathing techniques, but at the moment in which I stop counting the breaths or repeating inhale, exhale, my mind starts to wander without control.
That’s why, I choose meditation for my January challenge. Each month I’ll challenge myself to add a new healthy habit in my life. I give myself a month to see if the new habit sink with me, or it comes difficult.
JANUARY: 21-DAY MEDITATION
Did you know that the words “medicine” and “meditation” come from the same Latin word? The root is “
This information was given to me by Jamie Zimmerman in an Insititute for the Integrative Nutrition conference. Jamie was explaining the importance of meditation in a scientific way.
Researches show that mindfulness change gene expression for the better. For example, meditation promotes anti-inflammatory genes.
Scientists studied that in 8 weeks, meditation can change brain function shifting from a “fight or flight” response (more nervous) to a “rest and digest” function (calmer).
They studied that the Amygdala, an almond-shaped set of neurons located deep in the brain’s medial temporal lobe, correlated with aggressive behavior, shrinks in size when practicing mindfulness for 8 weeks.
Jamie suggested the RPM Approach: Rise, Pee and Meditate for 5 minutes. That’s what I did for 21 days and I have to say, it started to become something I couldn’t say no anymore. It started to become part of my routine. While the curtains were still half down and the sun was popping thru them, I sat on the bed, and started meditating.
My usual position was:
- my bum on the pillow, to allow my spine to be naturally straight;
- legs crossed (but if you are sitting on a chair that’s totally fine to have your feet touching the ground);
- hands abandoned in my lap or positioned in a mudra on my knees (this would change from day to day).
I used the app Calm, it offers a 7-day Free Trial. I paid last year for this app, in another attempt to be more mindful. I’ve been practicing meditation before this 21-day meditation challenge, but this is my longest streak. The app is well structured. You can have a guided meditation, a story that will help you sleep, introductions to meditation and self-paced meditation. I found it helpful, and for a beginner, it comes definitely in handy. I did 5 minutes a day.
HOW DO I FEEL?
I found myself missing it when I didn’t practice it in the morning. I felt amazing after the first week. I felt my brain calmer. It was thinking things thru, without getting angry all the time. In the last days, I didn’t practice consistently because I was traveling back home for two weeks, and I feel the change in my brain stability.
I know that 21 days can feel like a long time, but it isn’t actually. Most of all, if you keep track of it in a calendar. That’s why I created a free printable. That you can download here.
If you feel like giving meditation a try, leave a comment down here and we can keep ourselves accountable and see the changes in our brain and in our perception of the world.