Category Archives: Meditation

YJ Tried It: 30 Days of Sleep Meditation

Here’s what happened after a month of listening soothing bedtime stories for adults.

Meditation is nonnegotiable when it comes to my everyday routine. Most of the time, it means dragging my meditation cushion out from under my living room couch and onto the tiny bit of floor space I have in my New York City apartment. From there, I pull out my smartphone, launch the Calm app, and listen to the Daily Calm—a 10-minute guided meditation that changes every day.

I’ve been using this app for more than a year and have found that holding myself accountable for meditating 10 minutes a day is what’s realistic, and it has had a noticeable impact on my life. I can always count on learning something new and finding my center in 10 minutes flat. I feel more grounded, and I’m less likely to react to annoyances such as a pushy New Yorker or a late subway train.

See also A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

My energy level was a different story. I don’t often struggle to fall asleep, but even after a restful seven to eight hours of shuteye, fatigue would creep up on me throughout the day. I’d find myself fighting the urge to curl up for a 20-minute nap. Sometimes I’d go for a quick hit of energy—pounding a pint of water or dancing around my living room—after a long day of work and before teaching an evening yoga class. I started to wonder: Was my quality of slumber lacking? And could guided sleep meditation help?

Generally speaking, this type of meditation means listening to an audio recording before bed that’s intended to help you notice the sensations of your body so you can relax and release worrying thoughts. By learning to shift your focus before bed, you …

Try This Meditation to Learn How to Witness (Not React to) Your Thoughts


You’ll need a pen and paper for this stream-of-consciousness practice.

Ever notice how easy it is to allow your mind to whisk you away from the present moment? Indulge in one little pesky insecurity, and, suddenly, you’re down and out in funk town. Well, there’s an antidote for that. In yoga philosophy, sakshi (witness) is the ability to notice your thoughts without identifying (or reacting) to them. Strengthening your inner observer will help you see thoughts—and situations—as they truly are without piling on assumptions that can result in an emotional tailspin. (Yeah, we’ve been there, too.) 

If you want to cultivate your sakshi, there’s a simple practice you can try. In this video, Rina Jakubowicz—yoga teacher, author of The Yoga Mind: 52 Essential Principles of Yoga Philosophy to Deepen Your Practice, and creator of a new class series, Empowered Vinyasa—leads you through a short stream-of-consciousness meditation to train yourself to track your thoughts without getting too attached. (You’ll need a pen and paper!)

Feel like you’ve lost your sense of Self in the noise of social media or societal expectations? It’s time to get on the mat and reclaim who you are. Join author and yoga teacher Rina Jakubowicz for Empowered Vinyasa: Journey to Your Highest Self, a series of 10 yoga classes and companion dharma talks that zero in on principles of yoga philosophy—from The Bhagavad Gita and the Hindu spiritual tradition Vedanta—that are essential to self-exploration. Sign up today!

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Is Corporate Mindfulness Training Just Zen Washing?

A recent study that highlights the benefits of daily meditation practices in the workplace has people talking about the commercialization of mindfulness, and whether it has gone too far.

Is mindfulness training the solution to burnout? 

It’s difficult to dispute the benefits of mindfulness, especially with a mounting stack of research published on the topic. One of the more recent studies—a paper published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes in early September, on how mindfulness impacts interpersonal relationships at work—is a good example of the empirical evidence pouring in. But are corporations and organizations now using mindfulness programs as a salve to treat overworked and highly stressed employees? 

See also 5 Mindfulness Practices to Rewire Your Brain and Improve Health

The study

In this particular study, a team of business professors researched how the behavior of employees changed when they participated in mindfulness practices at work. At a large insurance company in the U.S., the researchers had employees meditate between seven to ten minutes a day for five days and then fill out assessments in the morning and afternoon about their helpful behaviors for the day. At an IT consulting company in India, for one day, select employees underwent a brief mindfulness intervention in the morning and then their coworkers reported on how helpful they were that day. The final study was conducted in a lab with the aim of discovering why mindfulness practices make people more helpful, while the field experiments tested if mindfulness makes people more helpful. In the lab, participants were asked to either complete a 15-minute focused breathing meditation, a 15-minute loving kindness meditation, or listen to a New York Times article as a control. The participants then had to deliver bad news to a fictitious subordinate, and respond to a survey that …

Best Free Online Guided Meditations for Beginners


You know meditation is good for you. But, maybe you’re not sure how to begin. Try one of these free guided meditations from experts we love.

Are you looking to advance your practice but don’t want to pay for an app subscription or membership at an expensive meditation studio? Look no further. We’ve compiled some of the best free online guided meditations that can help you relax, channel love and compassion, find self-forgiveness, and relieve anxiety.

See also This 6-Minute Sound Bath Is About to Change Your Day for the Better

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6 Ways Yoga Can Help the Planet This Month


Millions of people around the world have made a pledge to demand climate justice this September. Here’s how yogis can participate.

As climate change activism heats up this month (the Global Climate Strike is taking place from September 20-27), yoga studios, teachers, and organizations are joining the call for a healthier environment and sustainable future. Eoin Finn, founder of Blissology and the EcoKarma foundation, encourages yogis to recognize their connection with nature and make preserving the planet a lifestyle. 

“We are one with the environment” says Finn. “Take breathing for example. Breathing brings the outer world inside of you. We take air into our bodies and it passes through us via our blood – it’s hard to separate where physiology ends and the environment begins. Our job as yogis is to create experiences and rituals in our practice where we feel this interconnection.” 

Amy Ippoliti, another renowned yoga teacher and environmental activist, pushes for action above all else. “We are deeply interconnected with all life on earth and the practice of yoga only heightens that awareness. Our actions need to be consistent and relentless. Let’s be clear.”

Here are six ways yogis can get involved in climate activism.

See also The Rise of Eco-Friendly Yoga Studios

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6 Ways Yoga Can Help the Planet This Month


Millions of people around the world have made a pledge to demand climate justice this September. Here’s how yogis can participate.

As climate change activism heats up this month (the Global Climate Strike is taking place from September 20-27), yoga studios, teachers, and organizations are joining the call for a healthier environment and sustainable future. Eoin Finn, founder of Blissology and the EcoKarma foundation, encourages yogis to recognize their connection with nature and make preserving the planet a lifestyle. 

“We are one with the environment” says Finn. “Take breathing for example. Breathing brings the outer world inside of you. We take air into our bodies and it passes through us via our blood – it’s hard to separate where physiology ends and the environment begins. Our job as yogis is to create experiences and rituals in our practice where we feel this interconnection.” 

Amy Ippoliti, another renowned yoga teacher and environmental activist, pushes for action above all else. “We are deeply interconnected with all life on earth and the practice of yoga only heightens that awareness. Our actions need to be consistent and relentless. Let’s be clear.”

Here are six ways yogis can get involved in climate activism.

See also The Rise of Eco-Friendly Yoga Studios

http://dogdewormer.net

The Best Cooling Eye Masks


A cooling eye mask is one of the best ways to quickly relieve pain and gently relax you whether you are struggling with swollen and itchy eyes, stress, or headaches (perfect for those long yoga teacher training days). Most designs use either gel or gel beads encased in smooth plastic or soft cotton designed to hold their cool temperature for extended periods of time. To make sure you choose the right eye mask for you, we’ve put together a guide to our favorite picks.

Best for Sleeping: IMAK Compression Pain Relief Mask and Eye Pillow

IMAK Compression Pain Relief Mask and Eye Pillow

Most eye masks are encased in plastic (even latex – a potential allergen) that rests directly on your eyes. This choice is made from a soft and breathable cotton-lycra blend that will gently conform to your face. This mask’s stitching, built with migraine sufferers in mind, is designed not to put direct pressure on your eyes as well. The cute design even blocks out light to allow for undisturbed meditation or sleep. Note: When cooling this mask, be sure to put it in a plastic container to keep it from absorbing freezer smells. Ding: True cold sensation doesn’t last much longer than 15 minutes, say some testers. $13; Buy Now

Best Reversible: Ice Eye Mask by FOMI Care

FOMI gel mask

Most masks are either soft cloth (providing greater comfort) or vinyl (allowing more direct contact with your eyes), but this dual-sided mask does double-duty. The mask’s wide shape also makes it perfect for use on strained arm or leg muscles. This simple and comfortable design is available in either a gel bead or a clay pack. Tip: the clay pack will hug your features more closely, while the gel bead pack will cool more quickly in the freezer. …

Tapping as a Tool for Transformation


Tapping is a simple way to bring awareness to your body. Try it before your next yoga sequence and notice how you feel.

Model Noemi Nunez demonstrates a technique from yoga teacher Tatiana Forero Puerta which can help calm your sympathetic (“fight or flight”) and activate your parasympathetic nervous system (“rest and digest”).

For the full sequence, see 5 Practices to Invite Transformation

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