MEDITATION

Meditation is key to calming the body and mind, and I love it because it is an accessible practice for EVERYONE.

This is crucial for our body's healing journey. When our bodies are constantly in fight or flight mode (even if it just means we're sitting in traffic), we are not able to do any restful repair work. It is one of the most powerful tools we have to support our healing journey. 

I've been meditating for years, but I have to be honest and tell you that, in the past year, I became a bit more inconsistent then I would like. I'm even more excited to tell you that I'm back on the meditation train and am dedicating time every morning to this practice - it's incredibly rewarding and energizing. The practice of creating breath as an anchor allows me be less reactive and more balanced throughout the day (aka I'm not in a constant mode of stress!). And there are some amazing benefits (brain, heart, immune, and more) from meditation as you can see from this article!

 

I have found myself increasingly focused, comfortable, and grounded. I enjoy being able to set a timer because I find I can more easily relax rather than anxiously checking the clock! I have two recommendations for FREE mobile apps that are perfect for beginners all the way through advanced practitioners. I’m using both applications now and highly encourage you to bring at least one into your mindfulness practice.The following features are great in both the Insight Timer and OAK apps:

  • Timers can be set at five minute intervals

  • Ambient sounds loop continuously (chimes, water, chanting, etc.)

  • Guided meditations

  • Time spent meditating is recorded to help you see progress

  • Interfaces are user friendly and get you meditating right away!

  • Personalize presets and preferences

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INSIGHT TIMER (available on iTunes and Google play)

  • 8,000+ free guided meditations, music tracks, talks and courses

OAK (available on iTunes)

  • Guided meditations allow you to choose female or male instructors

  • Includes breathing exercises

Will you join me in this amazing practice? I'd love to hear your feedback about how meditation is working for you, what are your challenges, and what are you loving about it! 

 
Jen Minnich
REDUCING STRESS THROUGH ALTERNATE NOSTRIL BREATHING

At a recent event - a beautiful gathering called Winter Restore - I talked about the "beaker of stress" concept and how life activities contribute to stress. Inflammatory foods, allergies, sitting in traffic, etc. contribute to pushing our bodies past our beaker's threshold. As a Nutritional Therapist, this is where I start with every. single. client. We have to determine the sources of inflammation, remove as many stressors as possible, and support the body's innate intelligence to heal. When we can stop the overflow, we become more resilient to the ups and downs. I'l be doing more in-depth posts about how we can support healing in future posts but, for now, I'd recommend you start implementing this simple exercise right away.

This easy breath work encourages the parasympathetic response, which, in turn, supports healing and a regenerative state. This can be performed multiple times per day, especially before meals or sleep! In fact, I just received a note from a friend that she found this technique extremely helpful while sitting in our lovely Seattle traffic. 

Give it a whirl and tell me what benefits you are seeing as you cultivate this new habit!

 

Alternate Nostril Breathing Exercise:

  • Find a comfortable seat
  • Relax your left hand comfortably into your lap and bring your right hand just in front of your face.
  • With your right hand, bring your pointer finger and middle finger to rest lightly between your eyebrows. You will use your right thumb and ring finger for this exercise.
  • Close your eyes and take a deep breath in and out through your nose.
  • Close your right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale through the left nostril slowly.
  • Close the left nostril with your ring finger so both nostrils are held closed; hold your breath at the top of the inhale for a brief pause.
  • Open your right nostril and release the breath slowly through the right side; pause briefly at the bottom of the exhale.
  • Inhale through the right side slowly.
  • Hold both nostrils closed with your ring finger and thumb.
  • Open your left nostril and release your breath slowly through the left side. Pause briefly at the bottom.
  • Repeat a minimum of five times.
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Jen Minnich