Just Breathe.

If you come to class, you know I often ask, “Are we breathing?” In exercise + in life, sometimes we can simply forget to breathe. I manage my anxiety to the best of my ability with my breath. Over the past few years, I’ve been curious about meditation. Sit still? Ugh. Not me. I still struggle with it but here are a few ideas of how to get started with conscious breathing.

1)   Listen to Guided Meditations.

a.     Kayleigh Pleas. My dear friend, yoga/barre/meditation teacher, positive psychology + nutrition coach + overall dreamy human (…PHEW!)…has amazing meditation recordings on her website. They range from 5 to 20 minutes with themes including: loving-kindness, compassionate visitor, willpower pause + gratitude practice.

b.     Headspace. This meditation app / website is a subscription based model that gain you access to a variety of meditations. Headspace offers a free 10-day trial.  The idea is to “Take 10” – take 10 minutes to meditate each day for 10 days.

2)   Attend a meditation class.  Here in NYC there’s a studio specifically dedicated to meditation called MNDFL with an array of meditation methods – for all levels. MNDFL has an intro offer of $75 for one month of unlimited sessions. There are three locations: UES, Greenwich Village + Williamsburg. Check your local yoga studio - often times meditation classes are offered!

3)   The 4-7-8 Breath.  I use this one often to manage anxiety + help me fall asleep. This method is super effective + I highly recommend it. Here’s the dealio: Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight. More here from Dr. Andrew Weil.

Science shows that meditation + conscious breathing helps to improve focus, sleep, eating patterns while also reducing stress and worries. Yes please!

Try a few approaches from above -- I’d love to hear about your breath adventures!

With heart,

Lauren