This month I am completely free. I’m not currently working, and have no plans until the last week of June, when I will go on a week-long trip to lake Huron with my mother, my aunt, and my sister. So to occupy my time, I have set a couple of personal goals for myself, and I’ve been keeping a journal to keep myself on track and to evaluate my progress. My goals for June are:
Goal #1 Establish a daily meditation practice
I started meditating about 2 months ago, but until recently, my meditation practice was somewhat sporadic. So this month, I have decided to meditate daily, and to try to incorporate meditation into my daily routine.
From the books on meditation that I read before I decided to start meditating, the optimal amount of time spent meditating daily, especially for beginners, is about 1 hour: 30 min in the morning, and 30 min in the afternoon or evening. So thats what I have been aiming for, but I haven’t quite managed to succeed in meditating a full hour per day.
I have managed to meditate at least once a day, and for a duration of 15 min or more. I’ve been experimenting with different techniques, and I’m still trying to find the best one for me. After reading a book by Davidji, I tried using the mantra technique. The technique has helped to quiet my mind, but I still find that random thoughts drift into my mind, even while I am reciting the mantra, which can be frustrating.
I also recently read a book on mediation by Eric Pepin of the Higher Balance Institute. His technique involves a 30 minute meditation in which you focus your attention on three different chakras (for 10 min each). I have tried this technique, but I am still having difficulty meditating for a full 30 min; a few times I found myself nodding off towards the end of the 30 min.
After reading the book by Davidji, I subscribed to his newsletter, and receive in my inbox every friday a link to a new guided meditation. I have enjoyed each and every one of his meditations, and I especially loved this week’s meditation titled Abundance.
I understand that meditation takes consistent practice and that each person will progress at his or her own rate. So I will continue to meditate daily, and hopefully progress to meditating twice daily for 30 minutes each. I welcome any additional tips anyone might have 🙂
Goal #2 Get back in shape for summer
In the past couple of months, I gained about 6lbs. Its not that much, I know, but I feel better about myself when my weight stays constant. So for the past three weeks, I have been trying to exercise at least 6 days/week. My activities are running for 30 min, yoga, walking, and doing the workout video “Buns of Steel” (the original from 1987).
I found that running for 30 minutes was pretty hard at first, I couldn’t run for very long periods at a time. I started out only being able to run for about 5 minutes and then I would have to walk for a couple of minutes. It is now three weeks on, and I can run at a steady pace for almost 30 minutes. Even though I haven’t lost much weight yet (only about 3 lbs), I am encouraged by my improvement in cardio endurance.
In addition to the running, I have been practicing yoga 2-3 times/week, at home. I usually go to the website: http://www.doyogawithme.com
It has tons of free yoga videos of various lengths and for all levels of skill. I have done a few of the intermediate classes. I highly recommend this website. There are so many videos to choose from so I can vary my yoga practice, or stick with my favourite one.
I have also been doing the exercise video Buns of Steel with Greg Smithey, twice a week for about 2 1/2 weeks now. I got the video from my aunt who followed it back in the 1980’s and swears by it. She said it was so hard she couldn’t get through the whole workout the first few times she tried it, but that it was worth it and it produced results. So I gave it a try, and I have to agree that it is hard to get through. The exercises are targeted to the outer thighs, inner thighs, and butt. I usually can’t do the full number of reps that he asks for, but I can at least get through the whole workout. As a plus, its pretty funny and entertaining to watch something so authentically ’80s. Here’s a link to the youtube video for anyone who is interested: