A new study shows that people who practice yoga and meditation long term can control a computer with their minds faster and better than people with little or no yoga or meditation experience. That's like, futuristic shit y'all.
One of the study's goals is to lay the foundation for future research to help people who are paralyzed or have brain diseases regain mobility and independence. The power of the mind never ceases to amaze me, and I unfortunately forget that we have so much control over it!
I've talked a bit about meditation before on my blog. Thanks to taking a Buddhist Psychology course during my graduate program in Psychology I have a healthy library of books on the subject. I am a firm believer in the power of positive thinking (the secret is a phenomenal book/movie!) and I've witnessed first hand how much regular meditation can lower stress levels, improve mood, and just generally make you a better person.
Yet - I never do it.
Same with Yoga. I read some new research on how great it is for you, swear I'll start doing it again, and it never happens. I have a hundred great excuses. I don't have the time. I don't have the money for classes. I'm already working out so much. Salem wants to cuddle ...
I'm done making excuses.
I have a lot going on in my life right now. More than I ever have before in my almost 31 years of existence. My stress levels are dangerous new highs. My TMJ is back, for the first time in my life I'm dealing with insmonia, my eating has been total garbage and I just feel like a second-rate version of myself. A lot of the stress will alleviate once the semester ends and I move to Fort Rucker in December. Until then I need to be more proactive about managing it.
At first I wanted to make this grand 'life plan' up. No more gluten! No artificial anything! Yoga and Meditation every single day for a month!
Then - I realized that's one of my biggest problems. I go all out and I get burned out. So, I'm going to just make some minor tweaks and hope that by not overwhelming myself they are more likely to be long lasting. I'm definitely fighting the urge to go buy a dozen books on the subject, sign up for a month unlimited of yoga, and spend a weeks pay on all healthy, organic foods.
Instead I think I will buy one new yoga DVD (I only have one), maybe pick up a new non-caffeinated tea, and pull out some of my old meditation books to read through. I have an empty journal I'm going to use to start writing in daily again. I used to fill journals up with how much I ate and exercised for the day, but now I'll just write down a bit about how I'm feeling, and what I was able to do for yoga and/or meditation that day. I certainly hope I can do something every day, but I'm not going to make any rules/promises to myself about what I 'must' do and just make an effort to do what I can, when I can, where I can.
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Intro to Meditation from Mayo Clinic
Free Guided Meditations from UCLA
Guided Relaxation Worksheets from University of Michigan
Relaxation Techniques for Stress Relief (lots of great resources!)