By Tiffany Cruikshank.
You work to strengthen your body, so why not the mind? From the founder of Yoga Medicine comes this insightful guide to a complete mind and body reboot. Read on for an exclusive excerpt from Meditate Your Weight: A 21-Day Retreat to Optimize Your Metabolism and Feel Great By Tiffany Cruikshank.
5 Minute Meditation
Today, for the first minute or two, settle into your breathing and your observer stance. Notice your energy level today and how it affects your posture and your mood.
Then, as you’re noticing the breath, I want you to visualize taking in energy. Visualize your breath as pure energy coming into the cells, oxygenating the cells; see it as the fuel that drives the cellular process that creates energy in our bodies. Then, on each exhale, visualize letting go of fatigue, dullness, or anything that weighs you down mentally or physically.
Remember: Rather than trying to actually deepen or control the breath, you’re just watching the natural pace of the breath; this isn’t a breathing exercise. As you inhale each time, you’re visualizing energy coming in naturally and just acknowledging that energy comes in through the breath into your body to invigorate you. And then as you exhale, you’re letting go of anything that weighs you down.
Do this for a few minutes, then drop back to just noticing and observing the experience of your breath in your body. If you enjoy this and lose track of time don’t worry, you can do it for the entire 5 minutes if you like whatever feels comfortable to you. When you reach the end of the meditation, once your timer goes off, take a moment with your eyes still closed, just to notice the change in your energy level and how your body feels.
Today you’ll journal about your energy and vitality.
1. Write down what you ate yesterday, and note any dips in your energy during the day.
2. Based on the past few days’ experience, what have you learned about your habits, and how can they inform today’s eating? Write down a general meal plan for the day.
3. Decide on a few specific moments today when you will check in with your energy, and write them down.
Today’s mantra: I am energized.
As you go through your day, recall your mantra, noticing any changes in energy as an extension of what and how you eat, so you can start to construct your own food map. Study yourself as if in an experiment. How do you feel when you eat certain foods? Does your fatigue limit you? Remember that sometimes cravings are our bodies telling us they need something nutritionally different. Also recall that by doing simple things, such as chewing better and slowing down during meals, we can increase absorption of nutrients and indirectly increase energy and decrease cravings.