From time to time, friends mention various and sundry ailments or concerns, and inquire as to whether I might recommend a remedy. Occasionally, I can! Below, you’ll find a brief catalogue of the items I share most regularly.
Most people naturally assume my Buddhist practice incorporates meditation. It does not. However, meditation, even a few seconds once in a while, can benefit anyone. One year I felt unreasonably harried and unfocused and thought learning more about meditation would help me slow down a bit. It did.
I particularly like Jack Kornfield’s easy going and clear delivery and guided practice sessions. Once every year or so I listen to his mini-lectures and sessions again, as a good reminder to slow down and be fully present.
Shallow or Irregular Breathing
If you are like me, you rarely breath as deeply as you should. And in fact, there have been times we’ve I’ve caught myself holding my breath for no discernible reason at all! Andrew Weill’s two CD set includes a great lecture on the benefits of proper breathing as well as guided practice sessions.
I first heard this years ago, and still incorporate some of these breathing techniques whenever I need to wake myself up or relax.
Sometimes I simply can’t turn my mind off at night. For someone who needs a great deal of sleep in order to maximize productivity, it’s no bueno. There are many strategies one can employ, but my favorite is p.m.yoga. This is a big deal because I’m not really a fan of yoga for exercise. It’s just not my go to, despite wanting to enjoy it.
Gaiam’s DVD features a 20 minute series of poses that wind down the mind and body. Any time I follow this DVD, I fall asleep right away, and sleep deeply throughout the night.
As an aside, just doing a few of the poses helps me as well, if for whatever reason I’m not able or willing to pull out the DVD.
As another aside, I’ve only ever done the morning series twice – both about 6 years ago. But recently, I’ve found myself naturally wanting to do sun salutations some mornings. Maybe I’ll look at that DVD again…
I was very interested in tai chi a few years ago and purchased this DVD. I prefer the a.m. tai chi series over a.m. yoga (as I prefer the p.m. yoga over the p.m. tai chi). That said, I did both morning and evening tai chi for several days in a row and noticed a dramatic improvement in my overall feeling of well-being. I wasn’t expecting it, but there it was.
The main benefit I noticed at the time was the feeling of space around my organs. It was as if the air could flow more freely throughout my body.
I believe in power naps. I’m not sure I always did, but a busy schedule doesn’t really lend itself to hour-long siestas. Can you really feel refreshed after a 20- or even a 10-minute rest? Yes. The Ultimate Nap CD is the answer. When I bought this in a store, the CD came with napping supplies! I don’t usually have the ability to whip out the eye mask, and the lavender is just too strong for me, but the music is the thing. If you have earphones, even better.
I’ve used this on short plane trips, secreted away in my car, in my office. Well, you get the drift. If you can carve out a few minutes, you can take a good nap with this CD.
So these are few of my favorite things for recharging and refreshing. What are some of yours?