Monday Challenge: The Zen Challenge

The holidays are right around the corner and the craziness of the season tends to cause us a little extra stress.  That’s why you’re in for a very Zen Challenge this week! 

Meditation has been around for thousands of years and is an incredible practice to bring awareness to the present moment and to relax and rejuvenate the mind.   

It’s a practice that has proven benefits far beyond relaxation.  In fact, meditating regularly has been shown to:  

  • Lower blood pressure and heart rate 
  • Improve blood circulation 
  • Slow respiratory rate 
  • Decrease anxiety and stress 
  • Lower blood cortisol levels 
  • Increase creativity and happiness 
  • Decrease of tension-related pain, such as, headaches, ulcers, and insomnia 

If you’re a beginner, you might find it difficult at first to sit still for a few minutes.   

The easiest way to start practicing meditation is by focusing on your breath and by “emptying your mind” of all thoughts.   Here are four simple steps to follow:  

  1. Sit comfortably.  
  1. Close your eyes.  
  1. Make no effort to control your breathing – simply breathe naturally.   
  1. Try to focus your attention on breathing and on how your body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. 

If your mind happens to wander off (and it will), simply return your focus back to your breathing. 

Buddhist philosophers say that the goal of meditation is no goal – it is simply to be present and liberate our minds. 

Your challenge this week is to meditate for at least 5 minutes every single day.  Are you in!?  Let me know below… 

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Amanda Mittleman

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