40 day breathing and meditation challenge

I recently completed a short course on breathing and meditation techniques. I really enjoyed the experience and so I am going to try to complete at least 20 minutes of practice for the next 40 days (and hopefully longer if it’s of benefit). My aim is to find some “calm in the chaos”.

Over the next 40 days, I will write a short reflection on my experience. I expect that to being with, they will be limited to just becoming more aware and will be relatively surface level. I hope that, as time progresses, they will become deeper and more profound. Who knows?!

I will update this post each day with my reflections, mainly for myself but also just in case anyone out there is at all interested.

Day 1: I found a nice quiet space at work and turned off the lights. Ideally, there should be some fresh air but this place had none. I’m hoping that during my holidays I will be able to find some nice places to carry out the practice outside. The practice has a clear formula to follow and I found much of my focus was on trying to follow this formula. This in itself was quite calming. During the practice, I became acutely aware of my fake tooth throbbing, which I haven’t felt for a while. Perhaps time to visit the dentist! After my third round of Ujjayi breath I started to get heart palpations! I get them relatively regularly but it is a bit annoying whilst trying to focus on breathing. I have to say, after the practice I felt quite good. I felt energised and all of my tasks (which were overwhelming at the start of the day) felt doable. I’m not sure how long that feeling will last, but it was nice for at least a little while!

Day 2: Today I completed my practice straight after getting out of bed at 6am and out on the balcony to get some fresh air. I found it quite tough this morning and did not get into a rhythm. I found it difficult to control my breath and I really didn’t enjoy it. I have no idea why, but it didn’t have the same calming effect on me that it did yesterday.

Day 3: Today, forgetting to carry out my practice before work and after work meant I was forced to do it in a public space in between commitments! There were people around and I have to say, I felt very self-conscious. It made me think about our focus on what others think of us. All I could think about whilst carrying out the practice (some of it might look weird to those that don’t know it) was what people were thinking of me as they walked by. Did these complete strangers think I was some weirdo? I know that I shouldn’t really care, but, hey, I did. Food for thought!

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