A large component of the 21-Day Clean Program that we’re all familiar with is eliminating toxins from the body. But limiting cleansing to its detoxifying effects would do a disservice to the wholeness achievable through the bigger picture of cleansing. A meditation routine can work in conjunction with healthy habits to take your health to the next level.
Your health journey has many facets. Not only is it the physical body, it relates to the mind, the spirit, and the emotions. It is the work of relationships to the world and to the self. It may not seem tangible at first glance, but it affects us in very physical ways. This can include thought patterns or attachments to negative feelings that actually influence our physical chemistry. These parts are equally important.
The object of this particular meditation routine is to obtain heart coherence. A coherent heart is one that beats at a consistent rhythm. The heart’s rhythm and the nervous system harmonize. Then, the other systems in our body synch up to the heart rhythms, and we become coherent as a whole. When our bodies are finding this balance, we experience “more mental clarity, creativity, and better problem-solving abilities, which means it’s easier to find solutions and better ways of handling stressful situations”.
HeartMath has created a computer software that uses biofeedback to measure the real time level of your heart’s coherence. In my last therapy session, after I had been practicing the meditation a bit, my counselor hooked me up to this software. I clipped this little thing onto my earlobe, and then I could look at my heart beat on the screen in front of me. What we discovered was that my heart was already pretty coherent! This is likely because I have practiced yoga and meditation before. The exciting implication of this is that even when you aren’t doing the meditation, the effects of the meditation are still apparent. This also goes to show how amazing meditation and restorative yoga can be. Check out this 5-minute meditation.
This particular meditation technique is so effective at fostering heart coherence because it calls on the power of gratitude. Gratitude, and other positive emotions, have been shown to immediately change heart rhythms. This shift then launches a “favorable cascade of neural, hormonal, and biochemical events that benefit the entire body. These effects are both immediate and long-lasting.”
Really, it’s pretty simple:
- Find a comfortable seated position. You may want to be cross-legged on the floor or in a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Either way, sit up straight. Find a point slightly in front of you to softly focus your gaze on, or close your eyes if you prefer.
- Bring your attention to your breath. Don’t change anything, just observe. Then, find a breathing pattern that is deep, but flows naturally and smoothly.
- Now, simply become aware of the area around your heart. Focus all your attention there. It may help to place your hand over your heart.
- As you continue to breathe, pretend like you are breathing through this area in and around your heart. Practice this for about a minute. Observe if anything changes.
- Keep breathing through your heart, bringing to mind someone or something (a memory), that you appreciate or that reminds you of feeling grateful. Really focus on feeling what it feels like, to feel grateful as you continue to breathe through your heart. You can do this for any amount of time you choose. The longer you do it of course, the easier it will get!
Practice this as often as possible, and see what changes manifest. Another awesome way to fit a meditation routine into your day is by using available apps on your phone, like Headspace, Insighttimer, Aura, Stop, Breathe & Think, and Calm to name a few. Even when you are not meditating, the work you’ve done will keep working.
Written by the Clean Team
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