Train Your Brain With a 14-Day Meditation ChallengeDec 15, 2020
Meditation trains your brain to experience a sense of calm, balance, and peace, which is much needed in today’s hectic, tech-reliant society. You can cultivate more mindfulness and challenge yourself in a new way with a 14-day meditation challenge.
“A meditation challenge is essentially an invitation to tap into more of your potential,” explains Yoga52 instructor Brent Laffoon, an Openfit master trainer and a seasoned meditator. “Most challenges involve meditating for a certain amount of time for a given number of days in a row. There are all kinds of reasons to do it: curiosity, the need for structure and/or accountability, or maybe just the need for a little kick in the butt.”
Adjust your mental routine and read on to learn how this 14-day meditation challenge can benefit your life with only a few minutes a day.
Benefits of Meditation and Doing a Challenge
Meditation shifts our focus and helps direct our thoughts in a more positive direction. As humans, we live in a constant fight or flight state, and we experience stress daily. Meditation can help rewire our stress response so that we can calmly increase awareness of self and surroundings.
Meditation can offer a mood boost, too. Finding time for meditation daily, as part of a challenge like this one, can help you practice turning your negative thoughts into positive ones.
Day 1: Set Your Intention
Settle into your meditation space and give yourself time to journal (in a notebook or on your phone). Write down what you want to get out of your meditation practice.
“One of the best ways to set yourself up for success in any challenge is to set realistic expectations, ” says Laffoon.
Day 2: Take 10 to Meditate
Laffoon suggests starting slow and adding more time down the line. If you’re already pressed for time, don’t try to commit to long meditations right out of the gate, he adds. Start with just 10 minutes. If you’re new to meditation, try one of our Sound Meditation classes, which are beginner-friendly and offer expert guidance.
Day 3: Find Your Zen
“As much as possible, try to meditate in a place that you enjoy,” says Laffoon. “Somewhere comfortable and peaceful, a place that gives you a good feeling. This will make you want to come back again and again.” Consider trying a focus meditation once you find your favorite spot. If you’re working to find the perfect time to meditate, try sitting after you practice yoga, since your body will be relaxed.
Day 4: Silent Meditation
Today, we face our fears: We sit in silence. Take out your timer, and set it for 5-10 minutes. Choose a mantra, or a phrase or idea you’ll repeat and focus on, and sit in silence on your meditation cushion. If your mind wanders, don’t judge yourself. That’s part of the practice! Simply take a deep breath and return to your mantra. (Try: “I am here. I am safe. I am healthy.”)
Day 5: Cultivate Gratitude
Take out your journal again, and think about the last 24 hours. Write down your top three reasons to be grateful. Set a time for 5 minutes and free write. Then, meditate for your chosen time. Consider focusing your meditation on one of those reasons for gratitude.
Day 6: Moving Meditation
Who said that you have to be seated to meditate? Not us. Put on your walking shoes and get outside today. Instead of cranking up the music or a podcast, walk in silence. Observe all that’s going on around you. If you have access to a track, walking laps can be quite meditative. If you’re a yogi, you might try sun salutations as meditation (you don’t have to do 108 of them).
Day 7: Checking in with Your Intention
Are you still tracking with your intention that you set on day one, or have things shifted? Set a time and write about your intention. Let this be a “stream of consciousness” exercise. This means you write whatever comes to mind. After your journaling, meditate on your own or with one of the Sound Meditation classes.
Day 8: 5-Minute Body Scan
Set a timer for 5 minutes, close your eyes, and scan your body. Feel your feet, your legs, and your hips. Travel from your hips to your stomach, arms, and shoulders. Finish with your neck, face, and head. If you finish before the timer is up, start again.
Day 9: Chakra Meditation
Choose a chakra, find your seat, set your timer, and close your eyes. Each chakra is associated with a color, intention, area of the body, and aspect of well-being. Focus on the associated area of the body and color while you breathe.
Day 10: Ruminating Thoughts
What is one thing that’s been on your mind lately? Set your timer for 10 minutes and bring your troubling thought to the forefront of your mind. Rework the negative thought into something positive.
Day 11: Living in Appreciation
It’s journal time again. Set your timer for 5 minutes and free write. Write down all the things you are grateful for in the past 48 hours. Choose one thing you wrote to focus on for today’s meditation. Set your timer for 15+ minutes.
Day 12: Keep Going
How are you feeling? Today you’re going long, but you’ll have help along the way. Download a meditation app, and find a practice that’s at least 15 minutes. If you lose focus, don’t sweat it! Just keep going.
Day 13: Bedtime Meditation
Today we’re using meditation to wind down before bed. Head back to your Openfit Sound Meditation program, and choose one of Scarlett de la Torre‘s calming, grounded practices. The meditations feature soothing vibrations and binaural beats to help lull you into a deep, peaceful slumber.
Day 14: Celebrate
Set your timer and find your seat. Then celebrate your achievement. You’ve meditated successfully for 14 days straight. Now, keep going!