Posts under tag: Meditation

Notes on Your Practice:
Pranayama, Part 2

Written by Kevin ODonnell

As many of you have experienced, at Chorus we use a specific three part breath. This breath can be traced back to the fourth limb of yoga called pranayama. Prana is the life force that is within the breath, it is the energy that allows creation and gives life to the universe, and yama means control or expansion. This practice is done through conscious breathing much like the breath we use in Chorus. So, where does this practice come from?

The practice of Pranayama can be found in texts that date back to 3,000 BCE. The first writings about prana are found in the Chandogya Upanishad, while the practice of pranayama is first found in the Brihadaranyaka and Maitrayaniya Upanishads, which outline this practice and the importance of including it in your sadhana (practice). In one of my favorite Upanishads, the Shvetashvatara Upanishad, it describes the Self as a river and the breath as the streams of that river. These are some of the interesting concepts we discuss during my Story Time Tuesday and Wisdom Wednesday classes!

The idea that breathing could be used to achieve greater health and even immortality is a theme that is often repeated in subsequent yogic texts and teachings such as the Bhagavad Gita (chapter 4, verse 29). In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali also outlines the importance of Pranayama.  He describes it as one of the prerequisites of meditation along with asanas (poses), pratyahara (sensory control), and other codes of conduct called the yamas and niyamas. Patanjali notes a number of specific benefits of pranayama practice which include mental fitness and the ability to concentrate. Additionally, Patanjali shares that regular breathwork practice could lessen or dissolve the veil that covers our “inner illumination” (verse 2:52).

The reason this is so important, according to Hindu philosophy, is because breath does not just begin and support life, the breath is life.  It is much more than the movement of the lungs within animals and humans. Every movement in the universe is the Cosmic Breath, or vishwaprana. Everything that occurs within ourselves and the cosmos is the movement of prana. Now imagine how interesting life could be once we learn how to control this prana the way these practices train us to do!

There have been documented stories of beings who have been able to master the control of prana over time. For example, the Buddha was said to be able to only take 10 breaths per day while he was doing his tapasya (austere practices). In today’s world, we see people, like Wim Hoff, who have been able to overcome extreme weather and illness by using the breath as a tool. Through pranayama we are able to rewire our mind, our bodies, and our spirit to strengthen our abilities to live more fully. Swami Sivananda states “if you can control prana, you can completely control all the forces of the universe, mental and physical.”

Many of these traditional pranayama techniques are nasal breath practices whereas the more modern “breathwork” practices are done with an open mouth. These practices, like Chorus, allow more prana to enter the body and induce altered states of consciousness quicker than traditional techniques. This is almost a shortcut to different states of consciousness and can lead to extraordinary experiences and deep healing.  

Although these experiences can be beautiful they can also bring a lot of unexpected feelings to the surface, like different traumas or repressed emotions that we as practitioners have forgotten about. These shortcuts, unlike traditional techniques, can bring this right to the surface rather than easing you into it. This can be great for deep healing if you are prepared but if you are not prepared it can be something you weren’t expecting. It is important to understand the implications of these practices and ease into them with great respect. You should dip your toes in the water before you dive into the ocean.

As you can see, this breath that we use in Chorus has a long history and has deep importance within a yogic practice. Conscious breathing, or pranayama, is a practice that we should strive to master as it leads to deeper meditations and a longer more enjoyable life. It should also be handled with delicate care, respect and intention as these practices bring you deeper into your inner landscapes and some of which may have never been explored before. With proper guidance—like what you receive from our Chorus teachers—and a loving supportive space—like our amazing community—these practices can lead you to deep healing and a beautiful, unified state within yourself.

Notes on Your Practice:
Meditation, Part 1

Written by Miya Kishi Dunets

Just what is mediation? Is it something we do? A state we maybe, someday reach? 

To meditate is to train our minds, directing our attention to something—an object, a sound, a being, a concept—in a deliberate way. It is an act and a state that allows us to widen our perspectives to something larger than that of our separate, limited selves. Practices can be formal or informal, undertaken while seated or lying down in stillness, or perhaps while walking, eating, or doing any number of daily activities. 

The formal meditation techniques we encounter in our modern lives have ancient and sacred roots. Taking time to learn about and honor the cultures and philosophical systems from which our practices (whatever those practices may be) originate is a vital part of deepening our connection to and respecting these tools, ourselves, and our local and global communities.

Meditative practices are part of every religious and spiritual tradition—Shamanism, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Yogism, Sikhism, Islam, Sufiism, Judaism, Kabballah, Christianity, Zoroastrianism and on—and the practices from those traditions branch out further, varying within religious or spiritual sects, by geography, by country and within local cultures. 

Often now we encounter secular, meaning non-religious, meditations that utilize traditional techniques and remove the religious context. For example, many are familiar with Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). This program consists of Buddhist and yogic practices without the inclusion of Buddhist or yogic philosophy and with emphasis on the evidence-based, neuroscientific impact of these techniques. Many other traditional meditation practices have also been secularized, adopted, and popularized. 

The process of secularization has made meditation accessible to more people because one doesn’t necessarily need to adhere to specific religious or spiritual beliefs in order to access a practice and its benefits. However, whether we regard meditation as sacred or a brain training exercise, it’s vital to make time to learn about the people, cultures, and systems from which the techniques we use have emerged. This ensures that we are honoring the wisdom shared with us. It also allows us to explore and appreciate the richness of different wisdom traditions, seeking to understand how a meditative technique works not just out in the wild but also within the ecosystem that brought it to fruition.

It can be helpful to categorize meditation techniques or styles as we try practices to see what resonates. For ease and simplicity (acknowledging that it is not necessarily easy or simple to attempt to organize meditative techniques, and that many, many frameworks could be employed), I’ll stick with a categorization provided by Western Buddhist teachers Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield: devotional practices, contemplation practices, and concentration practices.

Devotional practices are dedicated to some kind of divine presence or universal source energy and can include techniques such as focusing on a concept like love, prayer, visualization, chanting, and singing. In contemplation practices, we reflect on something like a passage of sacred text, a prayer, words, or a more abstract concept. When engaging with concentration practices, we focus our attention on an inner or outer experience (e.g. mindfulness of breath or body; repetition of sacred sound like a mantra; focus on an inner state like compassion; gazing at or visualization of a candle or other object; and even open awareness practices, during which we notice all aspects of our experience without latching on to or pushing away any specific facet of that experience), perhaps eventually feeling a sense of merging with the object of focus. 

You might begin to notice that there is a great deal of overlap in these categories. Is the chanting of mantras and bhajans performed by Bhakti yogis a concentration practice or a devotional one? It’s both, and a contemplation practice too. Could mindfulness of the body move between concentration and contemplation? Probably. Can reading and re-reading a Sufi poem feel like an expression of concentration, contemplation, and devotion? Yep. As you can see, meditative techniques contain multitudes. 

Wondering what you’re experiencing at Chorus? We primarily use secular concentration and sometimes contemplation practices, mostly those of Buddhist and yogic origin. Teachers provide some kind of anchor or anchors for your awareness, so that you can train your mind to stay in the present moment. More time in the present means less time projecting, remembering, ruminating. More time in the present means more time experiencing the richness of life, its joys, its suffering, and everything in between with less judgement, here and now. 

Meditation can help us to find more ease, inner freedom, and connection but those benefits come with time, commitment, and effort. If we’re lucky enough to make these practices part of our lives, we can honor that privilege by cultivating respect for the practices themselves and the people and cultures that have shared them with us.

Below are some suggested resources that you might find useful as you delve into meditative practice (note: the below are focused on Buddhist and secular mindfulness and compassion, since those are the techniques most often used within a Chorus practice):

Mindfulness in Plain English (Bhante Gunaratana)

The Miracle of Mindfulness (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Radical Acceptance (Tara Brach)

How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life (His Holiness the Dalai Lama)

Love and Rage: The Path of Liberation through Anger (Lama Rod Owens)

Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation (Rev. angel Kyodo Williams, Lama Rod Owens, Jasmine Syedullah Ph.D.)

Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness (Jon Kabat-Zinn)

Teacher Series: Ellie

Tell us about your work helping people avoid burnout – why is this such an important topic right now?

I’m really passion about helping people avoid burnout because, actually according to a Marketing Study done last year, 3/4 women report burnout in their lives. That’s crazy. I think it involves just the pace of life we have right now, even as we’re sheltering in place or however things are looking for different people in different parts of the world.

And so, as someone who has gone through that experience– of pushing myself, pushing myself, going way too hard and then kind of feeling like ‘what’s the point of all this hard work if I feel terrible in the process of it?’ I’ve had that experience, and so I really care about showing people tools and resources and even breaking up some patterns of thought that aren’t working for them so that they can feel more worthy, more capable, happier right now when they’re going after the things that they want in life. Or even just trying to keep the plates spinning, and have some fulfillment even in those moments of challenge.

How has your writing and coaching helped inform your meditation practice and teaching?

So, my writing and coaching has helped inform my practice probably mostly through the use of metaphor. Our brains are really visual for the most part, so if I use metaphor like something involving swimming or being in the forest, or something like that, it helps the person who’s meditating have this really strong visual in their head. And then since throughout class we’ve been creating meaning and attributing it to that metaphor, similar to what I do in coaching, it will hopefully create some sort of ‘ah-ha’ moment for them.

Why is mindfulness important to you personally?

Well, mindfulness is the most important thing to me personally in my life. Life is only happening in this moment, and the more often I can really be present– even when I’m turning a handle on a door, even when I’m washing the dishes, even when I’m going just for a walk, that’s life! Mindfulness has helped me differentiate between what’s really going on in life vs. the story I’m putting on top of it vs. the worries in my head that are fundamentally not real, at all. I love getting to share that with other people.

Mindfulness has also helped me get free from anxious feelings and general stress. For a long time I was the victim of those things, I was like ‘The world is just stressful… this is just the way it is’ and then through mindfulness I was able to see the separation between what’s going on in the world and my thoughts about it. And I have control over my thoughts about it. And that starts for me– that’s rooted in just being aware and present here. Getting to see what is really right here in front of me, and then accepting and embracing it as it is.

What do you love about Chorus and the Chorus Method?

So the first time I took a Chorus class, I remember Ali wanted me to come check it out and see what the class is like, and I was like ‘Oh, I’ve meditated for forever, I’m sure it’ll be fine.. It will be a meditation class’ but when I went to my first Chorus class, I was stunned. I was– as I tell students who come to my class and people in the community– it was like the brain exploding emoji. I loved it so much. I felt this sense of connection with myself that I didn’t know I was missing and that I sorely needed. Even now, I take Chorus for this sense of connection I feel in myself, this sense of like inner integrity and wholeness and I also take classes for creativity. Chorus helps me be more creative. The mindfulness practices, the breathing, the music even, the teacher’s guidance, they help me create more and be more creative from that place of wholeness and unity.

So I love the combination of the meditation I’ve known for a long time– as some of you know I started meditating when I was 14, so I’ve been really used to the like cut-and-dry of ‘let go of your thoughts, stare at a wall’ stuff like that, and mixing that with this sense of fun and enjoyment, which is what I try to bring into my classes because I really enjoy this method.

How would you describe your teaching style?

My teaching style is a combination of loving, and calming, and stress-free judgement-free zone with the sense of fun and play, and I like to pick music that makes me feel happy, and kinda like you want to dance to it. Honestly, sometimes when I take Chorus classes, I will move my body to the music in a way that makes me feel really good. So, it’s a combination of the two– calmness and the sense of being held, with this feeling of ‘Oh, this is fun to do. I get to enjoy my practice and my life.’

Watch the video of Ellie’s interview below:

Follow along with Ellie:

Instagram, Teaching Schedule

Now…let’s see what she’s talking about!

See you in class.

How Meditation, Breathing Exercises, and The Chorus Method Work for Stress Relief, Nervous System Health, and a Life of Happiness

Written by Ali Abramovitz 


Not only can meditation make us feel better, but with consistency it can literally strengthen our brains. Yep, that’s right, we can actually rewire the neural circuits and strengthen physical connections in our brains. 

So, when you are meditating and feel control over your emotions, have an uplifted mood or positive outlook, you are actually training your brain how to do this in real life.

Numerous studies have found that meditation affects brain activity in some pretty awesome ways, including:

  • Reduced perception of pain (1)
  • Brain waves associated with feelings of calm become more pronounced (2)(3)
  • Improved attention and focus (4)

Scientists have concluded that meditation leads to these positive changes by improving how the cerebral networks in our brain function (5)(6).


But Chorus isn’t just traditional meditation. The Chorus Method incorporates breathing exercises, which assists in the regulation of our nervous systems.

Quick refresh: the autonomic nervous system is the part of our body that controls functions like heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, pulmonary response and others. The autonomic nervous system is made up of two parts. First, the sympathetic nervous system, our fight or flight system, and second, the parasympathetic nervous system, our rest and digest system. 

A common problem in modern life is that we are in a constant state of partial stress. That low buzzing of anxiety or subtle feeling of being on edge throughout our days, causing us to be irritable or impatient, struggle to focus, or have trouble sleeping isn’t just bad for our mental well being, it’s bad for our physical health as well (7).

Good news, breathing exercises can help! 

By using controlled breathing, like we do in Chorus, we stimulate the vagus nerve and actively control our autonomic nervous system. 

Here’s how the breathing exercises for stress really work:

By breathing quickly and in a controlled manner, we intentionally turn on our sympathetic nervous system. This trains our minds to consciously access the nervous system, so we can control it. We turn up the sympathetic nervous system SO THAT we can turn it down and spend the rest of our days in a relaxed state of actual calm and no longer suffer from the chronic partial stress described above. 

On the flip side, by deep breathing slowly and in a controlled matter, we intentionally turn on our parasympathetic nervous system, which reduces blood pressure, relaxes our body, and calms our minds.

The Chorus Method

So…how does all this factor into Chorus?

The Chorus Method combines traditional meditation and controlled breathing, with music and personal guidance to make it easier and more enjoyable to improve the health of our minds and bodies.

We do this by starting off with concrete and tangible objects to focus on (breath, beat, teacher’s voice, tingles ✨) so that when we move into the traditional meditation on the back half of class, our mind is actually able to enter a calm state vs. wrestling to get quiet. You know the feeling when trying to FORCE yourself into a meditative state …yeah, we want to avoid that! 😉

You can think of the rhythmic “belly, chest, release” breathing as the “warm up” for the mind strengthening. Just like a physical workout, the warm up loosens the body up and gets the blood flowing so when you do the exercises they are more effective.

In this first part of class we harness the power of our breath, using both rhythmic breathing to the beat of music, as well as deep breathing.

These breathing exercises for stress, together with the music, create space in our minds and bodies SO THAT we can effortlessly sink into that calm state we all love, and effectively strengthen our minds, by the end of class. 

Oxygen is the energy source for every metabolic process in our body and is essential to brain function. As we practice controlled breathing, we literally move oxygen through our bodies in ways that help on the molecular level to increase energy and brain capacity. Through this physical reaction, paired with mental focus, we create space in the mind so we can do the work of strengthening those “mind muscles.”

By adding Chorus to your routine on a frequent and consistent basis (we recommend at least 2 classes per week) you will feel tangible benefits outside of class like

  • Better sleep
  • Clearer thinking
  • More control over your emotions
  • Enhanced connections with loved ones
  • And with time, greater overall fulfillment in your life.

Now…let’s do it!


  1. (1) “Cortical thickness and pain sensitivity in zen meditators”, 2010,
  2. (2) “Brain waves and meditation”, Science Daily, 2010:
  3. (3) “Increased Theta and Alpha EEG Activity During Nondirective Meditation”, 2009,
  4. (4) “Mindful breath awareness meditation facilitates efficiency gains in brain networks: A steady-state visually evoked potentials study.”, 2018:
  5. (5) “The effect of meditation on brain structure: cortical thickness mapping and diffusion tensor imaging”, 2013,
  6. (6) Check out our  blog post “How Meditation Actually Benefits the Brain” for more on the physical changes in the brain. 
  7. (7) Premier Health: “Beware High Levels of Cortisol, the Stress Hormone”, 2017,

The Chorus Method

So…how does Chorus work?

The Chorus Method makes it easier to calm the mind by starting off with concrete and tangible objects of focus (breath, beat, teacher’s voice, tingles ✨) so that when we move into the traditional meditation on the back half of class, our mind is actually able to enter a calm state vs. wrestling to get quiet. You know the feeling when trying to FORCE yourself into a meditative state …yeah, we want to avoid that! 😉

You can think of the rhythmic “belly, chest, release” breathing as the “warm up” for the mind strengthening. Just like a physical workout, the warm up loosens the body up and gets the blood flowing so when you do the exercises they are more effective.

Once we’ve created space in the mind by using the power of the breath coupled with the music, we can effortlessly sink into that calm state we all love, and effectively strengthen our mind, by the end of class. 

As we breathe, we are literally moving oxygen around in ways that help our physical bodies on the molecular level, and carve out the space in the mind so we can do the work of strengthening those “mind muscles.” 

By adding Chorus to your routine on a frequent and consistent basis (we recommend at least 2 classes per week) you will feel tangible benefits outside of class like  improved mental clarity, mood, focus, and sleep, and with  time greater overall fulfillment in your life.

Now…let’s do it!


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The Art of Unplugging

The idea of unplugging is great in theory, but certainly difficult in practice. We are constantly bombarded with emails, texts, push notifications – it’s easy to feel spread thin, and like our attention is never our own. That’s why we love to take every opportunity we can to remind you to take a moment. Take a beat. Reflect on all that you are. Because you are enough.

When was the last time you didn’t look at a screen for an hour? 2 hours? A full day? We are so plugged in, it’s easy to forget that looking at a screen 24/7 isn’t great for us, physically or mentally. Perhaps start by taking note of your habits: do you pick up your phone as soon as you wake up? Before you even sip some water or say good morning to your loved ones? Acknowledging a habit is the first step to making change. Tomorrow morning, maybe have a glass of water, wash your face, take the dog out, and THEN pick up that phone.

After reading this, close your laptop, put your phone down. Step outside if you can. Take a deep breath, in through your nose, out through your mouth. AAAHHHH. Isn’t that nice? In the week ahead, try paying attention to your screen time; see if unplugging a little more than usual helps reduce those feelings of self-comparison and FOMO that social media so infamously creates. Observe how small conscious acts can truly change the way you *feel.*

We can’t wait to unplug with you in class this week!

Hang out with friends — it’s good for your health

Happy Monday friends of Chorus! We hope you had a wonderful weekend spent with folks you love! And not just because it’s fun to hang out with your people, but because social connection is actually extremely vital to our mental and physical health. In fact, over 70 years of scientific research has demonstrated that our relationships with other people are the single most important factor in determining our overall happiness. We need social relationships to thrive in this life!

We’ve spent the last week sharing the 7 principles of positive psychology from Shawn Achor’s The Happiness Advantage and ways to practice these principles in our own lives. (You can check out all 7 principles on our Instagram page here.) And today we share the final, and arguably the most important principle about social investment – “In the midst of challenges and stress, some people choose to hunker down and retreat within themselves. But the most successful people invest in their friends, peers, and family members to propel themselves forward. This principle teaches us how to invest more in one of the greatest predictors of success and excellence [and happiness] — our social support network.”

Most of us do a great job at investing in our social networks – over the weekends. When we’re free from our weekly work schedules, it’s easy to carve out and commit to time with our friends and family. We can hop in the car and go explore a new place, spend a leisurely morning at the farmer’s market, finally take that hike we’ve been dreaming about, settle in for a game night – the options feel endless!

But then once Monday morning rolls around and we come face-to-face with our inbox and calendar, it seems like our investment in our social network is the first thing in our lives we sacrifice to make room for daily work and life responsibilities. We feel so stressed out by impending deadlines and agendas, that we deprioritize time with our friends and put off social engagements until the next weekend, or the next, or the next. This is a counterintuitive choice though – moments of stress and overwhelm are actually the moments we benefit most from having access to a strong social network around us. Exposure to our wonderful communities helps to increase our emotional, intellectual, and physical resources.

Mindfulness Monday Tip:
Plan a midweek friend meetup! We know it can feel daunting to think about engaging in a social activity midweek, but taking the time to check in and connect with others will actually help reduce those feelings of stress and anxiety. And we’ve got the perfect idea for your social sesh…

Bring a friend to class this Wednesday for your midweek meetup!

How Stress Works and How You Can Manage It

Not all stress is the same, and our relationship to that stress has huge impacts on our health!

We know stress can feel like a bad word, but that’s not really fair. Stress isn’t necessarily “good” or “bad” – our relationship to stress, however, can vary greatly and have important effects on our overall health.

Have you ever felt nervous for a new activity or first date? Motivated to meet a deadline for a project you’ve been working on? Startled when you walked into your apartment to find a surprise party gathered in celebration of you? Then you’ve experienced something called “eustress” – your body’s response to excitement. It’s a form of stress that most of us feel in small doses from time to time!

Have you ever woken up for weeks at a time dreading going to an activity or place? Have you ever felt panicked every time a notification goes off on your phone? Have you ever found your mind constantly racing with thoughts about work, preventing you from feeling present? Then you’ve experienced something called “chronic stress” – your body’s constant response to stressors that can have detrimental effects on your health and well-being. But don’t let that stress you out!

Meditation doesn’t eliminate stress, it changes our relationship to it. Stressors will always exist and our physiological responses to these stressors is deeply encoded into our DNA. But we don’t want to be dropping into fight-or-flight mode every time we get a work email, save that response for a time you find yourself on a sky diving adventure. Meditation helps us develop the mindfulness to pivot in those moments of stress and calm our nervous system and body to return to homeostasis; which benefits our physical and mental health.

Mindfulness Monday Tip:
Get outside this week! Leave your phone and smartwatch behind and walk around outside for at least 10 minutes a day. Take notice of the world around you – the sights, the smells, the sounds. Ground yourself in the present moment. This is an excellent type of break to take during the workday to help you feel reenergized and calm!

And for even more of a reset, head on over to one of our San Francisco classes to access those feelings of clarity and calm.

How Meditation Actually Benefits the Brain

We know that meditating makes you feel better, but did you know that it makes your brain work better? Not just your mind, but your actual, physical, brain.

For over twenty years scientists have been studying people who meditate before, during, and after meditation to understand what’s going on physically.

Numerous research studies have found that brain activity is affected during and after meditation in ways that result in some pretty awesome benefits:

  • Reduced perception of pain(1)

  • Brain waves associated with feelings of calm become more pronounced(2)

  • Improved attention, focus, and ability to visually track multiple objects(3)

Scientists concluded that meditation leads to these positive changes by improving how the cerebral networks in our brain actually function.(4)

But what about physiological change? When we improve our muscle function – i.e. grow stronger – we can see physiological change; we get bigger muscles. Our brains are harder to observe, inside our heads after all.

Nevertheless, one aspect of physiological change has been documented. Scientists have shown that the grey matter in our brain – the area where most brain activity takes place – actually increases in mass with meditation.(5)

See! You think better; you get bigger thinking muscles.

…..Now, if you like us, have found it challenging to develop a meditation practice, even after knowing these amazing benefits, then join us for Chorus! During our signature classes, we combine different mindfulness techniques and breathe to the beat of an energizing playlist designed to make it easier to turn down the noise in our minds and ensure you feel something from your very first session. You’ll leave feeling calm, clear, and connected. Most importantly, we’ll help you change meditation from something you know you *should* do to something you actually *WANT* to do.

Until next time!
Ali & MK


(1) “Cortical thickness and pain sensitivity in zen meditators”, 2010,

(2) “Brain waves and meditation”, Science Daily, 2010:
“Increased Theta and Alpha EEG Activity During Nondirective Meditation”, 2009,

(3) “Mindful breath awareness meditation facilitates efficiency gains in brain networks: A steady-state visually evoked potentials study.”, 2018:

(4) “The effect of meditation on brain structure: cortical thickness mapping and diffusion tensor imaging”, 2013,

(5) “Eight weeks to a better brain”, The Harvard Gazette, 2011,

(6) “Meditation experience is associated with increased cortical thickness.”, 2006,

How Meditation Can Help You Fall Asleep and Stay Asleep

Sleep! We know we need it. We know how important it is. We know how good we feel when we get a full 8 hours of it! And yet, falling soundly asleep at night seems to grow increasingly difficult in our hyperconnected and stressed-out world. We pull our gaze away from our screens long enough to try and shut our eyes, only to find that the moment we do, our brain begins to conjure up an exhaustive array of thoughts, stories, and dramas. Well what if we told you we had a way to quiet all that noise and help you get the 7-9 hours of restorative sleep you deserve?

Because we do! And it’s as simple as focusing on your breath for a concentration of time each day. Yep, we’re talking about yet another benefit of meditation. Every time we meditate, we are training our brain to let go of the tension and stress we feel when we hold on too tightly to our thoughts. Sometimes it feels like this tension peaks when we lay our heads down to sleep and, suddenly, all we have left is our thoughts.

And you don’t even need to meditate right before bed to have it drastically improve your sleep! It’s the consistent practice that makes it easier to drop into that calm and quiet state at any time. By developing a regular meditation habit, you strengthen your brain’s ability to let go of focusing on the noise it likes to create. Which helps you fall asleep quicker and stay asleep through the night. And a full night of sleep is VITAL to your physical, emotional, and overall well-being. It improves mood, focus, energy, your metabolism, your immune system, OMG we could go on and on about the importance of sleep but we know you get it and we don’t want to stress you out if you feel like you’re not getting enough 🙂

So here are some quick tips on how to help quiet that brain at night:

1. Try to keep your phone out of your bedroom! And not just because exposure to blue light affects our REM cycles, but keeping your phone away prevents you from giving into that temptation to let your thoughts take over and wind up down a Wikipedia rabbit hole or unimportant email purging.

2. As you lay down to sleep, close your eyes and begin a body scan. Starting at the bottom of your feet, gently move your focus along your legs, your torso, your chest, arms, shoulders, and ending finally at your head. As your focus moves up your body, pause and take a moment to really FEEL that body part. Thank it for all it’s done for you that day. And intentionally shut it off, giving it permission to rest.

3. Start to count your breaths backwards, starting at 999, with every cycle of inhale and exhale as one. As soon as you notice your mind wander to a thought or a feeling, gently begin counting again at whatever number you last recall.

And, as always, we think one of the BEST ways to improve your sleep and overall well-being is to join the Chorus.

We can’t wait to see you there!
Ali & MK

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