Good news for the busy holiday season: Exercising for just 10 to 30 minutes may be enough to improve your mood, according to a 2018 review in The Journal of Psychology. Researchers also found that anaerobic exercise was more consistently linked to beneficial mood effects than aerobic exercise, and that moderate intensity is best for maximum improvement, the British Psychological Society Research Digest reported. For a workout that checks these boxes, try Or Artzi’s Cardio Sculpt: Plyometrics + Planks on Equinox+.
“If you’ve ever successfully constructed a campfire, you know there are three basic components: heat, oxygen, and fuel,” Gervais says in the HeadStrong Campfire Meditation on Equinox+. “Our inner fire is no different.” The heat is your spark of inspiration, the oxygen is your breath, and the fuel is your focus and concentration.
Follow these steps to build your inner fire:
1. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and focus on how you’re feeling right now.
2. Visualize your body as hollow, with space for your campfire. See the tiny ball of fire and warmth burning just below your navel. If it helps, place your hands under the navel so you can feel the site of your campfire.
3. Now, add oxygen with a stimulating breath technique: Inhale quickly through your nose and into your chest. When you exhale, do so quickly through the mouth as though you’re breathing through a straw. Try that five times.
4. On your fifth inhale, hold and swallow your breath. Feel it come down to your belly, hold it in, and continue to visualize the fire that burns there. Hold for a few counts, then exhale through your mouth. Do this three times, then breathe normally, continuing to bring air to your inner fire.
5. Now, it’s time to pay attention, or add fuel. This will take the most work at the beginning. Keep adding attention like you’d add kindling to grow your fire. If your attention wanes, don’t worry – just bring it back to the flame. Pause for two minutes as you enjoy the heat and warmth you’ve created.
6. When you feel ready, open your eyes and take that fire into the rest of your day.
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