The Skeptical Person’s Guide to Kick-Starting a Meditation Practice

We feel you: It can be hard to feel like you have room for meditation in your life — another thing to do?! — when you’re just so busy with life as it is. That’s why we reached out to Daphne Lyon, a meditation teacher and 500-hour registered yoga teacher at Amrita Yoga and Wellness who also surfs and teaches paddleboard yoga with Aqua Vida SUP. In case you couldn’t tell, she’s a busy gal who can relate to the daily grind.

“You have probably meditated before when you were on a run, knitting, painting or anytime you felt in the zone, completely focused, present, and in the moment,” Lyon says. “The practice of meditation is just that, but more controlled and with intention. We set the intention that we want to bring our awareness to in the present moment by watching the breath.”

We caught up with her for a Q&A about how to jumpstart your own meditation practice. (For starters, you can try her 3-minute guided meditation, because you KNOW you have three minutes!).Who knows? It could just be life-changing. As she says, “I feel so grateful for the ability to share this powerful practice with the community because the results are always amazing, no matter how big or small, and the practice truly transforms your life.”

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The Checkup: Why Having a Slow Metabolism Can Actually Be a Good Thing

• First off, according to an expert, we should be referring to our metabolisms as either efficient (read: slow) or inefficient (read: fast). And when it comes to metabolism, while a slow (er, efficient) metabolism is generally thought of as a culprit for weight gain, if you’re an athlete, it’s actually on your side, helping you store and maintain energy from food for workouts that require increased endurance. [Well + Good]

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PSA: Here’s When You’re More Likely to Turn Into an Internet Troll

Internet trolls: We all know them. Some of us are them. Working on the internet, I have encountered more than my fair share, and I do often wonder to myself, Why, dear troll, are you screaming “I know of a place you can shove your hoagie!” to a complete stranger? (Yes, that is a real comment on a real Philly Mag post.) Wouldn’t your energy be better spent … somewhere else? Well, researchers at Stanford and Cornell looked into just that question of why people exhibit troll-like behavior, and it turns out, under the right circumstances, lots of people — yes, maybe including you — are capable of turning into all-caps-typing monsters. Much of it simply depends on mood.

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The Checkup: WTF Is ASMR? (And Do You Experience It?) 

• Around a year ago, one of my friends tried to explain the feeling of ASMR — which has spawned tons of ASMR YouTube videos (Google it, I dare you) — to me and I just could NOT understand what she was talking about. At all. Here, an ASMR researcher breaks it down: “ASMR is a deeply relaxing and comforting feeling, usually accompanied by tingling sensations in the head,” usually caused by some sort of trigger, which can range from a soft whisper to seeing someone paint skillfully. Clearly, I’m not one of the lucky ones in the ASMR-experiencing camp, but if you’ve been looking for a way to identify this soothing feeling, there you have it! Now, to figure out what triggers you — I’m sure there’s a YouTube video to suit your needs. [Refinery29]

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The Checkup: Science Finds Unexpected Upside of Sweating in Saunas

• Bet you weren’t thinking your gym sauna sessions were helping your brain out, did you? Well, they could be: A new 20-year study performed in Finland found that men who hung out in the sauna four to seven times per week were significantly less likely to be diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s than those who visited the sauna once a week. You don’t have to tell us twice! [Huffington Post]

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The Checkup: The Classic Cold-Weather Mistake That’s Ruining Your Sleep 

• If you plan on going home tonight and curling up under your giant down duvet, buttoned up in flannel PJs, with your thermostat set to a nice and toasty 71 degrees, you might want to rethink your plan: According to sleep researchers, one big mistake people make in the winter — that ends up screwing with their ability to fall asleep, losing out on valuable ZZZs — is getting a little too warm in bed. In fact, your thermostat should be set somewhere around a cool 65 degrees. [Byrdie]

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Eagles’ Brandon Brooks Opens Up About Anxiety Condition

Brandon Brooks. (Jeff Fusco)

Brandon Brooks. (Jeff Fusco)

When it happened in 2014, Brandon Brooks thought he just had an ulcer. But then it happened again in 2015, and now it’s happened twice in the last three weeks. The 27-year-old offensive lineman has missed four games in the last three seasons because of a last-minute illness that popped up on game day. Each time, he would wake up around 4 or 5 a.m., vomit uncontrollably for about 24 hours, lack the strength to even stand up and wonder what was happening to him afterward.

Now, he knows what the cause is. Read more »

The Checkup: The Common Fitness Gear Mistakes Sabotaging Your Workouts

• Trainers aren’t just looking at your form when you hit the gym — they’re also taking note of your fitness gear, including the mistakes you’re making that could be sabotaging your workouts. Think: wearing the wrong underwear, not paying attention to your shoes and going for a cutesy sports bra instead of a sports bra that actually works. Guilty? Same. [Well + Good]

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