Let’s try Oak – Meditation and Breathing Application

Let's Try Meditation with The Free Oak - Meditation and Breathing ApplicationLet’s be real, this year has been rough; we’re all just trying to adjust and survive the best we can. Current events have really revealed that there are some pretty rude, self-entitled people out there and I for one am way too sensitive to people’s actions and emotions. I’ve found myself absorbing and/or responding to their vibes, which results in living day to day with too many negative thoughts and feelings.

In an effort to bring the tranquility and positivity back to my life, I have begun meditating and it feels good! If you’re feeling anything but tranquil, I highly recommend taking some time to meditate each day or, if every day isn’t for you, less frequently yet consistently; you will feel better!

Interested, but not sure where to start?

I am using the Oak – Meditation and Breathing application. It is simple and straightforward, with enough content to get you started without becoming overwhelming.  It is also the only meditation app. I’ve found that is truly free. Other applications, like Calm and Headspace (both fantastic), are free to download and offer some free content and/or free trials, but if you want more you’ll have to pay for a monthly or yearly premium membership. After Oak, Insight Timer is probably the next application that has the most free classes, but does have a premium membership if you want to access certain practices. We’ll focus on Insight Timer at a later date.

So let’s take a look at Oak!

When opening the app., you are presented with three categories: Meditation, Breathing and Sleeping. Each category has two or three practice options.

Let's Try Meditation with The Free Oak - Meditation and Breathing Application

Once you’ve selected a category and practice, you can customize a few more details depending on the practice. For example, if you want to practice Mindful Meditation, you can select the duration, instructor’s voice, background noise and a warmup duration.

Let's Try Meditation with The Free Oak - Meditation and Breathing Application Let's Try Meditation with The Free Oak - Meditation and Breathing Application

The breathing practices do not give you customization options, but they will give you details about how long you will be inhaling, holding and exhaling.

Let's Try Meditation with The Free Oak - Meditation and Breathing Application

If you’re looking for something deeper, there is a Courses tab which (so far) offers one course on Mantra Meditation. You will be prompted to “Buy” the course for $0.00. I’ve “purchased” it (yes it is free) and I am very pleased with the quality and length. I hope there will be more free courses in the future.

Let's Try Meditation with The Free Oak - Meditation and Breathing Application Let's Try Meditation with The Free Oak - Meditation and Breathing Application

I will be testing out other options for meditation and let you know what I discover!

How do you meditate? Do you use an application, or something else? If you do use an application, what is your favorite and why? I’d love to know!

Let’s try Intermittent Fasting!

I am now a fledgling intermittent faster. Do you want to try it with me?

If you’re not familiar with intermittent fasting, it is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It doesn’t specify which foods you should eat (although healthier foods yield better results), but rather when you should eat them.

I’ve chosen the 16/8 schedule, which means that I am restricting my eating to an 8 hour timeframe and fasting the remaining 16 hours of the day. This is what is working for me, but there are several other schedules out there if you’re looking for something different.

  • 20/4: Restrict eating to 4 hours of the day and fast the remaining 20.
  • 5/2: Eat regularly for 5 days of the week, on days 6 and 7 only consume about 500 calories per day.
  • 24 hour: Fast for 24 hours straight, once or twice a week.
  • 36 hour: Fast for 36 hours straight once a week.

Why am I doing such a thing you ask? Odd as it may sound, I wanted to conserve food during the pandemic. After breaking my fast, I usually don’t feel hungry again until right before the 8 hours are up. Everything is simpler, there are fewer meals to prepare, cook or clean up after!

In addition to conserving food, I would love to reach my pre-pregnancy weight or lower. As I mentioned above this eating pattern has me eating fewer meals and consuming less calories a day. I’ve also read that intermittent fasting can boost metabolism and that’s encouraging!

There are several other potential benefits, but the best thing I can do is tell you about my personal experience. I will practice intermittent fasting for the next three months at least and report back with my findings. How about you?