By: Andrene M. Taylor, Ph.D.
I like challenges. I learned this about five years ago while doing Bikram Yoga. Bikram Choudhury founded Bikram Yoga in the 1970s. The practice is a synthesis of hatha yoga; it is composed of 26 postures and two breathing exercises. Sessions runs 90 minutes and it takes place in a room heated to about 105°. Bikram is not easy. At first, I thought it was hard; it’s not. It’s challenging. I didn’t get that concept until I was doing standing head to knee pose. While trying to maneuver my body into the pose, it came to me: I like challenges, which brings me to the end of first 30-day challenge. Since beginning the Challenge, I have eaten my three committed meals, weighed and measured. It’s been a challenge. And, interestingly, I’ve been BEING the person, the woman who I want to be in my life: eating right for me, participating in my physical activities, and doing things to improve and protect like my health like meditating. This is not say that I have been perfect in any of these activities. I fall short, but it’s all a part of the practice: falling down and getting back up.
This brings me to where our community in our quest for greater health, specifically in terms of breast cancer. We are coming to the end of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). Since it’s inception 25 years ago, NBCAM has been at the forefront of promoting awareness of breast cancer. Pink ribbons, products, and events were everywhere. And, though there is greater awareness, black women still disproportionately die from the disease. In 2010, breast cancer was the most commonly diagnosed cancer among black women. According to the CDC, breast cancer was the leading cause of cancer death among black women aged 45-64 years. Though black women are less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, they are more likely to die. Black women have lower survival rates than other women. Younger black women have higher incidences of breast cancer. The bad news goes on and on. The terrible news will continue until we address the foundation of the problems that cause cancer: environmental hazards, work-focused and stress-inducing culture.
Cancer will always be with us. It will always be with us until we address these issues.
If we look at all the things that we have to change, the enormity of it may prevent us from acting. So, rather than look at all the things we need to improve our health, let’s look at the small things to help us live healthier, longer lives.
Perhaps, it’s walking 30-minutes a day, learning to meditate, eating more fruits and vegetables, learning how to cook a meal, or bringing your lunch to work. We all know what to do. Challenging ourselves to do it is the tough part.
For this part of challenge, I am going to commit to honing my meditation practice. Lately, I’ve been slacking. My practice has been inconsistent. So, for this part of the challenge, I commit to meditating twice a day, everyday for the next 30-days. As we move into the second part of the Be-Do-Have: Un-Challenge Challenge, I’d like you to consider all of the advice that you heard to improve your health and diet and implement it. Below are some suggestions to help you get started:
For Part 2 of the challenge, DO ONE of the following. Keep us in the loop of your progress on ZuriWorks’ Facebook page.