group of happy women
Is there anything better than when you give a friend or a loved one a gift? Let’s face it, it is more fun to give the gift than to receive it.  There is such a feeling of delight in making someone else happy and smile. Let’s deepen that and imagine taking time our of our day or putting ourselves out a bit, to help someone who needs our care. Maybe there is someone who needs shelter that we can help to provide, or food. Perhaps there is an elderly neighbor who is ill and could use some extra help with something around the house.
Just imagine that every time you take the time to nurture somebody else, your desire to nurture others grows until it becomes a regular and very fulfilling part of your life. Nurturing others is not just for parents, teachers, nurses or child-care workers, it is for everyone.
The beauty of a regular meditation practice, is that it grows the part of the brain that experiences empathy and caring for others. By cultivating self-compassion we are actually growing our capacity to experience a deep and satisfying compassion for others. This is nothing but a win/win for everyone.
Just imagine a world where we are all loving life, because we are caring for and nurturing each other. That right there is #goals!
Take Five Meditation was built on the premise that there could be nothing better than creating a space to nurture others. Providing an oasis for the stressed and tired DC community is our top priority. If along the way, we manage to enhance our community’s capacity through regular meditation into taking that spirit of nurture out into the broader world, that is simply some beautiful icing on the cake.
We look forward to seeing you growing your nurturing spirit on the cushions.
With Epic Amounts of Community Kumbaya,
Tara
For more on how meditation changes and grows your gray matter see here

Self-care as we know, is one of the building blocks to a good quality of life. That’s why we eat well, exercise, meditate, get our hair and nails done etc… In these high stressed, over screened, modern times, the concept of self-care in order to charge the batteries makes sense to a point. Somebody needs to look out for us even if it is us, right?

Well the answer is yes, but it doesn’t end there, because there is more to the story than just us. There is everyone. You know, all of those people everywhere who make up community and who might not have the same kind of access that they should have, not only to self-care, but to basic human dignity and well-being.  Everyone is vulnerable to being in a state where they need support and sometimes that support needs to come from the community.

Community plays a very big role at Take Five Meditation. We care about our village and believe that as our community grows it is important to open the doors wider to community care.  We know that your regular meditation practice, your connection to the broader community in the tea lounge, prepares you to go out and be a thriving community member, ready to lend a helping hand where needed. Sometimes those seeds are planted right in the studio with a conversation, or a question.

In other words, you are taking your self-care and you are balancing it with community-care, creating the kind of Yin and Yang balance of well being for all. We love that about you. As of a matter of fact, if you have a community based area of interest that you would like to share with our Take Five community, please reach out and let us know. You can write about it for our newsletter, or you can reach out to see if we can host an event to support it.

We are not just about Taking Five, we are also very much about Giving Five and then some, and we are looking forward to growing this vibe as our beautiful community grows.

With A Tremendous Amount of All Kinds of Care,

Tara

Cool, on topic article here

As we move through our busy, hectic lives that are so full of stuff and things to do, it is easy to forget that we walk around daily with this magical toolbox that can help us take the edge off of life induced stress. This toolbox happens to be our very own bodies and minds, and if the tools are used wisely, we can regulate ourselves with great mindfulness as we move through the to do list.

One of the most fascinating tools that we have is the Vagus nerve. This incredible nerve connects our brains to many of our bodily functions and is responsible for regulating so many of our body’s systems including our fight or flight response. Breathing deeply into the body followed by long exhales has an immediate soothing effect on the Vagus nerve, slowing down the heart rate, and quieting the parasympathetic nervous system. This means a huge reduction in fight or flight stress. This is awesome.

At Take Five Meditation, we get how important it is to be familiar with the tools that we have to help us deepen our Mindful lifestyles. Nothing makes us happier than seeing you grow your ability to live without a whole lot of fight or flight and with a lot more calm and joy. The body and mind connection is endlessly fascinating and we love sharing the journey and exploration of it with you.

We look forward to seeing you get in touch with your inner Vagus Nerve on the cushions, and there is nothing vague about that.

With A Lot of Nerve and Love,

Tara

For more really cool and interesting research read here.

If you are a human being, chances are, bad stuff has happened to you. Bad stuff comes in the guise of many forms. It could be that you were mistreated by another, experienced trauma be it physical or emotional, addiction, loss, and the list goes on.

We are all at risk of being defined by our histories of pain, it’s actually a pretty normal pattern, and the mind loves to go there and dwell on it.  However, we are at risk of ruminating, that vicious cycle of not letting go, and miring ourselves in our misery, constantly seeking ways to explain it, or find relief or justifications for it. Before you know it, your pain is all you can think about, it’s a mind trap.

Truth be told, negative thinking does not serve us. It actually hurts us. This is not to say that in moments, emotional congruence is an important thing when facing tough situations, but overall, rumination can lead to serious anxiety and depression.

There are many healthy ways to move away from negative thought patterns and one of them is Meditation. A mindfulness practice helps us to recognize our negative thought patterns objectively and without judgment so that we can start to change the inner-dialogue. Sound healing can connect us to our inner-vibrations of joy and happiness, mantra meditation can be the new inner voice that we hear telling us that we are worthy of great happiness, so that the beautiful music in your head can shine through.

At Take Five Meditation it our greatest pleasure to offer you a space where you can look at your negative thought patterns, investigate them, and understand that you can put them down and walk away from them.  Our goal is to lead you right into the arms of positive thinking (a topic for another time).

We look forward to seeing you on the cushions.

With a Tremendous Amount of Love and Affection,

Tara

For more on this fascinating topic read here.

I think we are all aware right now, that the news cycle, and current events are creating a lot of polarity in our environment. Nowadays, if you are a typical Washingtonian, it is easy to find yourself getting sucked into the day’s current events and, getting reactive and having emotional responses.

This is pretty normal, and nothing to worry about. However, the feelings of polarization can be yucky, and feel pretty useless in the face of our news cycle. Washington is a town of problem solvers, and with each new event, many of us feel compelled to respond, but sometimes that comes in the guise of reaction rather than action.

There are ways to do what we believe is right, while practicing kindness to others, even when we disagree with them. Combining the courage of your convictions, with a deep sense of kindness and compassion towards others becomes a winning combination.

Take Five is located in the heart of Washington, DC, the beating heart of the news cycle. We take that very seriously and understand that our socially conscious community needs the time and space to process this on the cushions. A mindfulness practice can be pivotal in the face of this duality. It can help all of us to cultivate the insight and self-awareness we need to be active and involved, without becoming overwhelmed and forgetting ours, and everyone else’s humanity.

We look forward to seeing you in the studio, fully present, with courage and kindness.

With Buckets of Love, Peace, and Hope, for a Very Bright State of Being for All,

Tara

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and I can’t help but ask myself the following questions. What exactly does fitness and health mean? Is it running a marathon? Is it bench pressing two hundred pounds? Is it having the right BMI? Is it having a good blood reading? Notice that these are all physical measurements of how we think of fitness. In a culture that is body obsessed, where health care focuses on limited measurements of what it means to be healthy, where is the focus on mental health and mental fitness?
Brain health and fitness is paramount to overall health, and yet it continues to be marginalized, and a relatively taboo topic. As we learn to become more in tune with ourselves (this is a learned awareness), we start to understand that the mind and the body are incredibly interwoven, and connected. Often when the body has pain, or inflammation, the origins begin with a stress response, or to a psychological event that impacted our physical body.
The current science is teaching us that pain management and a lot of our physical illnesses can be reduced through regular meditation practices. Mindfulness Meditation has been shown to reduce chronic pain by 57% and the better you get at meditation the higher that number rises. Meditation also has a similar impact on fighting depression by releasing serotonin to depression resistant levels.
At Take Five Meditation we understand how important physical and mental health are and how connected they are. We also know that it’s not a one month a year thing, it is year round, day in and day out. That’s why we are here for you throughout the year, to provide you with a place to cultivate your brain fitness, and your mind body connection. We all get one body and one brain and these are our temples, to cherish, nourish and love. See you on the cushions. ❤
With Tremendous Love and Affection from My Brain to Yours,
Tara

What if you had a super power? An innate ability to move life giving energy in such a way that it makes you stronger, makes you smarter, regulates your emotions, all while filling you up with the electricity of life. Well you do have it, we all do. It’s called breath.

Breath is this incredible life force that works for us endlessly and we don’t even have to think about it, or do we? What happens when we do focus on our breath rather than taking it for granted? Amazing things, that’s what. Focused breath work, has so many benefits and that is why it is such a reliable meditation tool.

During these middle spring days of sneezes and wheezes and miserable breathing, breath work can make a big difference in how our bodies handle the pollen count. Deep nostril breathing can help clear our sinuses and calm down some of the inflammation we experience as our immune systems respond to our city’s trees that seem to be endlessly trying to reproduce.

Alternate nostril breathing (my favorite) not only loosens up stuff and helps clear the sinuses, it also has the known effect of uplifting us emotionally. A full cycle of alternate nostril breathing, and I feel like a brand new person.

Take Five Meditation is a celebration of the breath. Every class reminds us that we all have this incredible super power, that we can always rely on to calm us down, to open up our sinuses, to bring us inward to a place of reflection and joy.

Nothing makes us happier than seeing you transform yourself with breath with each practice.

With Big, Loving, Deep Inhales and Twice as Long and Loving Exhales,

Tara

Whitney Hosein received her training in Rishi Kesh, an ashram situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, during the summer of 2015, and has been meditating and practicing pranayama for over half of her current incarnation. She received a 200 hour certification in asana, pranayama and meditation instruction, and learned under the Swami Atma, a renowned educator in the spiritual sciences. Whitney combines her scientific background as a biochemist with her understanding of subtle forces within and without our physical bodies to create an atmosphere that is at once healing, grounding, and clarifying.She is continually inspired by the limitless potential within each and every individual, and her inner flame is most ignited when she is able to remind people of their boundlessness so that all can burn through the illusions of reality to see that which is consistent throughout every being.

Katie is now the Studio’s Lead Front Desk and Sales Manager.

Katie has been with Take Five Meditation for over a year now and has been doing a super job working the front desk. Her involvement in the studio has grown and grown over this past year and it shows in so many ways that you may not have known or noticed. Changes have ranged for the look, feel and content of our retail, our tea lounge and more. As well as changes in the flow and method of our sign up and sign-in process. A lot of what she does is also behind the scenes and goes virtually unnoticed.

You may not notice all the things that Katie does for the studio and our community but know that many of the things our community enjoys are directly impacted by her attitude, dedication and initiative.

Thank you and congratulations Katie!!

Remember when you were little and some benevolent being in your world would cradle you, and sing to you, or repeat sweet little nursery rhymes? Remember that feeling of full trust, and relaxation then that relaxed sleepiness, and feeling very secure and safe? Even if you didn’t understand the words, the repetitive rhythm and sounds resonated and made you feel love and comfort. Sounds a lot like infancy doesn’t it? Taking you back to a time before memory, a time of innocence and yet with the innate understanding that repetitive sound with loving words made your world safe.
Mantra Meditation has a similar effect on the adult brain. The use of repetitive sound and words are excellent for relieving stress, and for getting the mind to be fully focused on the moment. Mantra is a liberation of the busy mind, and is best when done with others.
At Take Five Meditation we have a soft spot for mantra and that’s why we offer a few classes that focus on mantra meditation. There is something special in the creation of sound vibrations in a group setting. It is almost impossible not to feel yourself uplifted by the benefits of which there are many.
We cannot wait to hear you chanting on the cushions at the studio with your Take Five community. Your mantra is our mantra and we love it.
With the Universal Sound of OM and Endless Love,
Tara
For more on mantra meditation.