Frequently Asked Questions
21 Days of Morning Meditations
What is it?
21 days of morning meditation is a free gift I’ve created just for you. By signing up you will receive a daily email sharing a morning meditation intended to be the first thing you do when you wake up. Allow yourself to release, relax and revive, setting your intention and focus for the day. Each meditation is 15 minutes long, you are gifting yourself an extra 15 minutes in bed, a time filled with positive affirmations and reviving breathwork, all whilst being serenaded by the dawn chorus from the Irish forests.
21 days of morning meditation is for everyone, and since mediation is best when shared I invite you to pass along my meditation to friends and family to help spread positivity, peace and calm, especially now in such uncertain times.
“When you press the pause button on a machine, it stops. When you press the pause button on human beings, they start.” Dov Siedman
Where do I watch or listen?
Your daily meditation videos will be shared on YouTube. You will receive an email every morning giving you full access to this gift.
How much is it?
It is completely free, a gift from my heart to yours. There’s no hidden costs. Feel free to share it with your loved ones as well.
Why should I meditate first thing in the morning?
Meditation is a great tool for awakening the mind and energizing the body. Each morning we will train our brain, using meditation and positive affirmations, to
refocus, think positively, and set a peaceful tone for the day.
I encourage you to prioritize morning meditation as the first thing you do when you wake up. Set your alarm for 15 minutes earlier than you usually wake-up and use this extra 15 minutes in the morning to listen to the morning meditation. Keep a pair of headphones by your bed so as soon as you are awake you can watch or listen to the morning meditation.
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
Why should I do it?
21 days of morning meditation will gift you with the practice of meditation, breathwork and positive affirmations to help reset your subconscious thought cycle and move your mind in the direction of inner calm, providing the internal environment our mind and bodies need to heal. Meditation stimulates the vagus nerve, activating our parasympathetic nervous system, reducing the stress and fear Covid19 has on our bodies.
“When you can’t go outside, go inside.”
I’m not able to meditate, why should I try this?
“The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.”
I know meditation is hard, especially at the start. It can often be scary to realise the speed of our thoughts, but to simply start is the greatest gift you can give yourself.
Our thoughts shape our reality and dictate how we feel and act, through meditation you can learn to accept and control your thoughts and inner dialogue.
I created 21 mornings of meditation to make it as easy as possible for people who think they’re not able to meditate, to empower you and make it super easy. All you have to do is TO DEDICATE YOUR FIRST 15 MINUTES TO YOU. Even if you fall asleep for these 15 minutes your subconscious brain will still be digesting all the positive affirmations, creating a mindset that allows you to take full advantage of
all the opportunities the new day will bring you. Even if you fall asleep every morning for the full 21 days it means that one day you won’t fall asleep when you meditate as your body is becoming stronger and stronger.
You think you can’t meditate? Trust me, YOU CAN! I’m happy you’re here as I created this experience for you. A gift from me to you! Prove yourself wrong and create this time and space for yourself, it will be the greatest gift you give yourself. What can you lose? it’s free!
Why is each meditation 15 minutes?
A 2005 Harvard study by Sarah Lazar showed that meditation can change the structure of the brain. Further research shows that just five to ten minutes of meditation a day can make a difference. The process of rewiring our brains is just that – a process. By easing into a 15-minute morning meditation you are allowing the time for your mind to break habits and beliefs that have been thoroughly entrenched in your subconscious. The important thing to remember is that it can happen – and you CAN do it.
What happens if I miss a day?
It’s not a problem if you miss a day, or two, just come back to it and try again. It’s important to show up for yourself. It’s not about having time, it’s about making time. If you find the morning mediation isn’t working for you in bed, try a cozy chair or out in the sun. It doesn’t matter where you practice the important thing is finding the time and space that benefits you. You're more likely to enjoy your mediation if you make it an experience that works for you
“It’s not about having time, it’s about making time.”
I’m going to miss it - can I join again?
Absolutely. You can start 21 days of morning meditation at any time. All you have to do is head over to www.aislingleonard.com and register with your email. You will then receive daily emails linking you to the morning meditation video.
The Science behind it:
When we experience stress in our lives, whether it is chronic low levels of stress, or intense traumatic events it puts our sympathetic nervous system in overdrive – it activates our fight or flight response- flooding our bodies with a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.
"Sherry Benton, Founder and chief science officer of TAO Connect, a St. Petersburg, Florida–based virtual platform that provides online behavioral health resources, says that 'there's been a lot of medical research into meditation, particularly mindfulness meditation,' that has shown it can actually impact physical health by reducing blood pressure and cortisol levels.
Cortisol is a hormone the body produces when under stress. Cortisol is helpful when you're trying to flee a predator, as it helps your body fight or flee. "But our bodies don't really know the difference between when we're experiencing a physical threat or a mental threat or worry," and it reacts the same in all those situations by producing cortisol, Benton says.
Therefore, the body is flooded with cortisol when we respond to emotional stress or anxiety, and too much cortisol can lead to health problems. "The more we worry and the more we fret, the more cortisol we produce, and that can lead to all sorts of problems including high blood pressure, difficulty sleeping and weight gain," Benton explains. Meditation can help reduce this excess production of cortisol and provide other mental and physical health benefits."
Meditation also develops certain areas of the brain, like those responsible for memory, compassion, and empathy. Meanwhile, parts of the brain associated with fear, stress, and anxiety (such as the amygdala – the “fight or flight” center) begin to shrink. Anxiety neurotransmitters may decrease, whereas the pleasurable neurotransmitter dopamine may increase. These and other subtle changes result in an overall feeling of improvement in your health and wellbeing.
With daily stress, especially now during the pandemic, our brains can get stuck in the sympathetic nervous cycle which is where our fight or flight reaction comes from. When this happens, our fears drive elevated stress hormones and will begin to affect our internal environment over time. Our body then slows down the parasympathetic nervous system activities such as digestion and this can lead to a
host of issues.
We can break this cycle by stimulating the vagus nerve which runs from the brainstem all the way to the tailbone innervating all our major organs along the way. It is the longest cranial nerve in the body and is responsible for guiding the parasympathetic nervous system, the rest and digest response.
There are many different ways to stimulate the vagus nerve including breathwork to instantly stimulate your vagus nerve and lower stress responses associated with "fight-or-flight" response.
I invite you to embrace and experience all the ways meditation can benefit your body mind and soul with 21 days of morning mediations.
I’m struggling with the breathing?
Breathe in whichever way feels comfortable to you. Always personalise the guidance to what feels good to you. Only you can know what’s best for you. You will still receive the full benefits of our course.
I’m struggling with the progressive muscular relaxation technique? Any tips?
Follow my voice as a guide but always do what feels best for YOU! When working with the breath it's important to ensure you're not taking too much effort or strain into the breath. Start using your own internal count to guide yourself into a state of relaxed awareness. When practising Progressive Muscular Relaxation it's important to use all of your effort on your first inhale, and half of your effort on the second inhaled. Allow yourself to explore it for yourself without any self-criticism or judgement. Approach it with that childlike wonder and have fun with it!
Where does the treatment take place?
My treatment room is located on the first floor of Eire Og, GAA football club. Please click Here for directions.
Please ring the 'A Leonard' buzzer to the right of the main door. I will buzz you in. Make yourself comfortable in the waiting area at the top of the stairs.
How do I prepare?
The most important thing you can do is to come with an open heart and an open mind.You’ll be lying on a healing table, fully clothed, so try to wear warm comfortable clothing. I recommend that you drink plenty of water, for 24 hours before and after your session.
What can I expect?
Everyone's experience is completely different. The best piece of advice I can give you is to leave your expectations behind and trust your inner voice.
Is this suitable for everyone?
Reiki, energy work and Biokinesiology is safe for everyone. Sound therapy is not recommended during the first and last three months of pregnancy, if you have a pacemaker or metal implants or experience epilepsy or other types of seizures and sound sensitive conditions such as Labrynthitus or Meniere's Disease.
Where does the virtual treatment take place?
We will connect through Zoom. All you need is a pair of earphones to fully absorb the healing power from the sound. If you do not have access to data or WiFi telephone sessions are available as well.
What do I need to wear and bring for a virtual treatment?
All you need do is snuggle up in bed with a pair of headphones to fully immerse yourself in the sound. An eye pillow/mask, warm socks and plenty of water are also recommended! A journal may also be useful to write down any creative ideas, thoughts or feelings you experience.