The story of Swami Rama, a master yogi and breathing expert, is the kind that immediately has you asking, really?

The most outlandish claim I heard was straight out of an X-Men movie. Swami Rama could change the temperature in his hand so that the two sides of his palm differed by ten degrees–using only his mind. 

A thorough Google search confirmed this was recorded during research at the Menninger Foundation during the 1970s. Guess he was busy with something besides free love.

So, how did he do it?

Many attribute his psychosomatic abilities to intense studying that included a stint of eleven months meditating in isolation.

Definitely impressive. But hearing this, all I could think was, eleven months alone to change my hand temperature? No thank you.

Instead of being in awe of his abilities, I couldn’t get over how that kind of sacrifice wasn’t worth it.

It forced me to think more about the idea of sacrifice. 

We all know we have to make sacrifices for what we want, and we see some of these examples clearly. A parent going back to school trades time with little ones for a better future. 

But what about the sacrifices we don’t see?

Take time for example. Think of all the time that leaves you unsatisfied. Doomscrolling the news or hanging out with negative people. Does the cost-benefit analysis work out for that hour you spend watching “what I’d wear if I was a Disney character” videos on TikTok? I don’t think so. 

Not all sacrifices are clear-cut, and these are the ones most likely to be problematic.

Viewing your time and energy spent on a goal as a sacrifice for an outcome might make you rethink how you spent your time. It makes me reconsider mine.

Eleven months in isolation still doesn’t appeal to me, but at least it has a purpose.

The sacrifice is there–no matter whether you recognize it as one or not.

To being better without having a favorite meditation app,