Read With Me

Meditation 101 – The Why

Meditation is a HUGE part of my personal yoga practice.

After teaching 15+ classes a week, what my energy craves most is stillness.

I teach meditation and breath work in all of my classes, and I know that just the word itself can seem daunting to students. The assumption being that you’ll have to sit for hours and think of NOTHING. This idea is not only inaccessible but it’s almost impossible. (If there is NOTHING happening in your mind, I think you might be dead.)

 

Meditation is Awareness

It is a state where your mind is quiet, yet alert.
Where you are conscious of your thoughts without reacting to them or being controlled by them. A teacher of mine said once “You are in control of your own mind.” A meditation practice is your time to exercise that control. So often we think that our minds and our thought patterns are a beast of their own that run rampant at their own will, when actually we have the power to redirect and refocus when we need too.

 

 

There are SO MANY reasons to begin a meditation practice today.

The word it’s self has roots in 2 Latin words; meditarito think and mederihealing and the Sanskrit world medha, which means wisdom. Honestly, that’s enough reason for me, but I’m a bit of a word-nerd. If you are the kind of person who needs a little more, here you go.

  1. Improved concentration – A clear mind makes you more productive.
  2. Less bothered by little things – Do you sometimes allow yourself to get upset by little things? It is the nature of the mind to magnify small things into serious problems. Meditation helps us detach. We learn to live in the here and now, rather than worrying about the past or future.
  3. Better Health – There have been numerous studies pointing to the health benefits of meditation. The reason is that meditation reduces stress levels and alleviates anxiety. If we can reduce stress, many health benefits follow.
  4. Knowledge of Self – Meditation enables us to have a deeper understanding of our inner self. Through meditation we can gain a better understanding of our life’s purpose.
  5. More social connection -Meditation is usually a solitary practice, but interesting research out of theJournal of Personality and Social Psychology demonstrates
    meditation’s ability to increase our sense of connection to others. This—combined with the 
    group meditation studios and classes popping up left and right—will help increase your social connection and heighten your emotional intelligence.

     

 

Want more Science (and more reading)?

 

1 – Increases immune function (See here and here)

2 – Decreases Pain (see here)

3 – Decreases Inflammation at the Cellular Level (See here and here and here)

4 – Increases Positive Emotion (here and here)

5 – Decreases Depression (see here)

6 – Decreases Anxiety (see here and here and here)

7 – Decreases Stress (see here and  here)

8 – Increases grey matter (see here)

9 – Increases volume in areas related to emotion regulation, positive emotions & self-control (see here and here)

10 – Increases cortical thickness in areas related to paying attention (see here)

11 – Increases your focus & attention (see here and here and here and here)

12 – Improves your ability to multitask (see here)

13 – Improves your memory (see here)

14 – Improves your ability to be creative & think outside the box (see research by J. Schooler)

15. It Makes You WISE(R)

 

Now that you’ve got your WHY covered, stay tuned for the HOW. I’ll have another post coming your way soon about the tips and tricks I use to cultivate an at home meditation practice.

 

Want to know more?
Shoot me a message, I’m always happy to chat!

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s