What is the purpose of meditation? Is a waste of time? Is it just procrastination to avoid reality? Are there any benefits?
In Speaking With:
In speaking to a “Yoga Convert” we learned that many people find that meditation is a waste of time. Sitting there saying Om was just not their thing!
One gentleman mentioned that he was positive that he had never meditated until he actually took Advanced Yoga Instructors training – later in life.
It was at this time that he realized that he had actually been meditating for years, just not sitting still saying Om!!
During the discussion we learned that there are many different ways to meditate.
This gentleman was taught that he was practicing Somatic (or movement) meditation.
Current thinking suggests that this type of meditation is predominantly left-brained, ground up, so to speak. Any movement through walking, running, cycling or swimming were his main times and easiest times to meditate.
Meditation has been practiced in one form or another for thousands of years – so the general thinking is that there must be something there!
There are many benefits to regular practice – and we are told practice because the journey of meditation and its benefits are linked to our purpose and everyone needs to find the type of meditation that suits them best.
Some Forms of Meditation Include:
Not all meditation techniques are right for everyone as we’ve learned!
Meditation on the whole has many documented health benefits.
Practicing meditation helps to slow your breathing, quiet your mind and find peace.
Meditation is commonly used to treat mental disorders, addiction and stress as well as to heal physical ailments such as irritable bowel syndrome, PTSD, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome as well as promote better sleep. It can be beneficial physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Practicing meditation stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, the part of the nervous system that helps our body return to a calm, relaxed state after a threat of danger. When this happens our bodies can naturally repair and rebuild itself.
Meditation clears our mind for a better sleep and improves athletic performance mainly by refining our focus on a goal or situation, (visualization).
During a meditation session your respiration actually slows down allowing for longer, deeper breaths.
It has been noted that practicing meditation also boosts our immune system by slowing production of cortisol.
Practicing meditation on a regular basis reduces anxiety and depression by enabling our body to balance its own neuro-chemical system.
This allows us to make better decisions and improve critical thinking, which improves communication with ourselves, our thought processes and our ability to control what we think.
The continued practice also helps break unhealthy habits by detaching our emotions associated with that action.
Meditation teaches that when we let go of the past and the future we live one hundred percent in the present, which affects all aspects of our lives and relationships. This really helps us stay in the present moment!
As we can interpret from its benefits meditation doesn’t act like a drug, duct tape or wine; meditation itself doesn’t do anything but allow our bodies and minds to be less burdened and allowed to repair and rebuild itself.
In summary 12 true science based benefits of meditation (according to Healthline):
- Reduces stress
- Controls anxiety
- Promotes emotional health
- Enhances self-awareness
- Lengthens attention span
- May reduce age-related memory loss
- Can generate kindness – especially towards oneself
- May help fight addictions
- Improves sleep
- Helps control pain
- Can decrease blood pressure
- Accessible anywhere
There is no best way to meditate. This particular gentleman mainly practices a form of meditation called Vipassana (insight).
He explains that he tries to see things as they really are, being aware of his thoughts without dwelling on them and focusing on his own physical cues such as breath, heart beat and footsteps and general awareness.
BLiSS Ann Green Yoga
Ann Green of BLiSS Ann Green Yoga offers many types of classes (virtually at the moment) that teach, train and assist in the best of meditation practices.
During these unusual moments in time – your personal health and well-being is of utmost importance. Reach out to Ann and discuss what’s available and what would suit your own needs best.
A Special Gift from Ann, Listen and Relax
That’s why – Meditation!
Written By: JaneLaker/Brian Chew
Photos Credit: Stephen Elliott/Nat Caron/Mike Bernard