Meditation can be a word that you either eye roll at, makes you nervous or you get the warm and fuzzies in your heart. You can either not understand it, find it difficult, or love it. There are so many benefits to meditation and so many ways to do it as well. You might be shocked to find that you are having mini meditation moments throughout your day.
Meditation has gained popularity in the last decade, and especially in the last 5 years. Mindfulness has become the buzz word lately, and for good reason. As it slowly moves from becoming a buzz word, to a staple on everyone’s lips for the next decades, you’ll start to realise how being mindful can change your life, literally.
Yoga was actually created to prepare the body for meditation. Sitting for long periods of time, your body needed to be strengthened for these positions, and so yoga was born! As you can imagine, it is an ancient art form, as yoga has been around for over 5000 years! So people have been meditating for centuries in India and it has had life changing effects.
So what is Mindfulness?
- The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
- A mental state is achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
So what is Meditation?
The action or practice of meditating.
For me, Meditation and Mindfulness go hand in hand. Meditation is a form of Mindfulness. You are becoming aware of your thoughts both consciously and unconsciously. You can find Mindful moments throughout your day, whether it is taking 10 deep breaths, a quiet coffee watching the birds, reciting what you are grateful for, or noticing the thoughts in your mind.
Meditation is a quieting of the mind. It brings an awareness to the thoughts that consume you. So many people have said to me they can’t meditate, they have tried and there is just too much chatter in their minds. But that is the thing, that is WHY you need to meditate. Those thoughts don’t magically disappear when you start meditating, you learn how to quieten those thoughts little bit by little bit. You learn how to stretch the length between those thoughts floating into your mind. It is learned, over time. So don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t concentrate. It takes time for that!
There are many different types of meditation. The easiest is breath awareness or a mantra. Breath awareness is simply breathing deeply and following the breath and focusing on that. When your mind drifts, you bring it back to your breath. Using a mantra, you repeat the mantra as you breathe deeply and that helps to keep you present. When your mind drifts, you bring it back to the mantra. My favourite is a guided meditation. I use the insight timer app and I search for what I need for that day.
What are the benefits to Meditation?
There are so many benefits of meditation, but I am talking about my favourite.
It helps you stay focused and stable.
Adapt to new situations.
Cope with stress.
Better able to control your heart rate and Blood pressure.
More body control and awareness.
The brain has the capacity to change. This is called Neuroplasticity. You can actually change your brain through long-term meditation.
Being present in your daily life, and mindful in the moment.
Relaxing the body, and calming the mind.
Increasing ability and memory.
Slows chronic diseases.
Increase air flow.
Brain changes the longer you meditate.
Increase beta waves.
Meditation stops sensory info that we take in every second, to a trickle.
Perform under pressure.
Genes that cause inflammation downgrade.
So as you can see, the benefits of learning to quiet your mind, even for 5 minutes a day, are well worth the immense benefits to your daily life.
So when will you start?
Yoga Teacher, Self Love Coach