Yoga is a number of things and at the foundation is meditation.
The classes I teach focus mainly on the asana or poses. But if you read about yoga you will see that the poses are generally done to prepare you for meditation. The exercises move and release tension in the body and mind. As you connect deeply to your breathing for the short hour of a class, you will begin to release some of your chattering brain busyness!!!!!
Meditation daily is a good suggestion to those of us who scarf down our food and rush breathlessly through the day. This is a thorough and great way to connect with your body on a daily basis.
The benefits for both body and mind are endless. And they are well documented for those of you who require proof. (My self-included) Frequent meditators report significantly fewer stressors and illness symptoms: lower levels of anxiety, hostility, depression, and higher levels of feeling positive than do infrequent meditators!
Meditators are more at peace in the face of adversity. Lets face it stress doesn’t go away, but how we look at it can change.
Meditation is the core of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. This clinic has helped thousands of patients. Patients who complete the eight-week course have both physical and psychological symptom reduction.
For insurance companies to be giving medical reimbursement for learning to meditate, there must be more to it than gurus and mystical experiences, and there is!!!!
There has been much written on this topic. Thomas Merton, Joseph Goldstein, Sogyal Rinpoche and the Tao Te Ching are a few sources you can check out. Each has their view of this practice we call meditation.
I like Thich Nhat Hanh as his writings and practices are simple and sweet with nature.
One of many theories is that meditation stops the production of stress-related hormones long enough for the body to repair and rejuvenate itself.
When we meditate heart, respiration and metabolic rates decrease, and blood lactate levels drop. High levels of any of these measures are associated with anxiety and tension.
Another way that it works is that it stops the mind chatter. That chatter winds up being the force that drives us most of the day, in terms of what we do, what we react to, and how we feel. When you meditate you observe this chatter and its patterns in your mind.
By observing this you free yourself from much of it and the chatter does calm down.
Sounds good to me!!!!
The benefits are many but do not come without a cost.
Simply put, TIME is what you have to carve out for yourself. Turn off the TV, computer, cell phone, make a window of time available to you for your health and wellness. Your life will begin to shift and you might find yourself getting up earlier just to catch an amazing New Town Sunrise.