WHAT IS MEDITATION?
People all over the world have been practitioners of meditation for thousands of years, and although meditation is practised as a part of several religions around the world, it has very little to do with religion.
As Thích Nhất Hạnh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist says,
"Meditation can help us embrace our worries, our fear, our anger; and that is very HEALING. We let our own natural capacity of healing do the work."
Meditation is a means of transforming the mind. It is a state of deep peace that occurs when the mind is calm and silent. It helps people to retain emotional stability and control over their emotions, and to engage in
more mindful behaviour. Practicing meditation also helps your body to naturally heal faster after an injury.
BENEFITS OF MEDITATION
The practice of daily meditation has literally hundreds of proven medical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual benefits.
Some of the medical benefits include the lowering of blood pressure, it lowers the levels of blood lactate, reducing the chance of anxiety attacks.
Meditation has also been proven to decrease any tension-related pain, such as, tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, and muscle and joint problems.
It has been proven to allow your body to heal faster, naturally, in large part to its relaxing properties, creating a calm mind, which in turn helps to relax the body and speed up your body's own natural ability to heal.
(For a more complete list of the medical benefits of meditation, check out this great blog post on the subject.) - http://liveanddare.com/benefits-of-meditation/
HOW TO START MEDITATING
Note: There is no right or wrong way to meditate, these are just some basic guidelines to help get you started. The key here is to help you find your own personal comfortable way to get started.
You can practice meditation in any posture, but make sure to take a comfortable posture you can hold without moving for the period of your practice. If you need to start by lying down, then lay down, if you prefer to sit, sit. The important thing is to be relaxed.
Relax your shoulders and arms, letting your hands rest on your thighs, or join your hands by lightly linking your fingers together and rest them comfortably on your lap. Make sure to keep your spine straight.
If you are sitting in a chair, make sure your feet are flat on the floor and keep your spine straight. If you are sitting cross-legged on a cushion, the important thing is to have your legs lower than your hips. If you need a higher seat, just fluff up another cushion or two.
Breathing is probably the most important part of meditation, as focusing on your breathing allows you to become more relaxed. Focus on your breathing, and appreciate the sensations of your breath in the same way a wine snob tastes a Malbec. When your mind begins to wander, just recognize that you are thinking, and return to focusing on the sensations of your breath flowing in and out of your lungs with every inhale and exhale. Follow along with the breathing exercise GIF on the right.
Decide what you are going to do with your eyes before you start a meditation session. If you want the experience to be more body based, close them. If you want to feel more anchored in the space you are in, keep them open.
Meditation isn't about length, it's about frequency. In the same way you don't get strong by lifting one giant weight one time, you should try and meditate regularly. Consider it a meditation rep every time you sit. Ten minutes per day is a great start, but at twenty minutes per day, you will really start to notice the benefits of meditation.
Practicing meditation doesn't make you a religious person, it doesn't hurt, doesn't take a ton of time to do, and offers a numerous amount of benefits, including contributing to a rapid recovery from injury.
The bottom line is that meditation is a way to attempt to achieve balance, not only in your day to day life, but also within yourself. Meditation can be a very important part in helping you to achieve physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual balance.
For more information about meditation and its benefits, or to learn how we can help you get started, make an appointment today to come in to iWellness.ca Rehab & Wellness Clinic through our website, or call us directly at (416)-759-8099.