- Believe it or not,a “regular” practice of meditation proven to be more beneficial than than taking a vacation ! Reference this for further read.
- Decreases inflammation at the cellular level – yes, it’s true. Here
- Decreases perception of pain and boosts our immune function.
- Increases brain’s grey matter – yes, good news, the practice makes us smarter; Studies shown to help prevent or better manage dementia and Alzheimer’s. Here:) Love it:) Here:)
- Lowers anxiety and prevents or relieves depression. Here:)
- Improves attention, focus and general cognition. Here
- Improves our creativity and imagination – a critical skill that cannot be taught. Here.
- it’s about cultivating resilient by fully embodying our body, owning and celebrating being in our skin authentically as we cultivate being fully centered and being more grounded. It all comes with “regular” practice – not about intensity but regularity with which we engage in this kind of mindfulness practice that yields the most benefit.
- improves our social interactions by strengthening our sense of interpersonal connections -Being better wired, that neuroplasticity improves our sensitivities and promotes smoother regulations of not only our own emotions and feelings but tuned into others’ emotions and needs. Thus, making us warm, caring … a more empathetic humans. Empathetic compassionate beings have better abilities to connect with others to seek and receive support and love.
There are even more benefits to meditation that I can add on to the above list but all you have to do is google search “meditation benefits” and there, you will have it. We live in a world where we need not go to zen temples (would love to though!) and ashrams (show me the way!) but just pop on the various apps available some here listed BUT ideally, the direct tribal experience of a “regular” ritual of a sacred practice alone and with others in a group of the like-minded resonates with me more. While being spiritual is not the same as being religious or faith, the practice to bring about inner peace shares a common thread.
So to me, it’s not about “efficiency” and “effectiveness” and improving productivity or improving the bottom line by cutting medical expenses and producing happier workers – although CEOs engaging in regular meditation or mindfulness practice is well publicized. To self improve or self tune and self care may initially start out as maybe even cold and lonely task but to me, it’s about “eventual” arrival – arriving to that place of connection to others, compassion for others, about community as we are tribal and going at it alone can serve 10-50% of the time but the other 50% and up, a group practice seems more human – there’s that human connection and warmth – without even exchange of words – just that aura we emit – which translates to something magical – it’s energetically and vibration-ally super charged !
Yet if you cannot run into a yoga studio then …
*apps like Headspace or Meditation Oasis
*the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center
*Stanford Meditation center Here
* the Chopra Center
* meditation taught at SF Zen Center in the tradition of Shunryu Suzuki ; Art of Living – Sri Sri Shankar. In Western medicine, there’s Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. “Mindfulness” is basically another more mainstream way of referring to a kind of meditation … that’s more about being fully engaged and aware, attentive to what’s happening all around you as you engage with the outer world. Meditation on the other hand is more about taking an inward journey; to sit with one’s thoughts and emotions to reach Samadhi (that blissful place where you need nothing more; want nothing more to be utterly content and at peace). To yoke mind and body to bring about such transformation…
As for yoga, one can calibrate the practice by dialing up or dialing down the intensity to meet your own unique needs. Practices such as Yin or Restorative styles of yoga sets the stage for that practice of mindfulness fusing mind-body-spirit for a better sense of well being. Even in a more active, Yang style practices, by focused attention to how we move our body, one can engage in a form of meditation – so then in both cases, emptying the mind to rein in thoughts that does not serve as we integrate the Yin/Yang blended practice during savasana at the very end. We can all improve our health by detoxifying and eliminating negative, self-sabotaging, overly-judgmental or simply busy busy planning worrisome thoughts about the future and regretful thoughts about the past – patterned and habitual thought pattern to be first – recognized – then finding that place of equanimity for us to find more space … more freedom … to take in the miracles of life all around us.