A new year often brings out the resolutions of living and eating healthier, detoxing, going on a diet, accomplishing more and creating goals. But sometimes we just need to take a moment, digest, reflect and then allow any resolutions or intentions to unfold.
Perhaps we don’t need a detox now. Or go on a diet. Not for the physical body anyway.
Maybe it’s time to detox our mind. And this is where meditation comes in. Meditation is like a detox and cleanse for your mind and emotions.
There are literally thousands of studies on the benefits of meditation. When we googled on google scholar we found 907,000 references. Meditation and mindfulness is now a popular practice and science.
Some of the studies confirm that meditation has the following benefits:
Effectively reduce symptoms of anxiety and panic and can help maintain these reductions in patients with generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or panic disorder with agoraphobia. Ref: 1
Lower anxiety, depression, anger, and fatigue, and higher vigour. Ref:2
A significant decrease in stress-related cortisol, and an increase in immunoreactivity. Ref:2
May be an effective component in treating binge eating disorder. Ref:3
Shown not only to benefit higher-order cognitive functions but also to alter brain activity. Ref: 4
And that is just a small selection of studies.
Taming the Monkey Mind
When we meditate we take time out from our monkey mind. The constant chatter in our heads. The mental arguments and self-talk. The experiences that have already passed and those we imagine might happen in the future. In short, we are generally anywhere but in the present.
Meditation brings you to the present moment. And in the present moment, you find peace. The interesting thing confirmed by modern studies is that the positive effects of meditation are not just while you meditate but are ongoing. A regular practice can impact your general day to day experience.
Old yet modern science
Meditation isn’t anything new. Most spiritual traditions practise some kind of reflection and meditative practice and have done so for thousands of years.
There are many styles of meditation practices and the most important thing is to find something that works for you.
Here is a simple ritual to get started with a bit of mindful meditation:
Find a space where you can sit comfortably. Maybe on the floor on a cushion, perhaps on a chair, even on the train seat or a bench outdoors wrapped up warm.
Feel the feet on the ground and sitting bones firmly on the seat.
May the downward moving energy be nourished..... In Yogic and Ayurvedic philosophy we talk about the different movements of energy, or Prana, in our being. It’s energetic anatomy which also affects us on a physical level.
Most spiritual traditions and religions have ethical guidelines. Such as the ten commandments in Christianity or the ten virtues in Buddhism. In the philosophy of Yoga, and specifically in the classic Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, we have the Yamas and Niyamas.
We all know the story of how the 3 wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to baby Jesus. In our Yogandha selection of oil blends, you can find the essential oils of both frankincense and myrrh...
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