If you want to learn how to combat stress, understand more about yourself, and increase your sense of well-being, meditation may be for you. Many people who practice meditation have improved their physical and mental health. Clinical studies have shown reductions in many areas including anxiety, headaches, insomnia, pms, blood pressure and respiratory rates. As a result, doctors are recognizing the therapeutic benefits of meditation and are recommending it to their patients.
To get started, you’ll need a quiet spot in which to practice meditation. It is important that you not be interrupted. As your concentration improves you may be able to meditate in the midst of chaos but this will take some practice. Correct posture and breathing are essential, but most importantly be comfortable and relaxed. With today’s busy lifestyles, financial pressures, etc. , we need to practice the art of relaxation before we can attain a state of meditation. Some suggestions to help you relax are: a warm bath, having a massage or listening to calming music or sounds of nature such as running water, birds singing etc. A good exercise to relax the body is to lie down, and starting with your head, consciously tighten and then relax your muscles. Work down your body to your toes. Take your time, and picture the tension leaving your body. This is called visualization, which we’ll discuss later.
An important aspect of meditation is developing “mindfulness” or in other words, living in the present. Teaching yourself to totally experience what you are doing at the time you are doing it. Whether you are working in your garden, or taking a test, concentrate wholly on the activity. When your mind wanders, gently bring it back to the present. You will gradually find yourself becoming more peaceful. Another aspect is affirmation, or the act of repeating a positive statement over and over in your mind. This will help to program your mind to a positive way of thinking. For example, if you are asked to perform a task that you feel uncomfortable doing repeat “I can handle this” eventually your fear of failing will leave your mind and a new self-confidence will emerge. Visualization (told ya) is an extremely powerful technique that uses imagination to create a peaceful, calm state of mind. Picturing yourself in a serene setting or experiencing an activity that you enjoy will have the same effect (with practice) as if you were actually in that setting or doing that activity. It starts in the mind but can have profound physical effects. It can be used to conquer fears, cure addictions, and increase self-confidence.
There are many other aspects of meditation. Some key words if you wish to delve deeper into the art of meditation are: mantras (affirmation with sound effects), chakras (energy centers in your body), aromatherapy and ayurveda. You might want to learn more about how color, light, sound and fragrance influence your state of mind and physical health. So whether you simply want to learn some relaxation techniques or would like to explore the ancient art of healing the body, mind and spirit through meditation, there are boundless sources of information available.
For more information on Yoga Meditation or Yoga Relaxation visit http://www.yoga-explained.com/