Meditation can sound a bit daunting and a bit "Out-there" for anyone new to a yoga practice.
But it really needn't be, and there is a reason why humans have been practicing Meditation all over the world for thousands of years: IT'S SUPER GOOD FOR YOU.
I don't just mean good for you like eating lots of vegetables is good for you. The practice of meditation has profoundly beneficial effects on the body physiologically, mentally, emotionally energetically and spiritually.
Here are my top 5 benefits of a regular meditation practice:
The calming effect:
The body reacts very well to being still and focused. When you sit down to meditate the breath begins to slow down, activating your parasympathetic nervous system or PSNS. This system when activated begins to slow the heart rate and produces a calming effect on both body and mind. When this system is activated your body is officially in "Rest & Digest" Mode. his is where your body can begin to heal and restore itself. This is where we can begin to relieve stress and let tension melt away, and when done regularly we become better able to deal with stress.
2. Increased productivity:
It has been shown in scientific studies that when we meditate regularly the brains cortal thickness expands, i.e your brain grows! This has to do with expanding neural pathways. When we focus and concentrate in a calm and quiet way, the brain has to work quite hard to do this, so the parts of the brain that work when we pay attention to things, begin to grow. The more we meditate the bigger our brains are! This focus and concentration paired with an ability to stay calmer is great for productivity in your life. You might find that you can focus more on different tasks and even be more creative.
3. Reduction in inflammation:
We should all know by now that inflammation is inherently bad for us. Its chronic inflammation in the body that can lead to all sorts of nasty life-threatening diseases such as diabetes, heart conditions, even cancer. Meditations calming effect on the body has been proven to significantly reduce the inflammatory markers in the body, by reducing inflaming stress hormones such as cortisol.
4. Better sleep quality:
We all know how rubbish we can feel after a bad nights sleep. I know for me, sometimes it can take days to "recover" after a fitful night. We also know that this rest is an essential time for our bodies AND our minds to restore and rebuild. To process physically and emotionally. Our livers ( and many other organs) work hard at night to process toxins in the body, and when sleep is interrupted it cant do its job properly. Meditations ability to help you to sleep better is down to the calming affect as mentioned above. Switching on the PSNS tells the body its time to relax.
5. Connecting to your inner self:
There is no better way to really get to know yourself, than to sit still in silence for a time. To sit with your emotions and thoughts and feelings. The more you practice this the easier it becomes, and you will soon be able to tap into an inner stillness that each of us has inside. In yoga this is called the Atman, and it is connected to everything within the universe. Connecting to this part of ourselves allows us to tap into a deep well of innate wisdom, strength and stillness, that many people don't realise they have. This stillness and wisdom can then spread to all aspects of your life, creating a more peaceful, positive and "in-tune" you.
If you'd like to learn more about how to create your own daily meditation practice at home, I run Find Your Stillness: A Meditation Course For Beginners several times throughout the year. visit https://www.feettoearthyoga.co.uk/meditation for more info.