The beginning of a new year means a new you, am I right? So many of us find ourselves making new goals or resolutions that we want to achieve as we make way into the new year. Often, it’s physical appearances that we fixate ourselves on. Wanting to loose ten pounds or look good in that little black dress to wear out and about, but whatever happened to focusing on our mental state? Why are we, as humans of the 21st century, so fixated on our outermost appearances when the root of everything we do and feel stems from within?
Well I may not have the answers to all of these questions; I do have a solution that can help improve your everyday life and health in 2017. This solution comes all the way from India during the middle ages. In the 18th century according to Medical News.net. Indians used meditation to help guide them to faith where it was eventually brought to the western culture in 1979 for the Mindfulness Stress Reduction Program. Today, meditation is used throughout the United States to help alleviate stress and everyday wellbeing.
Rather then focusing on only the physical aspects of your health in 2017, I challenge you to focus inside yourself where your health ultimately begins: your mind. If you’re anything like myself, you may have heard about meditation through the grapevine, but are unsure of what it really is. Below, I have broken down the art of meditation through common questions people have regarding this art.
What is meditation?
In short, meditation is a means of transforming the mind. Meditation practices are techniques that encourage and develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, and a calm seeing of the true nature of things. Through regular meditation practice, one is able to learn the patterns and habits of their mind while cultivating a new, more positive way of being.
Why should I meditate?
With the hectic pace and high demands of everyday life, it is often that we feel stressed, overworked and out of tune with out body and thoughts. Meditation gives us a chance to reconnect our body back to our thoughts to improve many aspects of our lives. Some of the main benefits from meditation include…
- Lower stress levels
- Better connections
- Increased control over emotions
- Increased overall well being
How do I Meditate?
The art of mediation itself is a very personalized experience, which allows you to transform each session to fit your exact needs. The most important part of your practice should include finding a quiet space that is away from any distractions from the outer world. Making sure all electronics are turned off and out of sight is the best way to ensure you are fully present with yourself. It is also important to find a comfortable position for your body in your session, weather that be lying down or seated in your favorite chair.
You should begin by bringing your mind to your breath and slowing your breathing pace through deep ujjayi breaths (deep inhales through the nose and slow exhales through the mouth). For those new to the mediation practice, it is recommended that you start by following guided scripts. These can be found through apps for your electronic devices, the most popular include sattva, calm and headspace. Or even better, Warhawk Fitness and Aquatics Group Fitness is now offering live mediation sessions in the Williams Center dance studio on Wednesday’s from 12:15-12:45p, where you will be lead through a live-guided meditation script. As you become more experienced with mediation, you are eventually able to block your mind completely from the outside world without any scripts.
Now that you know the basics of mediation and all the benefits it has on your body, what are you waiting for? Take time to meditate today and feel the effects it has on the rest of your health goals. Remember: healthy mind, healthy body, and healthy soul.
~Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Mind. Body. Soul.~