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One of the reasons yoga’s so popular is the way it makes you feel – inside and outside. And while the stretches have a lot to do with it, the best part is the meditation. Yoga forces you to breath deeply and concentrate….to get completely in touch with every cell in your body. (If you don’t, gravity will bite you and it isn’t teribly pretty.) But yoga isn’t necessary for meditating. You can meditate without any of the stretching, bending, twisting, or other contortions.
What do you think of when you hear the word meditation? Do you picture men with shaved heads wearing brown robes, in a monastery, with their limbs folded up and their eyes looking upward? It seems that the word kind of has that reputation. But, in reality, meditating can be done anywhere – and its benefits make it more than worthy of doing.
So what are the benefits of meditation?
- Meditation wipes out negative thoughts and emotions. It’s almost as if negativity is writing on a chalkboard and Meditation is the eraser.
- It lowers blood pressure. Think of it as free medicine that hasn’t any negative side effects.
- Meditation increases immunity. A huge benefit, wouldn’t you say???
- It reduces stress. Meditation is like a massage for your psyche. That’s a thought my psyche and I can both get behind.
So, How Do You Go About It?
First of all, try to clear out at least 10 minutes every day for meditating. If you can swing 15, the benefits will be even greater. The earlier in the day, the better. But having said that, many people swear by nighttime meditating. Mine comes along with my yoga which is actually more toward the afternoon. When we lived on the beach, my youngest daughter – Stephany – and I would do yoga by the water every night. Barefoot in the white sand with gulls watching and waves serenading us. I don’t think either of us had a stressful thought the entire time we lived there. I take that back, she’s a Cubs fan – stressful thoughts and Cubbies kind of go hand in injured hand.
When you’ve chosen your favorite time of day to massage your psyche, find a place and a position in which you won’t fall asleep, otherwise you will fall asleep. Once there, the rest is as easy as breathing. No, really. That’s all you do.
Allow your eyes to close. Focus your attention entirely on the sound of your own breathing. Feel your stomach expanding on the inhale and contracting on the exhale, allowing the breath deeper into your lungs and allowing every fiber of your being to relax. Anytime your mind begins to wander – and it will most definitely try, it’s like a 4 year old in a store – gently refocus your thoughts on your breathing.
Give it a try, I promise you’ll fall in love with the feeling. Whether you’re in a cabin in the Smoky Mountains (How amazing does that sound?) or in a chair in your living room, just go for it. Meditation just may be the thing the doctor didn’t order – yet far better than any thing he did!
Make each relaxing moment count double,