The practice of meditation has been around for thousands of years — but there is a huge movement right now. It seems that everyone knows something about meditating or has practiced themselves. There are several kinds of meditation and here are a few things to know.
You don't need special equipment; you don't need to buy anything. You can practice meditating on a park bench, at your desk, on your sofa, on your bed or floor. You can meditate anywhere because you are either sitting, laying down, walking or standing.
You don't need a mantra to meditate. The word “mantra” means - MAN means mind and TRA means vehicle. A mantra is a mind-vehicle. Mantras can be used in meditation as a tool to help your mind enter (or stay in) your meditation practice. It's a special saying that means something to you and you repeat it over and over while meditating. Mantras are great because simple words and phrases have the power to interrupt negativity and invite change in life. That's what makes a mantra special. Try saying this - "I am grounded. My potential is unlimited." (Use a mantra or OHM on a crying baby. They typically stop and listen.)
You don't need to have a blank mind. Your mind will wander and that's ok. Actually your mind is made to wander and think but it's also made to be still and quiet. This is so you can "hear" the now and be more present. Every time your mind wanders - gently bring your focus back to your meditation practice. You can start with a breath meditation. After you get comfy, close your eyes and just focus your attention on your breath; following your breath as you inhale and exhale. That's all - just breath in and out. When your mind wanders, come back to your breath. Do this for at least 4 minutes per day and you will reap amazing results. It's true, read on.
Some of the health perks of meditation include boosting the immune system, reducing stress and anxiety, improving concentration, decreasing blood pressure, improving sleep (getting there and staying there), increasing happiness and feel-good hormones. Meditation has even helped people deal with alcohol, drug or smoking addictions.
Meditation has been scientifically proven to physically change your brain. Researchers have not only looked at the brains of meditators and non-meditators to study the differences, but they have also started looking at a group of brains before and after eight weeks of mindfulness meditation. The results have been remarkable. Scientists noted everything from “changes in grey matter volume (be get more) to reduced activity in the ‘me’ centers of the brain to enhanced connectivity between brain regions,” Forbes reported earlier this year. Participants of an eight week mindfulness program also showed signs of shrinkage of the amygdala (the brain’s “fight or flight” center) as well as a thickening of the pre-frontal cortex, which handles brain functions like concentration and awareness. Woo hoo!
So what are you waiting for? The things to know about meditation are - you can do it for free, you don't need equipment and a continuous practice has numerous physical and mental health benefits. Start your mindfulness meditation practice today. Head to our website for free meditations to get you going www.mindfulwaycoaching.com.