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Meditation to Support good health

Meditation to Support good health

Meditation to support good health

In recent years, the benefits of meditation have been acknowledged not only by spiritual leaders, but also by scientists and researchers alike.   The Dalai Lama says meditation Can Change Your Life and celebrities from Oprah Winfrey to pro athletes praise the positive effects of meditating.  However, meditation has been in existence for over 2,500 years as way to connect with your inner self and the world around you.

A study done last year by UCLA found long term meditators displayed better-preserved brains than non-meditators as they aged.  Given the busy lives we Americans are currently leading, the idea of mediation according to the Latin word meditation, from a verb meditari, meaning "to think, contemplate, devise, ponder".

There are over 23 types of meditation styles, so just where does this leave the average person looking to begin meditating in Monmouth County?  The good news is that the offerings for meditation are rich- in the county alone, there are various different mediation resources.   

Recently I connected with Jared Martinsen who teaches meditation at his house every Tuesday night at 7pm.  Jared’s experience with meditation began 18 years ago in Corvallis, Oregon.  He attended a guided meditation and emerged from it with an unforgettable experience which led him to continue his practice.

“The first time I went there I had an experience where I saw a white haze in the room at the end of the meditation. I thought what is this. I thought I had something in my eye but it didn't go away when I rubbed them. I was agnostic and didn't really want to believe in anything strange but I felt so loving and peaceful that I had to come back and try some more. Over the years, meditation completely changed my life from being extremely shy and having a hard time relating to people to having more friends and dating.”

If you are brand new to meditating, Jared suggests meditating with a group of people or a class:

“You might need to find people that you connect with so try a couple of groups. Have a daily practice, even if it's just 5 minutes a day at a set time. Just a habit like brushing your teeth. Meditation is not about not having thoughts. It's about being aware of yourself having thoughts. Meditation is about becoming more aware and training the mind. Focus the mind on something more interesting than thoughts.”

According to a recent article published in Psychology Today, these are the top 10 reasons Meditation benefits us:

·       Meditation reduces stress.

·       It improves concentration.

·       It encourages a healthy lifestyle.

·       The practice increases self-awareness.

·       Meditation increases acceptance and compassion

·       It slows aging.

·       The practice benefits cardiovascular and immune health.

·       Increases volume in areas related to emotion regulation, positive emotions & self-control

·       Decreases Depression

·       Decreases Inflammation at the Cellular Level

Classes in Monmouth County:

Blue Moon Yoga – Shrewsbury, NJ

For more information : http://www.blueyoga.net/classes/

Selfless Love Yoga – Atlantic Highlands, NJ

For more information : https://www.selflessloveyoga.com/class-schedule

Coba Yoga – Little Silver, NJ

For more information: http://www.cobayoga.com/schedule.html

Meditation for Beginners

1.     Create a quiet and safe space – see sidebar for how-to.  Make sure there will be no distractions from family and/ or pets.  Sit down on a pillow or cushion, relax and

rest your hands on your lap. You can sit on the floor cross-legged or on any chair with your feet resting on the ground. It is not necessary to force yourself into a lotus position if you are not used to it. However, it is important to sit upright and find good posture.

2.     Close your eyes and begin to breathe slowly and deeply. Begin by taking a few slow and deep breaths — inhaling with your nose and exhaling gently from your mouth. Don’t force your breathing-begin to breathe slowly and deeply.

3.     Become aware of your breathing.  Become aware of each breath that you take in through your nose and be mindful of each breath that you exhale with your mouth.

If you find your mind straying away from your breaths, gently bring it back. Don’t beat yourself up if your mind wanders - what’s important is to realize and bring your attention back to where it should be. As you develop meditate more, you will find it easier to concentrate.

4.     Meditation does not need to be long -  when you are ready to end the session, open your eyes gently and breathe several long deep breaths before slowly standing up.

Creating a Mediation space

3 Easy steps

1.     Privacy – find a space that is safe and secure – away from the rest of the family. Preferably it is a room in which the door can be closed to prevent disruptions. This is your time.

2.     Make the space pleasant by placing a comfortable cushion for sitting on or bringing in a chair to sit on.  Place items nearby which relax and calm you – such as plants and or spiritual items, if applicable.

3.     Music can be optional.  Some people like the relaxing sound of music in the background such as a stream or nature sounds. It is perfectly up to you whether you prefer silence or some meditation music. There are many CDs available for the purpose of meditating to.

Find a space free from distractions and noise to begin your Meditation practice

Find a space free from distractions and noise to begin your Meditation practice

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