Fitness for Your Mind: The Benefits of Meditation
“In our over-stimulated world, meditation will become the new yoga.”
Somehow, deep down we all seem to know that relaxation is good for us. We know we should make more time for a meditation practice. Maybe if you knew some concrete things as to the benefits of meditation, it would be easier to talk yourself into a few extra minutes of sitting on the mat?
1. Increased Immunity
Deep relaxation seems to boost immunity in recovering cancer patients. A study at the Ohio State University found that progressive muscular relaxation, when practiced daily, reduced the risk of breast cancer recurrence. In another study at Ohio State, a month of conscious relaxation boosted natural killer cells in the elderly, giving them a greater resistance to tumors and viruses. You certainly don’t need to have cancer to start meditating – prevention IS the best medicine!
2. Emotional Centeredness
Emotional balance means to free yourself of all the neurotic behavior that results from the existence of a traumatized ego. It does not mean the disappearance of emotion – in meditation, you can learn to see emotions as they come up, understand their root, accept them, process, and move on. In everyday life, your responses to people and situations will then not be affected by your burdens or past emotional weight, but are have a better chance of being true, direct and appropriate.
3. Increased Fertility
Women are more likely to conceive when they are relaxed rather than stressed. A study at Trakya University, in Turkey, also found that stress reduces sperm count and motility, suggesting relaxation may then boost male fertility. In a state of meditation, the heart can slow and blood circulation flows freely to the body's tissues, feeding it with nutrients and oxygen. This restful state is good for fertility, as the body is able to conserve the resources it needs to generate new life.
4. Lower Blood Pressure
A study at Harvard Medical School found that meditation lowered blood pressure by making the body less responsive to stress hormones, just like blood pressure-lowering medication does! Backing up these findings, a British Medical Journal report found that patients trained how to relax had significantly lower blood pressure.
5. Less Inflammation
Stress leads to inflammation all around, a state linked to heart disease, arthritis, asthma and skin conditions such as psoriasis, say researchers at Emory University in the US. Meditation can help by switching off the stress response.
Don’t worry if you aren’t sure where to start with meditation. Come to Root's meditation classes every week on Mondays at 5pm. Our meditation instructor Kat Lui will help you find a comfortable, supportive sitting posture, and show you how an experience of meditation is very different from trying to meditate.
Ask Kat about the ISIS technique, a healing journey of self-discovery using guided meditation therapy. Useful for when you're wanting emotional centeredness, stress management, and help letting go of something, or when you're ready to create something new for you life.
Remember, it’s a meditation practice, not perfect – but soon you will find yourself in a much more grounded space to deal with all that life hands us. Inhale. Exhale. Everything’s going to be ok.
Ready to begin? Book a private session here.