People often ask me, “why is it important to meditate?” and I am reminded at how little we as a society understand regardless of the plethora of yoga classes that are seemingly on every corner in every city all around the world.
Folks are flocking to yoga and meditation classes in droves like never before.
There is an overwhelming feeling of wanting to belong, a feeling of wanting to be a part of what is happening rather than understanding the underlying reason or reasons of what that something is.
Here is a small handful of reasons why it’s best to learn this ancient practice that is once again so predominant in our society.
- End insomnia
- Better concentration
- Relieve anxiety for good
- Boost healthy brain cells
- Helps beat depression
- Access your subconscious mind power
If you have never meditated before you can rest assured you are not the only one.
Yoga and meditation are ridiculously popular now but there are many people who are still feeling inadequate or uncomfortable trying their first yoga/meditation class. When you witness humans stretching and doing poses that seem so out of reach and your mind is telling you there is just NO WAY you’re ever going to do those poses, you tend to think all yoga classes are created equal, which they are absolutely not.
Same is true for those who have never used mantra in their lives.
Hearing people chanting and using a language they’ve never heard or tried themselves, they cast it off as something too strange to try or even contemplate understanding.
There is an exact science behind using ancient languages which have only recently been brought to the forefront of modern awareness.
As is with all things new, it’s taking that first step out of your comfort zone, but what’s so great these days? You can first try classes in the privacy of your home, on your computer, before taking your first public class.
So, let’s go over, in detail, the above list of reasons that will benefit a beginning practitioner, and let’s also try and answer the question “why is it important to meditate?”
Many of us have stared off into space wishing we would simply just fall asleep, to no avail.
The pharmaceutical companies have come up with all sorts of pills and liquids to help you fall asleep.
These may help for awhile but just like any chemical you take your body will eventually resist and need more.
Plus, it’s simply not healthy to be dependent on sleep aids.
Let’s talk about sleeping pills.
What are they?
Sleeping pills are classified as “sedative hypnotics.” A specific class of drugs used primarily to induce and maintain your sleep.
These can be over the counter or prescribed such as benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and several hypnotics.
While these drugs may be helpful in the short-term, most all benzodiazepines are potentially addictive and may cause severe problems with attention and memory.
There is a much better way to deal with insomnia and it’s called yoga and meditation.
People will say, “there are so many different styles of yoga, which yoga is best?”
I will tell you which yoga works best for me, and as with anything else on the web these days, you’re free to check out as many different yoga styles as you wish.
Kundalini Yoga has many mantras and asanas (exercises) that are non-complicated.
With regular practice, your entire life can change, and only for the better.
Let’s go over what the word “mantra” means before we move forward.
The word mantra is broken down into two parts, “man”, which means mind, and “tra”, which means transport.
So in essence, while we are lying in bed we are using a mantra to help us with our mind to help transport us to sleep.
Using a sound, phrase, or word that is repeated by someone who is praying or meditating is what mantra is.
The mantra we will use, my personal favorite is “Sat Nam” a specific mantra used by Kundalini Yoga practitioners.
The word “Sat” means Truth, and the word “Nam” means “Identity”
So, in essence, you inhale Sat and exhale Nam.
The pronunciation for “SAT” would sound like “GOT ” not the way we think of sat as if we sat on a chair.
The pronunciation for “Nam” is the same as the sound in “MOM” Nam being on the exhale
It takes practice!
Keep bringing your mind back to the “Sat” on the inhale and “Nam” on the exhale all the while maintaining an even breath with your timing.
It may not sound like much but you will be surprised at how your mind wanders and keeps wandering.
And while your mind is wandering thinking all those thousands of thoughts, your breath is following your thought patterns; uneven, choppy and unrested.
Keeping your mind in a meditative state is a healthy place to be.
We are bombarded with information in all directions as we navigate our daily lives.
Meditate on your breath consciously and you will be surprised at how little you have been paying attention to your breathing.
You will be required to take better inventory of what’s really happening inside your body and how to better look out for yourself.
Meditating on your breath simply means becoming aware of your breath on the inhale and the exhale.
You will find breathing automatically is not the same as breathing consciously.
Using the mantra “Sat Nam” can be used whenever your monkey mind is all over the place and you want to calm yourself down, settle into a nice rhythm and keep your blood pressure nice and steady.
For seasoned practitioners the inhale and exhale can be done for up to one full minute.
That is 30 seconds on the inhale and 30 seconds on the exhale.
While practicing a one-minute breath you will achieve a calm, steady and easy going mind; the on-going chatter of our world will have little to no effect on how you behave, think or react, or not, to any given situation.
Basically, you are in control of your life by utilizing your breath to your benefit.
This one-minute breath is something we can all work towards, it’s great for lowering blood pressure, calming your thoughts and delivering healthy oxygen to all your cells.
Train your mind to pay attention to the words you choose to meditate on.
The mind is tricky.
It will think up all kinds of things to keep you off balance while you are trying to be disciplined.
The mind needs to be harnessed through a steady practice, lots of patience, and loving persistence.
A monkey swinging from branch to branch, or that annoying mosquito that keeps buzzing around your ear, this is your mind, thinking all different thoughts creating mischief and major unrest for yourself.
One thousand thoughts per blink of the eye.
This is how the mind can be.
Your mind can be your own worst enemy IF you allow it to be.
That is when practicing a mantra for your meditation is the absolute best way to help that monkey mind.
You can practice your mantra anytime you are feeling unbalanced or out of sorts for whatever reason.
Mantras can help alleviate stress on a cellular level beginning with helping your mind settle on the words you choose.
So, choose wisely!
There are people from all walks of life, from kids to adults to seniors asking “why is it important to meditate”, and they’re asking because the feeling of helplessness and chaos is rampant in our political and environmental climate.
People are looking inside themselves for answers too hard to find elsewhere.
It’s all an “inside job” when it comes down to it.
Put some effort into helping yourself and see what good comes of it.
Train your mind as you would train the muscles in your body.
A healthy toned body comes with patience and dedicated workout times.
Do the same for your mind.
A peaceful mind begins with a steady practice.
We all have to be at peace with ourselves so that we may be of better service to those around us.
Schools are implementing meditation as a way for students to cope with daily pressure. We need this, desperately.
I have witnessed many, myself included, receive unending fulfillment and joy from simple beginner yoga sets to the more difficult ones, as well as being schooled in what mantra is and how these ancient words can help you with your day to day.
Enjoy this mantra as you read on.
The music above is just about what my nervous system can handle these days!
Being a sensitive intuitive empath, this helps calm my mind and nourish my soul.
Besides asking why is it important to meditate, people are asking how does meditation help with concentration?
With the alarming rate of increasingly shrinking attention spans, the constant bombardment of tweets, facebook notifications as well as just about anything else related to your computer or smartphone, we as a society are beginning to get brain fatigue in a big way.
It doesn’t take much to notice, either.
Just look around you while walking down any city block or while you’re at work, or at your home, people are glued to the screen.
Never before in our history have we been so engaged in electronic gadgetry as we are now.
Humans have electromagnetic fields and the unknown, as of today, is how is this technology affecting us.
What we DO know is how meditation helps us concentrate.
Italian neuroscientist, Giuseppe Pagnoni, found meditation changes brain patterns which help with mental focus improving cognitive performance.
When you take the time to sit still and meditate your mind is focused on a single thought.
You can follow many different types of meditations, there are thousands of them on the internet with a simple google search.
The best meditations that work for me is what I want to share with you.
Here is a very simple yet extremely effective meditation to get you stabilized in your mind right now!
The beauty of this type of meditation is that anyone can do it and it is not complicated at all.
By implementing this one particular meditation you will be able to concentrate and go about your day with less effort and more grace.
If you are serious about helping yourself so you will FEEL better and LOOK better in your day to day life experience, take this opportunity to do just one thing today.
Too often we jump out of our sleep into the kitchen to our caffeine of choice and barrel through our day without stopping for a moment.
Then we sit at our computers and we don’t move enough to keep our spines healthy let alone the rest of our body.
Do yourself a huge favor and take the time to re-learn preset patterned behavior that is not contributing to a healthy lifestyle.
Why is it important to meditate?
Because we all need down time to recalibrate and recuperate so we may live happier and healthier lives.
What about boosting those healthy brain cells?
It has been proven that those who meditate grow bigger brains than those who don’t.
Researchers at Yale, Harvard, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have pioneered and found evidence that meditation can certainly alter the physical structure of our brains. Brain scans were conducted and revealed that experienced meditators increased thickness in parts of the brain that deal with processing sensory input and attention.
There are many researchers studying this ancient practice of yoga and meditation, and with good science to back up what was once thought to be something “out there” that only the hippies did are now becoming a necessity to simply deal with our everyday stressors in our everyday lives.
When you become a seasoned meditator you will harness a power that is undeniably the best feeling in the world.
You will have access to parts of your subconscious mind that has remained hidden to you for your entire life.
It takes a personal commitment to become a calm and centered person.
When others look your way they will know and feel your sense of calm and will want to know what you’re doing.
Why is it important to meditate?
What would you do to maintain a calm heart and a steady mind?
Let me know what your thoughts are about yoga and meditation and how it’s helped you in the comments below.