“Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.”
Meditation is arguably one of the most powerful benefits of yoga practice. Unfortunately, meditation can be greatly misunderstood and also very difficult for someone just starting out.
One of the main criticisms I’ve heard is “I’m unable to stop thinking. My mind is constantly racing.”
In the beginning it was very hard for me to focus on nothing. I found that my mind would think about work, a past relationship, or even negative thoughts. One of the best things you can do is try to concentrate on your breathing. When you focus on taking slow, equalizing breaths, it clears your mind of all thoughts.
The benefits of meditation are endless but for the sake of keeping it short and sweet, here is a list of 7 benefits:
- Stress relief-After a long day at work or any other stressful situation, meditation can reduce stress. When you sit in a quiet, peaceful area, and focus on clearing your mind of any thoughts, it has a very relaxing effect on the mind and body. It’s good to get away from all the noise and chaos of this world by retreating into our inner self. The release of stress can lower blood pressure and boost our immune system.
- Increased creativity- There are several ways creative energy is generated, and meditation is one of them. Meditation provides a sharpness of the mind and a sense of clarity that can increase our sense of awareness. You will find new ideas are generated, even after having writer’s block. This stillness of mind is like recharging your battery and can provide a new perspective you may overlooked.
- Third eye- The ajna or third eye chakra is the sixth primary chakra according to ancient Hindu tradition. The third eye dates back thousands of years, and was a much cherished symbol of the Egyptians, which they called the Eye of Ra. So where is our third eye located? It’s located in the center of our brain and is called the pineal gland, due to its pine cone shape. Opening the third eye is like entering in to a higher plane of existence. It’s the subconscious mind that it said to have psychic energy, but that’s a different discussion entirely. Kundalini yoga focuses on opening the third eye through meditation and the use of mantras.
- Japa- This is a form of meditation that involves a repetitious chanting of the same mantra. Japa is the Sanskrit word for “muttering”. This can bring positive thoughts and vibrations to the individual. According to Hindu spiritual teacher Sri Swami Sivananda: “Mantra produces harmony. A Mantra has the power of releasing the cosmic and the super cosmic consciousness.” -Philosophy of Japa. It’s important to know the meaning of the word you’re chanting and the correct pronunciation.
- Pain relief- Chronic pain and illness can be very stressful on a person. It can cause a lack of concentration at work, mood swings, and many other negative effects. People often take pain medications and other remedies but meditation can reduce pain in the body tremendously. Many healthcare provides recommend mindfulness meditation and studies have shown a decrease in pain symptoms.
- Spiritual enlightenment-The idea of not thinking and clearing the mind can be a controversial topic that can make people with different religious beliefs uncomfortable. No matter what beliefs people may have, one of the most universal concepts is we all have soul. The path to enlightenment lies within us, and in my opinion, meditation brings us closer to the creator.
- Self-awareness- After frequent meditation, you may begin to see yourself for the first time. Insecurities and other vices come to light yet meditation is a weapon against them. Self-realization is imperative to discovering what truly makes us happy in this life. Know thyself.
Thank you for tuning in this week. If anyone has any additional benefits they would like to add, please feel free to comment below! Namaste.