At first glance, meditation might seem to be thoroughly passive. And in a one sense, it is. But even semi-regular meditation practice has a powerful impact on physical and emotional well being.
Various type of meditation gradually condition our bodies to relax. The more we do it, the more our bodies begin to let go as soon as we settle into a meditation position. That in itself makes it worthwhile. As our bodies unclench from the inside out, respiration becomes steady, heart rate slows, blood flows more freely, and stress evaporates.
Extensive research on the effects of this modern and ancient healing method offer other benefits as well:
- Release of muscle tension,
- Improved memory and concentration,
- Ease of anxiety, stress, and fatigue,
- Reduction of blood pressure in those with hypertension,
- Decrease in frequency of PVCs (premature ventricular contractions) in ischemic heart disease,
- Reduction of PMS (premenstrual syndrome),
- Easing of menopausal hot flashes.
Different styles of meditation often complement each other. A basic breathing exercise helps us slow down and refocus our thoughts. Silently repeating a mantra, either a single word or phrase, brings deeper centering, as can toning or humming either alone or alternating with a mantra, and self-guided “vision” meditations add to the options.
Meditation is probably the most adaptable, flexible of all wellness modalities. It’s a simple as sitting on the floor or in a chair in your home to sharing the peaceful energy of a small meditation group.
Just relax and breathe!