Sunday, 17 February 2013

The Benefits of Yoga Meditation

“I crave the sweet surrender of sleep and my dreams' uncensored communication: no tiresome small talk, sucking up to impress, or tip toeing around changing topics. Dreams are the naked truth, get ready for it”—Judith Orloff

The meditative state is a natural outcome of yoga practice. By concentrating on the body and mind, individuals are able to enhance both their ability to concentrate and relax. As a result, yoga meditation provides many health benefits for people including reducing anxiety and insomnia, and improving mental health.

There are many ways to incorporate meditation into your everyday routine. The first stage of meditation is focusing on a specific object and establishing a point of focus. For many individuals this is often breathing. By paying close attention to the nuances of your breath, and observing the movement of your abdomen and torso, as well as the air movement through your nose, all distractions disappear and you will move into a deeper state of consciousness.

It is important to pay close attention to posture when practicing yoga meditation. Sitting on the ground with your hands placed in your lap or on your thighs is the most common posture, however, sitting in a chair, reclining, standing or walking also works. Whatever position to choose to meditate with, it is important to relax your muscles. Begin by rolling your shoulders and gently lifting your chest. If you prefer to sit you may choose to keep your eyes open or closed, but keep your neck long and chin tilted slightly downward. If walking is your choice for meditation, pay close attention to each step you take. Relax your arms by your side, walk freely, and coordinate your breathing with each stride.

By incorporating yoga and meditation into your daily schedule, you will begin see dramatic results. Not only will meditation make you more appreciative of the little things, you will begin to feel healthier both mentally and physically. Studies have shown that yoga meditation increases serotonin production (a chemical in your body that influences mood and behavior). Meditation has also proven to decrease high blood pressure as well as reduce depression, obesity, insomnia and head aches.

If you are interested in taking yoga as a way to incorporate meditation into your life, contact your local Vancouver Yoga Teacher Training studio. We offer a variety of yoga classes as well as a teacher-training program starting February 26, 2013. Contact us for more information!

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