Meditation as we all know is one of the most ancient stress relieving and healing techniques used in India and now even in the Western world. It however has its roots buried in the centuries old science of medicine in India. Now one may think, meditation is only to sit with eyes closed and breathe, to be practiced by saints and yogis.
MEDITATION- the true meaning is to make peace with oneself mentally and physically.But, this is not easy as one may think and needs practice or even training for some period.
The term meditation refers to a variety of practices, such as techniques designed to promote relaxation and build internal energy or life force which is also PRANA in Sanskrit. This enables the individuals to develop love, compassion, patience, effortless single pointed concentration, thus enabling the person to enjoy the well being while engaging in any life activity.
In the recent times meditation is often suggested as a treatment to ease health concerns such as hypertension/ blood pressure, depression, anxiety, insomnia, fear and phobias, control emotions such as anger or hatred. Meditation has a calming effect on the body as well as mind. It directs awareness inward until pure awareness is achieved which is rightly described as “Being awake inside without being aware of anything except awareness itself”
Now one may ask how to achieve the state of awareness and peace? Here is how you can.
- Sit comfortably wearing comfortable clothes.
- Starting with your head working downwards feel the vibrations in your body.
- Focus on your breath; follow the sensation of inhaling and exhaling. With each inhalation the tummy will blow out and with each exhalation the tummy will go back in.
- Once you achieve this state, you will face thoughts, the key here is to not hold on to any thought. Instead make it a slide show, let all the thoughts come and go as if it is a photo gallery.
- Once you are able to achieve this, you can begin with mantra repetition such as OM for 5- 6 times.
It has been proven that practicing meditation; has numerous benefits and accelerates the process of healing of many health conditions, as well as delay the ageing.
To highlight a few prominent benefits, let’s look further.
- Increase immunity:
Relaxation appears to boost the immunity in recovering cancer patients. Progressive muscular relaxation when practiced daily has shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer and its recurrence. A study at Ohio state university has shown that practicing meditation and relaxation for a month boosted the immunity cells in the elderly giving them more resistance to viruses.
- Emotional Balance:
As we discussed earlier, meditation helps to achieve control over emotions such as anger, hatred.
Emotional balance means to be free of ego. Though this is very difficult to achieve fully, meditation does help to lessen the outbursts due to ego. As the consciousness is cleansed of emotions and memories, one not only achieves a full freedom but also great balance in actions and words.
- Increases fertility:
It has been found that women are more likely to conceive when emotionally balanced and stress free. Being stress free also helps improve male fertility in many ways.
- Relieves Digestive ailments:
People who suffer anxiety related acidity, or other digestive complaints get great relief with regular meditation and breathing exercises.
Hence, it is widely recommended as an effective treatment.
- Lowers blood pressure:
Similar to exercise meditation also helps to secrete “happiness hormones such as endorphins”, making the body less responsive to stress hormones. These effects are also seen with regular cardio exercise and blood pressure lowering medications as well.
Stress; of all kinds’ leads to inflammation, which is widely related to heart disease, arthritis, asthma and many skin conditions. Practicing regular meditation can prevent and help in treating these conditions by reducing the stress response.
- Calmness and sleep:
The simple difference between the people who meditate and those who do not, is that for a meditative mind the thought occurs is witnessed, while for an ordinary mind, the thought occurs and is governed by ego. In case in both minds, an upsetting thought occurs, but for those who meditate it is just another thought which is seen, allowed to blossom, and let go, while in a non meditating mind, such thoughts can instigates a storm which rages on and on. This can lead to sleep disturbances. Hence meditation helps to improve sleep.
In short, Meditation is a way to celebrate being at peace with oneself and celebrating it with silence.