Meditation can be seen as the art of silencing the mind. It has the beauty to improve your concentration, wither away those negative thoughts, relieve stress, and help you gain efficient self awareness. I like to see these outcomes as “Gateway Outcomes”. They are the powerful results that practicing meditation has. These results act as a dominoes effect, sliding you into a pool positivity.
Researchers at the Harvard Medical School discovered that as little as a 10-minute meditation session can activate the sections of the brain that takes part in controlling the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is also associated with your digestion, blood pressure and stress levels. By taking the time to meditate, you can target these aspects of your life that are difficult to control, and help to create a sense of balance internally and externally.
A study done by students at the Maharishi School of Management in Fairfield, Iowa tested the stress level outcomes of a group of people who took part in 4 months of dedicated meditation. These individuals produced less cortisol after the 4 months of meditation. Cortisol is a steroid hormone in the body that is beneficial, only when producing normal amount or slightly higher. It helps to increase energy, increase metabolism and regulate ones blood pressure. A large increase in ones cortisol levels, however, brings many negative outcomes into ones life. A significant rise in cortisol levels may wither the thyroid function, create cognitive impairment, increase blood pressure, decrease bone density, and produce blood sugar imbalances. For those reasons, cortisol is commonly known as a stress hormone because chronic stress heightens the cortisol levels of an individual. Hence, avoiding stress in ones life could have the capability of saving an individual from a downward spiral, mentally and physically.
It is very important that we all avoid melting away with the stress of our lives. Their are too many negative effects that are much t0o heavy to carry around. As described before, meditation is a very efficient practice to accomplish just that. Here at Bala Yoga, we are dedicated to practicing yoga as a meditation in itself. As you flow through the progressive movements of your yoga practice, we like to target meditation through your fluid movements. By being in the present moment during your yoga practice, your negative reoccurring thoughts can be let go of and the movements of that moment can be the best of your ability.
“Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless – like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
– Bruce Lee