Yoga Gently

September 2020 12/09 - 19/09 £695
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Meditation and Mindfulness – Day 1

Welcome. I hope you can join me through October to explore the practice of meditation and mindfulness. We will look at different ways of practicing and how to maintain a regular practice.  Knowing that there are others on this journey will hopefully give you encouragement and support.

Yogi Kyri

There is a lot of mystic around meditation and these are some of the questions that are often asked:

  • Do I do it, lying down, sitting or standing?
  •  I can’t sit crossed legged, can I still practice?
  • What do I do with my hands?
  • Do I have to empty my mind, I can’t stop thinking, how can I practice meditation?
  • Do I have my eyes open or closed?
  • When and how often should I practice?
  • Is it beneficial to meditate?
  • What is mindfulness practice and is mindfulness different from meditation?

We will look at all these issues during the course of the month.

Meditation is currently a very popular topic in health and lifestyle magazines and features, but meditation or awareness is not a modern discovery. The inhabitants of the Indus valley where practicing meditation more than 3,000 years ago and maybe even as far back as 7,000 years.

Although a seemingly simple practice, it is not always easy, but it is one that is definitely worth cultivating for its many benefits. I think therefore, we should first look at the benefits of a regular meditation practice

Meditation makes us healthier, happier and smarter too!

Benefits of meditation – click to enlarge

It improves our physical health.
It boosts your immune system.
It reduces blood pressure.
It reduces stress and therefore improves stress related conditions like psoriasis and fibromyalgia.
We may even live longer. Meditation can stop gene telomeres (which indicates biological aging) from shortening

It makes us happier.
It increases positive emotions and decreases negative emotions.
It makes us less anxious.
It improves self-awareness and allows us to be more accepting of ourselves and of others.
We are less prone to be thrown off balance by life events (whether small or large).

It makes us ‘clever bods’.
It increases brain grey matter especially in the pre-frontal cortex.
It improves concentration.
It improves memory.
It allows us to multi-task better.
It improves creativity.

WOW!  If it is so good for us why aren’t we all meditating? Well, we are very good at finding excuses:

I can’t empty my mind. You don’t have to. I will show you how to slowly empty your mind without trying.

I can’t sit cross legged. You don’t have to. I will explain the different ways that you can practice meditation that will be comfortable and supportive.

I can’t keep still.  I will discuss other ways to practice meditation that will slowly bring you to a point of stillness over time.

I am too busy. I don’t have time. Just give yourself 10 minutes a day, that is absolutely fine. When you start feeling the benefits to your life, you’ll want to do more.

I tried meditation before and it I didn’t like it. There are many different types of meditation practice – you just haven’t found a way that is right for you.

It’s religious, must I become Buddhist. You don’t have to become a monk to meditate. you don’t have to chant either. Meditation is as suitable for atheists as for spiritual or religious people.

See you tomorrow!