What is meditation? How to do it? How can we stop our thoughts? How do we really quiet our minds? Is it really possible?
Are you the one who is bothered by all these questions? Well, it is normal, as then you are someone who is never conditioned to be in a state of mind where you are in acceptance of the chaos around you but still find stillness and calmness within you. It takes a lot of effort to get there. It might look easy as it is nothing but sitting in silence for a long period of time, but is it really easy? Maybe you should experience it for yourself.
So what exactly is meditation?
Meditation is a technique in which we try to bring the focus and attention to one particular object, thought or activity so that we know how to be involved in one action for a long period of time along with managing the distractions and chaos around. It is not about quieting our minds or keeping us away from distractions. It is more about focusing on the action that is being done in the current moment so much that the distractions automatically take a back seat. Doesn’t make sense? Let’s say you are trying to meditate and you always have been told to let go of all the thoughts that come to your mind. You are trying hard, but they are just becoming bigger and bigger. It is like you are trying to run away from a situation and it is chasing you down and is becoming stronger in that process. Instead of letting your thoughts go, let them be and be in acceptance of them, acknowledge that they exist and slowly bring your focus back to the object where you are supposed to at the moment. It could be your breath, an object, someone’s eyes or even a thought. So, it is basically putting your 100% attention and effort into the action that you are doing in the current moment as a result the distractions no more dominate you. This needs really strong willpower and a conscious choice.
What does meditation do to our body and mind?
Anatomically, meditation works on calming down our sympathetic nervous system and turning on the parasympathetic mode. Stress is something that can’t be touched or seen, but definitely can be felt. In sympathetic mode, when the body is stressed, it increases the heart rate, and your adrenal glands produce a lot of cortisol hormone and excess of this hormone can affect the function of the brain, immune system and other organs. Regular practice of meditation works on stimulating the Vagus nerve which is the largest nerve and works really hard when our body is resting and relaxing. People who have their sympathetic more active than their parasympathetic system usually are having weak Vagul activity and this can be improved a lot by regular practice.
Why is meditation so important?
In today’s world where we are only thinking about chasing material things, life has become more and more stressful. Doesn’t mean that one should stop having any desire in life. But it is very important to realize that along with having desire, one should also try to calm down for their overall health and wellbeing. What is the use of having wealth when there is no health? Through regular meditation practice, one can start thinking more clearly in both favorable or unfavorable situations. The concentration will improve and moreover it will help heal holistically and more effectively.
How to start meditation?
For an absolute beginner, meditation will be the most stressful thing to do. For a few people sitting in silence without moving is very difficult. If things were easy, why would we even try? So start slow, try to focus on breathing and make pranayama a regular practice that will bring you to a state where you are becoming more aware of your own breath. This will also improve your capacity to focus on one thing.
Vinyasa Yoga Ashram has recently introduced a 7 days Meditation retreat which is a great opportunity for a beginner to get in-depth knowledge of this practice which is been followed for ages by our Yogis and saints. This course syllabus includes pranayama, shatkarma, meditation, yogic philosophy, anatomy, yogic detox practices and many more.
Come join your upcoming batch of meditation retreats to experience this beautiful journey with one of our very well-experienced teachers. Hari Aum!
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