OM SHANTI OM,,,,, PEACE,,, might just be some words spoken by you while Chanting. But they are more than that. These divine group of letters in Yoga and Meditation anchor your mind and help you achieve tranquility within yourself. Also a deeper sense of happiness and purpose.
Meditation is a practice of calming your mind and embracing a deeper sense of connection with your inner self. It originates from a 1000-year-old practice of yoga in India and made its way through different cultures and religions across the globe like Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Sihikism. For these religions meditation was the way to attain enlightenment and salvation. And it still continues to be.
It is a scientifically proven fact that 8 weeks of practicing meditation, works the same as medication for depression, anxiety, or any age-related illnesses. Besides finding a comfortable and peaceful place to sit is all that is needed for meditation.
Meditation can keep all your heart-related issues at bay and can even facilitate curing if you have any. It proves to be effective in significantly reducing blood pressure, stress levels, depression, asthma, and other age-related illness. practicing it regularly lifts mood, increases gray matter, controls diabetes, promotes gamma waves which promote learning, and strengthens immunity.
Besides many health benefits, meditation gives the meditator a sense of calmness, peace, composure, and improves concentration. The breathing in and out exercises (kapalbhati), which involves forceful breathing makes lungs strong, increases blood supply, reduces belly fat, helps to remove blockages in the heart and lungs, and also cures impotence.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE MOST COMMON YOGIC EXERCISES AND THEIR BENEFITS AS FOLLOWS:
1. TREE POSE ( Vrikshasana)
- This pose can be done by stretching up the arms with both palms pressed together, keeping one of the legs rooted down with another being right up over the former.
- This pose stretches the thighs, torso, and shoulders.
- And builds strength in ankles and tones abdominal muscles.
- Helps in coordination and balancing.
- Helps in alertness and concentration
2. COBRA POSE (Bhujangasana)
- Place your palms right under your shoulders bending your elbow back and keep your head in a neutral position keeping your forehead touching the mat.
- Now gently while inhaling lift your chest off the mat still keeping the neck neutral.
- This pose stretches the spine, chest, lungs.
- Tones the buttocks.
- Helps to relieve stress and fatigue.
3. HEAD STAND (Sirasana)
- Place your head inside the pocket made by both your hands keeping the knees bend touching your hips.
- Lift your hips and straighten your legs.
- Try lifting your hips and legs straight above your head firmly supported by shoulders.
- Hold this position for at least 5 seconds.
- Now slowly straighten your legs.
- This pose stimulates the lymphatic system, strengthens the upper body.
- Boosts digestion.
4. BUTTERFLY POSE (Titliasana)
- Sit with your spine erect and legs spread straight. Now bend your knees bringing your toes towards the pelvis.
- Join your feet tightly; you can also make use of your hands for the same.
- Try to bring your ankle as close to your genitals as possible.
- Now start flapping both legs up and down, trying to touch the floor each time and continue it for at least a few minutes.
- This exercise provides for a perfect stretch for the inner thighs, helps in bowel movement.
- Gives comfort during menses and menopause symptoms.
5. DANCER POSE (NATRAJASANA)
- Start by standing on both your feet align together on the mat.
- Now draw one of the legs up towards your chest.
- Then bring your bent knee slightly behind your back holding it with your arm.
- Straighten the other arm outward, against the direction of another arm.
- This pose provides greater flexibility to your spine, shoulders, and hamstrings.
- Helps burning calories.
- Builds balancing and concentration.
Essentially meditation is a part of yoga that deals with establishing a deeper connection with mind and soul, turning down all external voices, and be able to reflect on your true identity.
Often the societal expectation and opinions about a perfect life surround us so vehemently that it seems to numb all other voices. Meditation helps you to find your true affiliation and to work towards it.
Meditation which was once considered a practice associated with spiritualism and religion has now become more mainstream with scientific backing.
Scientific shreds of evidence show that ALPHA WAVES which is closely associated with a relaxed and alert mind is higher in individuals with lesser anxiety levels and vice versa.
Meditation gives you a sense of purpose; channeling your thoughts in a destined direction giving you a greater sense of achievement.
Meditation and Yogic exercises also prove to be helpful in covid. Simple breathing exercises; “pranayam” can significantly reduce your susceptibility to covid and compliments its treatment.
It’s fascinating how an age-old practice can find so much relevance in the present time, with many takers like Hollywood celebs like Jennifer Aniston, Cara Delevingne, Reese Witherspoon endorsing it.
It won’t be wrong to pronounce ‘yoga and meditation‘ as a HEALING combination certainly destined to change and heal many more. Hope many of those who are reading this blog would find inspiration with my words to start with their own journey of deeper meaning and connection with self with yoga.