If you haven’t heard this a million times already, I’m going to say it again, nice and loud for the people at the back…MEDITATION IS GREAT FOR EVERYBODY!!!! If you’re nodding in agreement and already know the benefits of a meditation practice, then feel free to carry on with your day, sipping on your lavender kombucha and floating around blissfully on your patchouli and peppermint scented cloud of zen. If you’re still curious, I’m about to let you in on the not-so-new-age-hippy truth….
If you can breathe, you can meditate!
Yes, my friends. It is just that easy. There is truly no other requirement. And in our culture of fast-paced, instant gratification, information overload, us busy-bodies need a way to clear the clutter and get in touch with our true selves. And it’s NOT just for people with dreadlocks or who can twist themselves into a pretzel shape while chanting “Om shanti om”…
What if I don’t like sitting and “doing nothing” you ask?
In this “doing nothing” we are actually activating our brain on a different level and are able to tap into our breath, our body and the present moment SO MUCH BETTER than when we are rushing from task to task, deadline to dance class. In other words, sit yourself down, turn your ringer off, close your eyes and “do nothing” for a few minutes. The benefits of a little quiet mindfulness will do WONDERS for your well-being. What benefits, you ask? How about these apples…
reduces “monkey brain” aka crazy mind chatter
lowers cortisol levels (the stress hormone)
lowers blood pressure
helps connect body and breath
There are sooo many ways to meditate. Here’s a few variations:
Loving Kindness (Metta)
Focused breath (Vipassana)
OK, let’s get to the CUSHION part…if you are going to sit and be quiet for 5 minutes, you might as well be comfortable!
The traditional meditation cushion, a rounded pillow with gathered sides, is called a Zafu and originated in China. This design allows your pelvis to tilt slightly forward which keeps the sacrum in a neutral position and encourages the rest of the spinal curves to align. The height of the cushion allows your hips to open when in sukhasana (cross legged position) or relieves stress on the knees in virasana (straddling the cushion).
Some cushions on the market contain kapok (sourced from Ceiba trees in the rainforest) and others, including Shining Heart Design’s cushions, contain buckwheat hulls. SHD sources ours in Ontario, Canada and they are 100% organic! Buckwheat hulls are long lasting, conform to your body and don’t flatten out over time.
Still asking the question – What is meditation?
Here’s a pretty straightforward description from https://liveanddare.com
“Meditation is a mental exercise that involves relaxation, focus, and awareness. Meditation is to the mind what physical exercise is to the body. The practice is usually done individually, in a still seated position, and with eyes closed.”
Sounds pretty cinch, right?
If this is something you’re wanting to start putting into practice, then there are some great resources for beginners. Here are a couple to get you started:
Happy meditating & Keep Shining!