Meditation? What does that have to do with being fit and healthy?
Pretty much everything!
This is Samm Speculation, so don't quote me, but your body and mind work together in perfect unison. If you're mind is not healthy, if you are not happy, your mind translates into your body, and your body won't work right for you! Not just in the normal ways of "Oh I'm happy, so I don't have tension in my shoulders", but in others ways. For example, if you are working out, not because you want to or are motivated to, but as a chore "Oh, I have to work out today, but I don't have time! *stress stress stress*", then chances are, you won't gain your goal! You won't lose any weight, in fact chances are, you may gain weight. If your mind isn't happy and healthy, your body won't respond in a happy or healthy way and all you're miles and hard work will not pay off nearly as much as the alternative.
Now the Science of it all. I have a list! (Those that know me on a personal level know I live for lists!) We'll make it a lovely Tens List. This information is about the benefits of meditation:
1. It increases the blood flow and slows the heart rate. In this fast paced world, we could all use some of that!
2. Reduces PMS. Yep! Ladies, who knew that meditation would help with PMS? Relaxation and meditation will make these 'symptoms' less severe! (Also, pickle juice *wink*)
3. Leads to a deeper level of relaxation. Those who have meditated before know what I mean by this. It's such a blissful place between conscious and subconscious, between being close to sleep, but fully awake.
4. It builds self confidence! (Most exercises do!)
5. Reduces activity of viruses and emotional distress.
6. It increases serotonin production which influences mood and behaviour. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression, obesity, insomnia and headaches.
7. It can restore blood pressure to normal for those with high blood pressure.
8. Enhances the immune system. Research has revealed that meditation increases activity of 'natural-killer cells', which kill bacteria and cancer cells.
9. Helps in post-operative healing.
10. Reduces anxiety attacks by lowering the levels of blood lactate.
For more, visit healthandyoga.
We are constantly worrying about exercising to help the outside of our body, but what about the inside? Meditation is one of the ways to achieve a "toned" inside. Here's what I like to do:
I like to Passively Meditate
Step One: Find a quiet place where You are comfortable. No physically, but a place where you feel at home or at peace. Bedroom's are a great place.
Step Two: Be alone! Kick the hubby out for a while, or invest in a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door. Or maybe you can find time by taking a bubble bath. We all know that's our Me time.
Step Three: Set the mood. When you study, you turn the lights on, the lamp on, maybe throw ear plugs in to block out extra noise. It's the same with meditation, set the tone. I like to turn all the lights off, light some candles, and play some very relaxing music on in the background a at a low volume.
Step Four: Get comfy! Generally, I like to sit on the floor. You can sit on a couch or a chair, but remember you are moving into a state of relaxation and what I'm going to call sublaxation. It's okay if you fall asleep, but save the sleeping for bedtime! Maybe set a blanket down, or a couple of pillows.
Step Five: Meditate! There are many ways you can meditate, so if you don't like the way I do it, maybe these will be more beneficial to you! Remember, this is about You! I'm no teacher, just a suggester! Listen to your body, pay attention to it! It'll tell you what it needs and what it likes! If your body likes to lay down while meditation, listen to it! If you fall asleep that way, maybe you just need to reclin against a pile of pillows. When your mind and body work together is when you yield the best benefits and results!
I like to go on what I call Yoga-cations! First, I'll completely clear my mind and relax. If I'm laying down, I will relax one body part at a time starting with my big toe until I reach my eyes. Sitting up, I will concentrate on my breathing in and out. Once all stresses and cares of my everyday life leave, my subconscious will kick on and send me where I want to go. It's usually on the beach somewhere. I will lividly try to imagine the sand between my toes, the wind on my face, the water around my ankles. This helps me relax and feel like I'm getting a much needed vacation in my very own bedroom.
Another thing you can do is 'soul searching'. You can learn a lot about yourself through meditation! For example, after completely clearing your mind and reaching Your sublaxation level, you can think "fear" and find out what is scaring you at this moment in time. Or you can think the word "happy" and find out what, in the real world, can give you the most happiness. It's almost an out of body experience when you are living solely in your mind. It's almost like getting an outsider's perspective from your innermost Inside.
Now yes, I am what the world calls Mormon. There are amazing ways to meditate through religion. Instead of reaching the Innermost You, try to reach the connection between You and Him. Instead of you communicating with yourself, doing self-reflections, communicate in prayer with Him. Instead of relaxing to sublaxation, use that time to clear your pride and humble yourself in order to truly listen. The communication of prayer is limitless and priceless.
I hope this helps you become the best You! Enjoy!