We tend to associate fitness and health with activity--and activity is a vital part of keeping your body strong and healthy. But did you know that there are health benefits to being still, too? In this case, we're not talking about sitting for long periods of time at your computer desk or on the couch while you watch your favorite shows. Instead, we're talking about the stillness required for exercising your brain with meditation.
Just like regular physical exercise helps you look and feel better, resting your brain through the conscious relaxation process of meditation also can benefit your physical, mental, and emotional wellness. As it turns out, training your brain to relax and unwind is an important tool to keeping yourself healthy. If you'd like to try meditation, during our celebration of Zentember (September is National Yoga Month), we're offering a chance to participate in yoga and guided meditation workshops. Click on the links below for more information and registration.
Want to know more about the importance of meditation to your health? Studies at Harvard University's Lazar Lab have confirmed what yogis have been trying to tell us for years: meditation reduces stress, fosters clear thinking and increases our capacity for empathy and compassion. In fact, there's evidence to suggest that that meditation may slow down the age related atrophy of certain areas of the brain. The combination of stress reduction and slowing the brain's natural aging process has some important side benefits to your physical wellness. These include:
- Lowering high blood pressure
- Lowering the levels of blood lactate, reducing anxiety attacks
- Decreasing tension-related pain, such as, tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems
- Increasing serotonin production that improves mood and behavior
- Improving the immune system
- Increasing the energy level, as you gain an inner source of energy
In addition to these physical payoffs, the clarity that comes with meditation can increase your creativity and productivity, develop your intuition, improve your self-awareness and acceptance, and promote emotional stability. Since working out is a mental game, consistent meditation can help strengthen your workouts too! If you can't make it to one of our upcoming workshops, we encourage you to join in on one of our yoga classes, which frequently include short meditation practices. We are always happy to welcome beginners to our classes, so check out this guide to what to expect at your first yoga class.