Yoga benefits for brain and body

Yoga has become one of the popular forms of exercise all around the world and around 36 million + of Americans alone practice yoga. Why so? Everybody today has a good amount of money and opportunities to earn money, but not a mental peace and health at all, hence it is proven that yoga can improve health and wellness physically as well as mentally. Not only this, yoga can help people are facing serious issues, like- Cardiovascular, cancer and other sorts of diseases and prevent people not to be part of the same. 

Daily Yoga boost your brain power.

Yoga for brain

As our brain works 24/7 and actually exhausted, it is very important to make it calm. Using the same all the time and thinking about negative thoughts can easily give us lots of stress and tension, however, it is very important to try yoga to get all peace. With the help of deep breathing and meditation, one can control the sympathetic nervous system along with the parasympathetic nervous system which actually helps in controlling the emotions and thinking positive thoughts for a better life. Reducing SNS and increase the PNS means a reduction in heart rate and blood pressure which is good to control the aggression.

It is must be noted that yoga can easily mould the brain and boosts function and emotional resilience. One can go with the chanting which helps in strengthen verbal and visual skills as well as a decrease in reactivity in response to stress. Also, with yoga, one’s brain gets flooded with feel-good chemicals and brain grow in size automatically.  300 hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh is a great way to learn more about yoga and meditation.

Yoga for body

Yoga can give more power and at the same time provides us with a toned body, which everybody wants today. Due to sedentary life and poor diet, our body often experiences with a lot of issues, make our body stiff, give pain, and sometimes we never find any stamina or power within ourselves. If you would like to be in shape, relieve stress, and get more energy, it is important to try different yoga poses and get the best results. Great flexibility, better sleep and lots of energy are the benefits we can gain from regular yoga, which will surely help in making our lives better. If you are a beginner, you better try easy yoga poses in the beginning and have amazing total body workout. Yoga is really very effective as one can expect dynamic results where the muscles will both stretch and strengthen during the same exercise. Also, yoga helps with the muscle fibres and connective tissue elongate, which improves the collagen fibres to maintain a lean and toned appearance. Yoga is for each and every part of the body, hence one should definitely try and remove all discomfort and tension from legs to hands, forearms, thighs, back and all.

As we all know that yoga has been known for centuries and it is proven that a regular yoga practice can significantly improve your physical, mental, and spiritual health, so this is something not to be ignored and one should start practising the same right from the comfort of your home. Yoga is affordable and can be done from anywhere to attain great flexibility to fitness, balance, strength, stamina and spinal mobility. Also, if you would like to know more about yoga and would like to have a better experience with other various people and best gurus, joining right yoga classes will be very beneficial will always motivate you. So, if you are serious about your mental and physical health, yoga is the best and knows more about various effective poses that will work incredibly well for everyone, from a beginner to an expert. If you want to become a certified yoga teacher and start your own yoga studio then you can join the 200 hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh and start your new career.

Meditation still is my torch

Meditation has been my guiding force

It has been a long time, well almost more than a year,since I wrote anything on this blog. It was never intentional. But I was so englufed in my life responsibilities that I could not find time for writing.

Though, a feeling of guilt is there inside me to know that I have not contributed even a single article here during the past 14 months.

Neverthless, it does not mean that I have left meditation also. Even in the most excruciating moments of my life where everything so fake and useless, meditation has been my torch.

It has given me peace and strength to carry on. During these tiring times, my belief has only become more strong that meditation is all the more necessary to remain calm and sane in a turbulant world.

I shall be more regular now.

Be peace unto all of you.

How a prisoner finds peace in prison through meditation

Hi friends,

It’s been a really long time, I had shared something on this blog. For past few months, I have been deeply engrossed in meditation practice and to finding ways to communicate my knowledge to the readers of this blog.

It would be too early to say much, but please expect something very interesting in the coming days.

Meanwhile,  I would like to share a very interesting and informative article on mindfulness meditation. It is written by someone who learned the Mindfulness meditation in prison and how it helped him live a life of peace and dignity in the stressful and negative environment of prison.

Read this very interesting article here: –

Freedom In Captivity: How Mindfulness Has Helped Me Cope With Life In Prison And Transformed My Life

Read it. You will be enriched !

How Does Mindful Meditation Affect Your Brain

 

Mindfulness and Brain
Mindfulness and Brain

How is it possible to make changes to our brain? Instead of going online or playing another game on your phone, try quieting down your mind.

Not possible instantly!

However, try to pay attention to your thoughts and remain passive without reacting.

Research over the years proves that just a few minutes of meditation may make a big difference. Let’s examine how.

What is Meditation?

Meditation is an active form of brain training. This mental training activates increased awareness of the mind. There are various meditation programs prescribed by experts to approach it in different ways.

A review study conducted by Madhav Goyal of John Hopkins looked at the relationship between mindfulness meditation and its effect on brain. This research established that “meditation isn’t a magic bullet for depression, as no treatment is, but it’s one of the tools that may help manage symptoms.”  

Another evidence has linked practising mindfulness to improvements in many parts of the brain.

Researchers suggest that mindfulness can affect the production of chemicals that change our mood. In fact, there are evidences to prove connections between different regions of the brain that change when we are mindful.

“Mindfulness is a kind of mental exercise for your brain. Based on meditation, it helps you to focus on the present moment.”, says Meena Joshi, Mindfulness Expert for Bupa UK.

Technique & Benefit

Mindful Meditation requires focused attention on one specific thing. This object of focus could be anything – it could be your breathing, a sensation in your body or a particular object outside of you. Mindful Meditation focuses on one point and continuously brings your attention back to that focal point when it wanders away.

An intriguing study carried out by the Yale University proved that meditation reduces activity in the brain’s “Me Centre”. This implies that the mind that meditates amply does not think about itself. It transcends beyond this realm.  Mindfulness meditation decreases activity in the default mode network (DMN) or the brain network responsible for mind-wandering and self-referential thoughts.

Being sad or pensive, or moody is typically associated with worrying about the past and future, the ultimate goal of meditation is to prevent this. Several studies have shown that meditation is an effective natural tranquilliser.

For developing brains of children, the results of mindful meditation are even more promising. To deal with modern stresses, many schools have introduced yoga and meditation into their curriculum.

Several studies have confirmed the cognitive and emotional benefits of meditation on school children as well as adults. Some of the benefits of meditation include:

  • Better Focus
  • Less Anxiety
  • More Creativity
  • More Compassion
  • Better Memory
  • Less Stress &
  • More Gray Matter (associated with energy and intelligence)

 

In fact, a sub-genre of meditation, called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts’ Center for Mindfulness aims to reduce a person’s stress level, physically and mentally. Studies have proved its efficacy in reducing anxiety even years after the initial 8-week course.

Benefits of Mindful Meditation

In recent years, the public attention has soared about mindful meditation.

Mindful Based Stress Reduction(MBSR) brings about real time change in brain regions involving attention and relief from symptoms of social anxiety, as per Stanford University team research. Therefore, people with social anxiety disorder can benefit from it as well.

  • Well designed studies have shown benefits for patients of depression, chronic pain, and anxiety engaging in a mindfulness meditation program, with effects similar to other existing treatments. Research has also shown benefits of mindfulness meditation on an array of conditions both physical and mental, including irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, psoriasis, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • With more studies, researchers have concluded that human mind is a very complex organ and that mindfulness brings about real changes in the brain.

These changes are both simple and very complicated, and that mindfulness is helping us change our minds for the better. Since mind and body work in unison, there are many more unexpected ways that we could expect the results as per the stimuli.

Mindfulness experts reported feeling less pain than people who didn’t practice mindfulness. By not drawing on memories of pain, the experts were able to feel less pain.

  • Another significant benefit of meditation was better brain preservation. A very interesting study from UCLA has pointed out to the benefits of meditation. Meditators who had been practicing meditation for twenty years or longer had better preserved brains and the volume of grey matter was significantly higher too. Even the brain loss that happens with prolonged age is lesser in them.

According to Scientific American Journal, “the effects of mindfulness have been great to see it move away from being a spiritual thing towards proper science and clinical evidence, as stress is a huge problem and has a huge impact on many people’s health. Being able to take time out and focus our mind is increasingly important.”

The quasi-spiritual connotations of meditation have so far prevented mindfulness from being hailed as an antidote to this frantic chaos of  New Age. Mindfulness has come to stay and in few years time, it could become as much a part of our mundane chores like taking a bath or sleeping are.

Contributor Bio – The article is presented by Sharda Hospital. Sharda Hospital is one of the largest super speciality hospitals in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR).

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What if you can’t meditate despite trying

Frustration in Meditation Photo
What to do when you can’t meditate ?

This is a very common problem. You make a routine for meditation and allot some time for meditating. However, despite your trying your level best, you find that on a one particular day or,  for some days in succession, you are not able to meditate.

Focus, simply is not there. You feel as if this whole thing is fake.  Meditation is not for you. No matter, how sincerely you are trying, you are just not able to focus. Time just fly away in that particular slot. You start by focusing on you breathing and, after 15-20 minutes, you end while thinking about that nefarious fellow in your office who is hell bent on creating as much problem in your life as humanely possible. Or you end up thinking about that marvelous shirt you wanted to buy in the Mall during your weekend trip but could not as it was for display only !

In nutshell, your mind go into the whirlwind of desires during that short dedicated span of meditation. And you are nuts.

So what to do in this situation?

Nothing. The very fact that you are realizing that it is difficult to focus during meditation is itself a positive step in the right direction.  You set aside some portion of time in your daily routine for meditation, you sit peacefully during that time for meditation and you tried in a genuine way to meditate. This itself is enough. Even if the end result was not as satisfactory as you wanted. The time that you spent trying to meditate is not all lost. Believe me. When you realize that your mind keeps wandering during meditation, you actually enhance your knowledge about the nature of your monkey mind.

The most difficult thing is to be aware  of this wandering of the mind. Once we get involved in the thought process, we give fuel to this wandering. But as soon as you realize this wandering, you gently come back to the very process of meditation. Then you again got involved in the wandering. Then again you realize and come back. And it goes on.

Slowly slowly, as you keep trying, you deepen your practice. You start choosing not to get involved in the thought process. And this involvement is the food of the mind. Once , the supply of this food is stopped, the mind starts following your command.

It appears difficult in the beginning.  However, as you keep trying, it become very easy. Eventually.

The key is to not get discouraged. When you are working on your mind, you are working on the most difficult beast in the world. It is extremely difficult to tame it. But you can tame it, provided you don’t get frustrated. Provided, you keep learning its nature.

In the long run, the very act of sitting daily for meditation, even if the same does not appear to have any effect on your inner being,  will bring remarkable change in you. Just wait and watch.

Regards,

 

 

5 Tips to Improve Your Mental Health Through Meditation

5 tips to improve mental health through meditation

The role of meditation in promoting improved mental health has been recognized for centuries. As more and more medical studies seem to provide concrete, irrefutable links between good mental health and meditation, however, its positives effects are becoming more mainstream and more widely recognized.

If you think that your own mental health could be improved through meditation then you might be right. If you want to see for yourself, then here are 5 simple ways that meditation could improve your mental health.

Practice

There is overwhelming evidence to suggest that meditation can help to reduce anxiety and stress, including from studies at Harvard University. However, in order to gain these benefits, you have to meditate. We recommend setting aside at least 10 minutes a day to meditate, and with this practice, you will inevitably see the benefits to your mood and well-being. There are apps available that can track your practice, such as Headspace.

Listen to guided meditation

Meditation provides a space to think and to listen to your body. Some issues that affect your mental health can have underlying, physical symptoms. But let’s face it, how many of us have time to listen to the signs and warnings our bodies provide us that something is going wrong? Meditation reverses this trend – it allows a period of reflection, where you can actually listen to your body and to your mind. One way of improving your mental health through meditation is to listen to guided meditation tapes of YouTube videos, which can provide a sense of calm. Someone who is well known on YouTube is Jason Stephenson. Check out his guided meditations.

Learn from the best

In today’s hectic lifestyles, with time sapping chores and rigid schedules it can be hard to simply find time to relax – and that is not good news for your overall mental health. Finding time to meditate however can really help in this area too.  However, perhaps even more helpful is to rely on an expert to teach you how to meditate to reduce anxiety. One example is Andy Puddicombe, who is the founder of Headspace and former Buddhist Monk, who has written a number of books and created a number of platforms to help you to learn from the best.

Combine with Yoga

If you suffer from long-term illness then this can often have a detrimental effect on your mental health. Meditation can be an underutilized tool in combating a number of illnesses, both long and short-term. It is particularly effective in managing illnesses that are worsened by stress. ‘Meditation’, of course, can mean a number of things, but by meditation, most of us will mean sitting quietly and contemplating. Yoga, however, is also a form of meditation, and one that, if combined with quiet contemplation, will also aid anxiety, as it provides another way of practicing mindfulness, and will also give you some physical outlet, further helping with your anxiety.

Of course, meditation should not be seen as – and definitely is not – a replacement for traditional treatments for illness. It is a good idea to consider consulting with your physician before you begin a program of meditation.

Try mindfulness-based cognitive therapy

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is where mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy combine. It involves interrogating your thoughts in order to change your thought process, and it could be very effective in treating anxiety, as it is more the sum of its parts and not merely a combination of mindfulness and CBT. However, if it is to work, you need to stick to it, as practice is the key.

One of the great things about using meditation to help improve your mental health is the fact that is so easy! 10-minute windows of meditation in the day can really work wonders, making it easy to fit into busy schedules. There is little – if actually any – equipment really required.

Marcus regularly blogs at psysci, a psychology, science blog that examines the latest research and explains how findings can impact and improve people’s lives.