Today we have a guest post from Claire Obeid, who is a Sydney based Holistic Health Coach and Yoga Teacher. After struggling with chronic illness and stress and experiencing the benefits of meditation first hand, Claire now works with other women to help them discover balance, true happiness and perfect health (check out her new program). Today Claire is sharing with us the benefits of meditation and a little tutorial on how to get started with some basic meditation techniques at home. Over to Claire…
In the circles I move in, meditation is pretty common-place. I’ve had to remind myself though that not everyone meditates… (even though the world would be a better place if we all did).
It occurred to me that perhaps ‘meditation’ is a little too obscure for some. The concept might seem a little woo-woo or hippy, or just simply, the idea of sitting down in silence seems a little ridiculous – “how is that going to help me?” – which is fair. How is it going to make a difference?
I’m not going to list 50,000,000 reasons why meditation can benefit you. Although I actually have at least 100 of them I can rattle off now. I’m going to give you 6. Two physical, two psychological and two spiritual reasons why meditating can help you.
I’m also going to teach you a super simple technique you can try at home – mantra meditation.
Physical Benefits of meditation:
1) Enhance your immune system – do you always suffer from irritating little colds and flus? Meditation, by relaxing the nervous system, can help you manage stress better, strengthening your fight against bacterial and viral illnesses.
2) Increase energy and stabilise your weight – by reducing the cortisol (stress hormones) within the body you are going to get more our of your day, improved your performance during sport and exercise AND shed excess weight or stabilising to your ideal weight.
Psychological Benefits of meditation:
3) Get happy – meditation increases your serotonin levels which affects your mood and behaviour. Happiness really does come from within.
4) More creativity and emotional stability – you are calmer, more focused and less ‘erratic’ which has countless benefits, including an increased ability to tap into your creative juices.
Spiritual Benefits of meditation:
5) Self-actualisation – come into being the best possible version of yourself. Find your passions, live and breath in the way you were meant to – within your personal power and true greatness. You can achieve and be anything!
6) Synchronicity – those moments that we used to think were random coincidence or luck happen more and more. The Universe (really YOU, connecting in) literally throws opportunities and ‘perfect moments’ in your lap. Life happens as it should. Perfectly.
That’s a pretty awesome list with a whole lot of ‘get-me-summa-that’ happening!
If you want the other 94 reasons I have let me know!
Are you ready to meditate now?
Ok, check it out. We are talking Mantra Meditation.
Mantra meditation is an ancient practice made a little more modern and accessible by TM (transcendental meditation) or PSM (primordial sound meditation). The basis of all these meditation techniques is the mantra or the ‘sound’ or the ‘vibration’ to help still the mind.
We use sanskrit (ancient language) mantras due to their sacred sounds. One simple little sound can have such a profound impact on the mind. Take for example the word THUD. In any language, whether you know what it means or not, you get a clear idea of what is implied, because of the sound it makes. Flip that around and do the same with the word LULL. Again, a clear idea of the implications. Both these ‘sounds’ have different qualities. Irrespective of their meaning, you KNOW what they feel like – the texture, the effect, the underlying meaning, the impression on the mind.
So, we use a mantra that has a vibration or a sound that helps to quieten the mind and draw your focus to it, instead of the perpetual monkey mind.
Let’s begin. Try out this meditation with one of these two mantras – ‘So Hum’ or ‘Hum Sa’.
Find a comfortable seat – sitting on a chair, feet flat to the floor or on a cushion. Make sure your spine is upright.
- Gently close the eyes
- Soften the muscles of your face – relax your frown, your jaw, your eyelids
- Allow your breath to be soft, even and natural
- Without trying to find a rhythm, simply and quietly within the mind repeat the mantra – So Hum or Hum Sa
- Exert little effort, don’t over focus on the sound, let it be soft and floaty and fluid
- When thought bubbles pop up just let them be without following the bubble, without creating a story and ‘thinking’
- Come back to your mantra each time you notice you have strayed with little judgement, just a gentle nudge to bring yourself back
- Aim for 5 minutes to begin with and work up to 20 minutes
Simple, right? Not so. Somedays it’s like there is a battle in your mind. That’s OK! Other days you are very still and settled. That’s OK! Sometimes you can barely handle 20 minutes. That’s also OK! Get it? Whatever happens is OK, exactly as it should be.
Part of the process is acceptance, awareness and respect.
I invite you to give this a shot. Don’t wonder if ‘it’s working’ just be diligent with doing it everyday and overtime you’ll reap those 6 benefits and MORE!
Do you meditate now? How has your life changed? Or are you interested in meditating and haven’t quite taken the step forward? Let us know in the comments below.
If you’d like to find out more about Claire, head over to her website where you can read her personal story and join her new meditation program. Connect with Claire on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.