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Interesting facts about meditating

Not sure why you should start meditating or making it part of your yoga practice? Read on to find out some interesting benefits of meditating.

Meditation supports your lungs and benefits your respiratory system as a whole

When you begin to meditate, one can easily observe, initially, their breath to be agitated, irregular and shallow, but with each passing minute you begin regulating your breath and self. Bringing purposeful breath to the body and mind is very important. Through meditation, you help an unaware and involuntary process to become voluntary and aware.

This awareness of breath helps your mind train itself to better breath during your day to day activities. Breathing properly brings many benefits, such as helping you live in a more consistent state of happiness, calmness of often brings you more control in stressful situations. Breath has been shown to detoxify the body, relieve pains, as well as improve your posture while supporting your lymphatic system. With that… don’t forget to breath, and why not take a few minutes each day to yourself and meditate?

Meditation improves the circulatory system

Surely, you've heard that meditation reduces stress, but you may not know that meditation is incredibly beneficial for the heart and entire circulatory system. Stress is known to cause the body to produce and releases hormones like adrenaline and cortisol that puts us in a state of alert. These hormones affect our heart rate by speeding it up and making the entire circulatory system works faster.

If you were in a situation of "real" danger, this physiological response would be positive as it could save your life, but in reality, we often face many small stressors that we have not learned to cope with, causing similar affects to our body and mind as if we were in real danger.

Through meditation, not only do you realize that you are rarely in complete life threatening situations, but the stress is reduced greatly, supporting your health and entire circulatory system.

Meditation reduces body pain

When you’re sitting alone on your meditation cushion one of the obstacles you'll face is pain. This pain is sometimes palpable though a foot cramp, a tightness of the knee, back or neck. Most people, faced with such discomfort, change position until they find ease again, but only soon to realize that it is not a viable solution because the pain returns. Over time, with meditation, you recognize the only thing you can do is learn deal with the discomfort, feel it, even welcome it without driving it, and sooner or later you will notice it went away just as it came in.

Meditation not only allows you to acknowledge the pains that arise in everyday life, but also allows you to address and reduce them. The body has no voice and its only way to communicate is through pain signals, it is our responsibility to know if the pain is pure discomfort, started because an area is out of balance, or particularly weak or because it is never used in everyday life. Through meditation you can learn to better deal with the pain and understand the signals your body is sending to better address them.

Beneficial effects on the immune system

According to the philosophy of Samkhya, (believed to be the birth of the philosophical ideals behind yoga and Ayurveda) the body has a very powerful and innate ability to heal itself. In fact, in the philosophy of Samkhya, disease arises anytime there is an imbalance in the body or the mind that does not get cleared. What we see as a simple physical problem is often the outcome of several imbalances that have led to that particular state.

Traditional medicine often only deals with the last stage of this process versus the alternative of understanding what is the root of this imbalance and correcting it before it leads to potential severe illnesses.

Knowing that part of the goal of yoga is to notice and support the changes of our ever-evolving body, the same observations, appreciation and care to the mind and body can be noticed from meditation and Ayurvedic practices. Consequently, through meditation you will find yourself rebalancing your body and mind to find equilibrium and regain your innate healing ability, preventing future imbalances from occurring.

Meditation has profound beneficial effects on our brain that has been shown to stimulate and modify neural pathways that normally remain dormant or with limited stimulation during daily activities. In the same way working out at a gym strengthens the muscles of the body, taking time to meditate strengthens the brain, keeps it strong, active and creative.

Meditation reduces stress

The first major benefit of meditation on the mind is stress reduction. With the pace of today's society, the continuous stimuli from social media, and many economic concerns, as a society we are stressed or often left feeling overwhelmed.

Research has shown that spending a few minutes meditating daily can reestablish calmness and inner peace by changing the way we internalize difficult and ever changing circumstances we may be faced with.

When you make the decision to meditate, you slowly gain control of perceived circumstances, slowly the mind calms down, your breathing slows down, improving cardiovascular health, and achieve a greater capacity for relaxation.

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