Meditation is great for overall life. It helps us mentally, spiritually, and physically. It helps with depression, clears the mind, regulates your mood, and any other kind of mental disorders. It helps improve our performance levels in the brain by increasing our gamma waves allowing us to focus more. Meditation can also help reduce addictions or cravings giving you more strength and willpower to fight the urge. It can also help with pain management and other medical concerns like heart disease and strokes. The list goes on and these are just to name a few. The list is endless when it comes to meditation. Besides, when you think about it, it has been around around more than 4,600 years ago. That was way it was before science really existed.
Most people picture meditation as a 3 hour process. While there are meditations that are that long, no one is expected to sit that length of time being new. Meditation can be as short and simple as you make it. It is all about your intentions and what you want to release into the universe to make happen. After all, it is all about releasing the mind. As I posted in my last blog, "Me time" is so important and what better way to spend time getting to know you with yourself than in meditation. If you have a spiritual belief system, meditation could be seen prayer if you really think about it. It is when you spiritually connect with your divine because you are connecting with you. If you don't have a spiritual belief system, no problem. That is what is so great about meditation. You don't need one in order to practice it either. Anyone can do it.
All it takes is 3-5 minutest a day. It is best to meditate on a daily basis to see the full benefits. If you have trouble meditating on your own, there are centers and groups that offer meditation. You can check in your local area on sites like Meetup.com or the Oneness University websites. Meditation can lead to so much more that is beyond our knowledge. It can be a true beginning to finding yourself and developing yourself.
What I love about yoga, is there is no equipment involved except you and your mat. So, the only thing you have to be picky about is your mat. But, sometimes that can be challenging in itself. There are tons of mats to choose from when starting out. There are a variety of cheap ones, expensive ones, thick, and thin ones. Even mats that are made from different materials. Unfortunately, you are never truly 100% sure which one is for you and it can be a little overwhelming.
For beginners, you must first know that not all mats are the same. They are different for a reason. When people buy mats for the first time, they usually go for thicker mats. Thick mats are good but you need to make sure they are for yoga and not for regular workouts. Foam mats, Pilate's and Fitness mats are often confused with yoga mats. Fitness mats absorb impact while Pilate's mats are for catering to the spine. You don't want to use these for yoga. Foam yoga mats are available and are recommended for people with bad bones and joints. A foam yoga mat is also great for beginner's. The downfall, they are bulky to carry and make balance moves more challenging. They also prevent smooth movement between asanas. There are many different types of textured mats available for a stronger grip.
All mats are different sizes. The taller and broader you are the longer your mat should be. Plus, if you are short. Why would you want extra material to carry around?
Cheap vs expensive. Cheap mats for great for someone on the budget and for beginners. However, my experience with them have not been so great. They are PVC-laden (a toxic plastic with carcinogens in it & not eco friendly). Eventually, these fall apart, are not cushioned enough for the body, and can cause slipping and falling because of sweat. If you are a regular yogi and living the lifestyle everyday, I would recommend investing in a better mat. Don't be scared to invest a few extra dollars.
If you are looking to go eco-friendly then look for mats made from biodegradable, recyclable compounds like polymer environmental resin (PER) and thermoplastic elastomer (TPE). Cotton mats are also available even though there is not much cushion to them. You can always save your mat by using a yoga towel on top during your practice.
Overall, you have to find what works for you. It is like I tell my clients, "buying a mat is like buying a mattress". You want to make sure it compliments your needs. No one wants to sleep on a hard or lumpy bed. Your mat should be comforting and represent who you are. When you test your mat, you should test for portability, longevity, comfort, non- slip, cushion, and texture. With so many brands out there the decisions are endless.
Chakras are the wheel of life. They are called Prana. They are the energy points that match our nervous systems. If you had to imagine what they look like, think of a swirl of energy. Each chakra are different colors and have different goals. When they are all open, our body's energy can continuously flow allowing us to be confident, healthy, spiritually attuned, happy, and more. If your chakra or energy field is imbalanced, it can cause negative effects. It can often be psychologically, emotionally, or/and spiritually.
There are 7 chakras that run along the base of our spine leading to the crown of our head. Below are the chakra colors, areas, and what they do. For example: if you are experiencing problems in the stomach area such as digestion or an upset stomach more than likely your 3rd chakra (the solarplexus) is blocked.
Clearing your chakras is a good start to leading a healthier and happier lifestyle. Here are some ways you can help unblock them.
1) Find a comfortable spot that you can spend with yourself for at least 10 minutes. Close your eyes and visualize a golden light filling your body. You can imagine this light filling each chakra starting from the 1st to the 7th. When you imagine this light, imagine that you are giving yourself a body scan. As this light passes, imagine that the light is also healing your body from within. "Me" time is so important. We often forget to take time for ourselves because of our hectic schedules and everyday lives. So, don't forget about you!
2) Focus on your breathing. Oxygen is so important because it is Prana. It is the universal energy source. It is the breath of life. Often, we don't get enough oxygen in our bodies because of our posture, being stressed, or angry. Inhale on a 6 second count through the nose, then slowly exhale out on a 4 second count through the mouth. Practice this for the first few minutes. When you get comfortable with this technique, you can start to chant the word "Ohm" on the exhale. Ohm is a universal language and the foundation of creation. It represents the divine within us and brings us closer with our divine.
3) Practice yoga. Yoga helps in unblocking the chakras by releasing the negative and letting the positive flow. You have probably often heard that yoga helps your body to detox. This is true both physically and spiritually.
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