Back to school got you feeling anything but zen? Try some meditation on for size.
Meditation decreases the negative effects of stress, mild depression and anxiety, and improves mood, energy and concentration. It can also help you lose weight (stress is fattening!) and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. By getting the mind to focus on a single thing (such as breathing), meditation serves up deep relaxation for overall wellbeing and health benefits. (Zombie mom, are you listening?)
Great, so how do you get started? Arlene Dalton, wellness facilitator at Ste. Anne’s Spa in Ontario, teaches a form of meditation known as Yoga Nidra. “Yoga nidra assists in destressing by progressively releasing muscular tension, emotional tension and physical tension,” Dalton says.
Often referred to as yogic sleep, Yoga Nidra is yoga without movement. “Guests are guided to a place between wakefulness and sleep,” says Dalton. Each practice begins with getting comfortable, then a resolve–”like planting a seed for change,” says Dalton. The focus later shifts to breathing and relaxed feelings and sensations, followed by guided visualization.
Can’t make it to a class? Dalton recommends this exercise: To calm the mind, take a few minutes each day to sit and observe your breath entering and leaving the body. Watch where the mind travels (which it will) and return to your breath over and over again.
There, now don’t you feel better already?
Text: Madison Oliver