You will find research on the brain and sciences related to it, aplenty. New studies are coming up every month, and you will also hear about the finer aspects of meditation. Ancient benefits have also confirmed, them to be true. Meditation, although an alternative therapy has myriad has proven to have a lot of effects on the human brain. One of the benefits associated is that there is reduced activity in the grey cells. Meditation does produce some measurable results when it comes to the improvement of brain activity. Learn about the benefits of meditation on yoga, after knowing what meditation is.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is nothing but the focusing of your mind for a certain period of time. You will find that different people, have different interpretations of meditation. It is how, the mind influences the body, emotions, and spirit. It can be better described as a practice, in which the mind stresses focus, concentration, and achieving higher states of consciousness. You will be amazed to know that meditation existed since prehistoric times. You will come across several different types of meditation techniques and schools of meditation. Now, we can discuss the immense benefits of meditation for you. You have the option of undergoing meditation courses at Kundalini Yoga Ashram.
Benefits of Yoga
- Meditation helps to preserve the brain. Meditators are known to have a highly developed brain. If you conduct research on incumbents who meditate, you will find that their brains had more grey matter, even after crossing a certain ripe old age.
- By meditating, you can strengthen the neural connections. It changes the connectivity of the brain.
- You can also aid in mental focus through meditation. It also helps you to develop a lot of empathy and compassion.
Mindfulness Effects on The Brain
It is quite similar to exercise. It is the exercise for the mind. By meditating mindfully, you can let go of your unwanted psychological states. The various psychological states that are detrimental to human beings are fear, anxiety, hatred, and such other negative emotions. Through mindfulness meditation, you can alter destructive practices. There is a lot of research that goes behind mindfulness meditation. You should know about them.
By undergoing mindfulness meditation for an extended period, you can improve your mood. Moreover, you can experience a better quality of life. It can also improve mental health scores. Furthermore, you will experience relief from anxiety and MRI scans have shown to reduce the activity of the fight or flight centre of the brain.
Chemicals Released in Meditation
When you meditate, the brain releases some neurotransmitters. It basically helps to maintain the vital hormones inside the body. These, in turn affect the mind and the body in a positive manner. You should know about the chemicals that can give you a feeling of happiness. They are serotonin, cortisol, DHEA, GABA, endorphins, and melatonin. These have a huge effect on your happiness quotient. Apart from that, you will also experience a sense of calmness and sleepiness.
Meditation and the Mind
Some meditation techniques concentrate on the breath, and some direct life forces. The basis of mindfulness meditation has already been described above.
You should choose a spot, where silence presides. Take some time to settle down, say at least 15-20 minutes. If you cannot find a very quiet place, it does not matter. Utilize what you have. There are a few meditative postures, that are better for you. You can either sit in Padmasana, Sukhasana, Swastik asana, or Bajra asana. Try to keep your spine straight, and hold your chin up. You ought to relax the muscles in your jaw, shoulders, and stomach.
- Breathe in slowly and breathe out slowly, and start settling into a space of your own, mentally and emotionally. Bring awareness to your practice in mindful meditation. Moreover, your breath will also become more relaxed. Try to observe the thoughts that pass through the mind. You might experience some physical sensations and emotions as well. You can compare the thoughts to cloud, that rise and flow in several directions. You may notice, in the very beginning or in the intermediate stages, that your mind starts clinging to certain values and judgments. It can be events or things, or places, as well.
- You can also practice concentration meditation, which involves you concentrating on a single reference point. It can be a candle flame, an object, or just a point on the wall. Some people also use rosaries, japamala, mantras, and chanting accordingly. Concentration meditation helps to increase focus and concentration. It can also improve the attention span. There are still other benefits, that you can get from concentration meditation. It can increase your immune system, and psychological resistance as well.
No matter what kind of meditation, you can practice them while involving movements, postures, and breath. Apart from the other modalities, if you close your eyes for a few minutes every day and disconnect from the outer world, you can feel the power emanating from within.
At Kundalini Yoga Ashram, you can also find guided meditation as a part of the curriculum. In all forms of meditation, you can control the mind via two different paths – Yoga and Jnana. Jnana means illumination of consciousness, while yoga helps you reign in a defective physical body. However, Yoga and Jnana are incomplete without one another. Yoga is basically the path to achieve Jnana. You can control your mind through a combination of asanas, pranayama, and pratyahara. With such practices, you can control the prana, which seems to wander away. Through meditation, you can control the prana.
You can control your wandering mind, through meditative practices. The subconscious mind is a vast storehouse, of which you are not aware. However, many of life’s decisions are based on it. Your cravings radiate from the subconscious mind.
The conscious mind often co-operates with the subconscious mind. With the help of meditation, you can deeply concentrate on the subconscious and identify thought patterns. Thus, you will also be able to change your life through it.