That meeting that’s coming up. Those things you forgot to grab at the grocery store. A lunch date with a friend. The news alert on your phone. The car that’s driving too close. That playdate you scheduled. The T that’s running behind. The thoughts going around in your head in seemingly endless circles. And yes, those TikTok videos that make it so easy to keep scrolling.
Hour in and hour out, multiple good for us, not-so-good for us, important and extraneous somethings and someones are clambering for our attention, so it’s easy to forget about turning some of that attention inward. The practice of meditation is about making time for your mind; to focus it on the present, redirect your thoughts and increase awareness of yourself and your surroundings. And while meditation may start inside your head, its benefits extend from there to your physical body.
Whether you’re new to meditation and want to learn more about incorporating it into your life or you’re looking to add group meditation and movement into an existing practice, join us at Healthworks during our Week of Wellness to experience the mindfulness we’re building into our newest classes of the year, so that you can elevate your energy through:
Mediation can increase self-awareness by creating a habit of focusing on the present. This allows you to notice your thoughts and feelings as they come up, which can help you develop a stronger understanding of yourself. That deeper knowledge can guide you in your relationships with others, improve impulse control, increase feelings of self-efficacy and teach you to recognize thoughts that may be harmful or self-defeating before they take hold.
Mental and physical stress lead to increased levels of a stress hormone called cortisol, which can prompt the release of inflammatory chemicals that disrupt sleep, promote depression and anxiety, increase blood pressure and contribute to fatigue and poor concentration. In one study, meditation was linked to a reduction in inflammatory response. Other research shows meditation may also improve symptoms of other stress-related conditions like anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder and fibromyalgia.
IMPROVED EMOTIONAL HEALTH
Meditation can lead to improved self-image and a more positive outlook on life, which can improve symptoms of depression. It also encourages kinder thoughts and feelings toward ourselves, which we can then learn to extend to those around us. Practicing compassion for our inner selves, as well as the inner selves of others, has been shown to improve positive emotions, interpersonal relationships and our understanding of ourselves and other people.
LONGER ATTENTION SPAN
There’s an argument to be made that the access we currently have to information and entertainment has impacted our ability to focus for long periods of time, so think of meditation as weightlifting for your attention span. Several studies have shown that those who regularly practice meditation experience improved attention and accuracy when completing tasks. One group of researchers even found that meditation can reverse patterns in the brain that contribute to mind-wandering, worrying and poor attention. The increased ability to focus, by the way, also improves memory.
Time and time again, research shows that deep, restful sleep is a crucial component of our mental and physical health, but many of us still don’t get enough of it. In fact, some studies show that as much as 30-50% of the world’s population suffers from insomnia. Meditation can help. According to one study, people who meditated stayed asleep longer and improved their symptoms, compared with those who didn’t. Meditation may help because it relaxes the body while helping the mind control or redirect racing thoughts that often lead to insomnia.
MEDITATION AT HEALTHWORKS
Our Week of Wellness includes these meditative experiences taking place February 14-17:
- Flow Yoga 1 + Meditation: Flowing from one pose to the next, linked by breath and focus, our Vinyasa class connects longer poses to build strength and flexibility. Slow pace. 5-8 breaths per pose. This is a physically challenging class, but it will not include inversions, bindings, wheel or arm balances. Class concludes with a 10 minute meditation practice.
- Candlelit Soundbath Yoga: Deepen your sense of relaxation and restore your muscles as you are lead through a candlelit Vinyasa Flow to conclude your day. Reach a greater meditative state through the calming sounds of Tibetan singing bowls. Class concludes with a 10 minute meditation practice and hands-on Reiki for those open to touch.
- Gentle Yoga + Meditation: A slow-paced class where yoga practitioners of all levels will benefit from the emphasis on breathing, alignment, flexibility and focus. Instructors provide moment-to-moment adjustments and modifications including demonstrations and the use of props. Class concludes with a 10 minute meditation practice.
- Reiki with Best of Boston’s Shannon McNally: Join Master Energy Healer, Shannon McNally, for a deeply peaceful and nurturing experience for the mind, body and spirit. This class will incorporate a mindful sequence of restorative poses to calm your nervous system, connect to breath and open your body. While in these poses, Shannon will share the healing touch of Reiki to restore the flow of energy in the body and leave you in a state of physical and emotional balance.
If you’re a member, we invite you share these experiences with a friend by gifting them a 3-day, referral pass here.
If you’d like to join us as a guest, you can RSVP for our Week of Wellness here and we’ll send you a complimentary 3-day trial pass.
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