Meditation is something we often imagine the most enlightened people around us do — our yoga teacher, the green smoothie maker, gurus on retreats — but the reality is that any of us can benefit from taking a few minutes out each day to feel calmer, get grounded and tap into our inner peacekeeper.
We asked a few experts from Meditation Studio app to tell us what meditation does for them, and here’s what they had to say:
1) Meditation helps me be kinder…to myself
Chrissy Carter, Yoga and Meditation Teacher says, “My mind is bananas (ever feel that way?) and meditation helps me cultivate a compassionate relationship with my mind and, ultimately, with myself.” By working to identify the patterns in our thinking, and sometimes the root beliefs behind those patterns, meditating gives us a moment to look behind the curtain. Then, we are more able to be patient and kind to ourselves as we realize where our thoughts and feelings are coming from. Meditation gives us permission to embark on our days with the compassionate thought, “I’m always learning” rather than expecting to be perfect in every moment.”
2) Meditation eases tension in my body
Michael Apollo, Mindfulness Expert, Educator U of Toronto reminds us that meditating isn’t just about our thoughts, it’s also a physical act that has ripple effects throughout our bodies. That feeling when you unclench your shoulders after realizing they were tense? That’s what meditation gives you, all over. In a relaxed state, every experience is so much richer.
3) Meditation creates mental space
Dr. Chris Willard, Mindfulness teacher and Psychologist writes, “I used to feel like I was living in a cramped closet with all my crazy thoughts… now its like I still have my thoughts, but I’m living in an airplane hangar. Mindfulness doesn’t change my thoughts exactly, but it does change how I relate to them.” Meditating makes it possible for your “crazy thoughts” — and we all have them — to have a little extra room around them. Your brain isn’t filled to the brim with worries and to-do lists, rather, those things co-exist in the space you create as you go inward in stillness.
4) Meditation gives me the power to focus
Cara Bradley, Yoga and Meditation Teacher, author On The Verge notes, when she meditates, she moves away from her “sloppy brain” and is able to really focus in the present. “When I practice consistently,” Bradley writes, “I don’t drop my phone. I don’t lose my keys. I make less mistakes…Being mindful makes me more productive.” With a mind that isn’t wandering in a million directions, we can actually bring our attention to the moment and task at hand. Not only does that help keep us calm and bright, it means our work is actually better.
A calm, focused and (a bit more) relaxed mind (albeit, still messy sometimes!) is just around the corner. Check out Meditation Studio to hear meditations from these teachers and more to get started!
Patricia Karpas is the co-founder and head of content for Meditation Studio LLC, the home of Meditationstudioapp.com. This 5-star app includes 200 meditations, 16 collections, 3 courses and 27 teachers. The app focuses on stress, anxiety, pain, sleep, happiness, confidence, performance and so much more, providing tools for beginners and experienced meditators. It’s a must have! She’s also the host of Untangle, the podcast that showcases the stories of experts, authors and real people whose lives have been transformed by meditation or mindfulness practices.
Image courtesy of Chrissy Carter.