The Benefit of Yoga as Meditation

Here in the west the word “yoga,” has, in popular culture, become synonymous with the physical postures (asana) while meditation is seen as a separate practice. Yet at its core, Yoga means union, and its essential purpose is the integration of all the layers of life, body, mind and soul, so there is an ‘oneness’ in the essence of the practice between the postures and meditation.

The Benefit of Yoga as Meditation

The Benefit of Yoga as Meditation

 

When yoga is practiced in this way it enters into every aspect of our lives and becomes a living meditation in much the same way the Buddhist practice of mindfulness becomes mindful living.

This is the basis of the article by Alice Walton, writing in Forbes, part two of her post, “The Psychology of Yoga,” which is worth clicking past the pop-up advertisement to get to. I’ll start you off with a little taste…ᅠ

“Having explored the nuts and bolts of yoga’s amazing health benefits, it seemed natural to switch from the objective to the subjective, and take a look at what yoga has been shown to do in the mind. After all, many people say that after starting yoga they feel mentally stronger, more relaxed, less depressed, and more level-headed than before. Heck, I’m the first to admit it’s the best therapy I’ve ever had. So to discuss how and why these changes occur, I turned to two well-recognized and seasoned practitioners.

Stephen Cope, director of the Institute for Extraordinary Living at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, explains that yoga itself is a form of meditation, and herein lies its power. “Yoga provides attentional training and self-regulation,” he says. “In practicing yoga, we’re training our awareness to attend to the low of thoughts, feelings and sensations in the body – and to be with these different states without self-judgment or reactivity.”

In other words, yoga teaches a new kind of attention. People who practice yoga learn how to accept all the stress-inducing thoughts that flit around in one’s head – negative self-talk, worries, snap judgments – as just that: thoughts, and nothing more. Since reacting to our thoughts is typically what gets us into trouble, learning to attend to them and accept them nonjudgmentally is key. Then we can let them go, says Cope, and “make wise choices – not based on reactivity to these states, but on our best interests.”

This idea of paying attention to one’s thoughts in a nonjudgmental way is what mindfulness meditation, or mindfulness training, is all about. This ancient practice has gained a lot of interest from researchers (and regular folk) in recent years. Scientists have studied how mindfulness courses can change people’s reactions and behaviors, and how they can literally change the structure of the brain. Attentional training and mindfulness have been shown to provide major benefits in treating everything from stress and depression to serious addictions. And yoga seems to work in much the same way.”

The benefit of yoga as meditation is that the whole of the human nervous system is renewed; the body enjoys greater energy and health, the mind is freed from memories of the past and fantasizes of the future and perception becomes clearer and non-judgmental. ᅠClick here to visit the original source of this post

Yoga and the Meditation Benefits of Helping Disabled People

One of the meditation benefits along with a yoga practice is greater self-awareness and as this deeper awareness grows so does compassion, which leads to a happier healthier relationship with life, however, the opposite is also true, becoming disconnected from the body can lead to becoming more self-destructive. For those with disabilities embracing this awareness is a way to create a shift in consciousness that can transform the world.

Because meditation is either about turning awareness inward or being fully present in the moment, the practice is truly accessible to everyone. Meditation has be found to be of benefit in so many areas, such as, relief from emotional pain, depression and relief from physical pain.

When you think of yoga, do you picture a group of people meditating with arms outstretched or a disabled person in a wheelchair? Dubbo resident James MacKay has cerebral palsy and has found the art of relaxation has been able to help him deal with muscle control and the frustration of being confined to a wheelchair.


James started to do yoga around four years ago, which has helped him to develop self-confidence as yoga has him feeling a lot less stressed.ᅠ “It has changed the way I think and feel about myself,” James said.


This is encouraged by James’ yoga teacher with her exercises to keep him motivated and create a more peaceful environment for him to be in. It not only helps him emotionally but it helps him physically with his spine. Doing yoga has helped James’ spine become stronger and given him more ability in everyday activities.


Kim Smith, who is James’ yoga instructor, has been teaching yoga for 10 to 12 years. She first discovered yoga about 15 years ago and feel in love with the idea of becoming a yoga teacher.

In Kim’s line of work she sees a lot of change with her students and is seeing improvements every day. “We talk a lot about positive thinking and becoming more mindful of our thoughts,” Kim said.


As well as her work with Break Thru, Kim also teaches teenage yoga, kids’ yoga and adult yoga, which helps these groups to learn different relaxation exercises at different stages.


Kim says doing yoga makes her feel inspired because ‘it’s a feel good thing’. “When there is a lot of stress, it is good to be able to teach peace, love and happiness but also feel good about life ourselves and others in the process. “It is such a satisfying thing to do,” Kim said.


Meditation is a part of yoga as it helps the individual to focus on being positive about life. Kim helps her students feel comfortable while meditating by saying things like ‘let go of the outside world, let go of any commitments or obligations and just breathe into this space’.


Kim says we can get results from simple activities – for example, just stopping, resting and focusing on breathing can benefit our flexibility, circulation, balance and self-confidence.


As Kim and James have said, yoga is not just about meditation, it’s an activity that can benefit everyone.”

Meditation changes our relationship with ourselves; it reveals our sense of purpose and allows us to shift for an ego centric perspective to one that is more world centric. It’s this shift in perspective is that leads to feeling of greater compassion not only for others, but as importantly, for ourselves.

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Blue Fairy – an ambient meditation

Kool Visuals
Blue Fairy – an ambient meditation
These abstract pieces are an attempt to clear your mind by grabbing your attention. I hope they act as a conduit from our fast paced media saturated lives to an inner center where one can then sit and meditate properly. Liquid Vista music here: bit.ly
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The Meditation Benefit of Happiness

The Purpose of Life is to be Truly Happy

According to the wisdom traditions the purpose of life is to be truly happy, and our desire for happiness is an integral part of our nature, and it’s evolutionary. The mistake we make very often is, believing that if we get, accomplish or become something else, then we will be happy. Not realizing it’s the other way around, that by being happy now, it will lead to our getting, accomplishing and becoming what we most desire.

The Meditation Benefit of Happiness

The Meditation Benefit of Happiness

The wisdom traditions teach that happiness is found in being and not by doing, and it’s defined as bliss, contentment and joy without need or cause. Understanding intellectually, what happiness is and where it’s found, is much different than applying that knowledge. You can learn to address the root causes of unhappiness, but that’s only half the challenge, the other half is in the application and the practice. This is where meditation becomes a benefit.

Happiness and meditation have been long been linked together and now western science understands why. Scientists have now identified, the happiness set point, where happiness is located in the brain and the neurotransmitters of happiness.

The Neurotransmitters of Happiness

According to these researchers, it’s the release of neurotransmitters in the seat of higher thinking, the pre-frontal cortex, which changes the brains set-point for happiness. Meditation stimulates the release of neurotransmitters, including opiates, serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine. So, we now know that happiness isn’t some elusive emotion, it’s a physiological state which can be studied and measured. The effects of meditation on all the neurotransmitters change the brains set point for happiness in a way that no single drug can.

The Most Powerful Benefit of Meditation

As important, as the physiological effects are, there is a more powerful benefit that meditation offers in awakening true happiness. The Eastern spiritual traditions, from the beginning, understood that life inevitably contains suffering, from accidents to aging, from natural disasters to death. These same Eastern traditions diagnosed suffering and found five main causes of unhappiness and then came to understand that all of them were contained in the first; ignorance of your true identity. Once you experience your true nature, who you really are, then your suffering will come to an end.

Meditation is the key to discovering your true identity which lies in deep in your consciousness beyond your mind, intellect, and ego. Meditation allows you to discover, and most importantly, experience, that part of you that transcends space-time, cause and effect; the part of you that’s immortal, your core consciousness. The experience of self-realization is experience of enlightenment, which is the only permanent cure for unhappiness.

Enlightenment is knowing your real self, or as Deepak puts it, “In the world of constant change, there is something that doesn’t change,” know that ‘something,’ is the real you. When you experience yourself as the non-change in a world of change, and come to know the underlying ground state as who you really are, then you have discovered the key to true happiness.

Two of the best sources for deeper exploration into this meditation benefit are; Marci Shimoff’s book, “Happy for No Reason,” and Deepak Chopra’s book, “The Ultimate Happiness Prescription.”

Here are this weeks post on the Meditation benefits of Happiness.

Meditation for Women: Can Meditation improve Gross National Happiness?

In my work for the David Lynch Foundation, I find teaching at-risk children the Transcendental Meditation technique is one of the most valuable tools you can give a young person. They grow in self worth and inner happiness as they daily …

Publish Date: 04/18/2011 6:10

http://meditationforwomen.blogspot.com/2011/04/gross-national-happiness-key-to-more.html

Video: Sharon Salzberg talks meditation and “Real Happiness

Sharon Salzberg’s “Real Happiness” challenge: What’s it like to meditate for 28 days? | Our March 2011 review of Salzberg’s new book Real Happiness | Shambhala Sun Audio: Sharon Salzberg (Dec 13, 2010) | Sharon Salzberg: “Surprised by …

Publish Date: 02/18/2011 10:22

http://www.shambhalasun.com/sunspace/?p=20707

Meditation Cultivates Happiness and Changes Your Brain – Kalu

“Many studies have shown that meditation is good for the mind. It’s also good for the body; it is good for the immune system, blood circulation, and overall sense of happiness” he said. At the Open Center event, Rinpoche told his …

Publish Date: 05/08/2011 7:16

http://kalurinpochela.org/meditation-happiness-and-your-brain/

Happiness and Meditation

I think, without them, all the other steps would be nothing. 2. Meditation, Happiness and the Trap of the Intellect (http://www.treelight.com/essays/meditationAndHappiness.html). Here, intellect plays a major role in one’s happiness. …

Publish Date: 05/01/2011 6:58

http://livinglife.sweetperceptions.com/2011/05/happiness-and-meditation/

And Now for Some You Tube Happiness

Russell Simmons: Happiness and Transcendental Meditation

For more information visit – www.TM.org Russell Simmons explains how through practice of Transcendental Meditation http everyone can easily grow in happiness. Russell Simmons (Def Jam) was one of the founders of the hip- hop movement and is now an en…

Smiling Buddha Meditation Technique for Peace and Happiness

anmolmehta.com (free article with full details). If you want to be happy, peaceful and have confidence, then the Smiling Buddha Meditation Technique is perfect for you. Although this meditation uses mantras, mudras, etc to bestow it’s benefits, it’s …

Matthieu Ricard: Habits of happiness

www.ted.com What is happiness, and how can we all get some? Buddhist monk, photographer and author Matthieu Ricard has devoted his life to these questions, and his answer is influenced by his faith as well as by his scientific turn of mind We can tra…

Happiness

www.selfimprovementsguide.com Happiness Top 20 most famous happy quotes and happiness quotations. Get 16 free self improvement and selfhelp guides with inspirational quotes, affirmations, happiness, meditation, relaxation, positive, manifestation, mo…

Dr. Norman Rosenthal – Meditation Benefits and Transcendental Meditation

The fourth state of consciousness is known as transcendence or Atma Darshan, means to “glimpse the soul.” It is a state of non-local reality, beyond waking, sleeping and dreaming, it is beyond space-time altogether.ᅠ

Dr Norman Rosenthal: Transcendence: Healing and Transformation through Transcendental Meditation
Dr Norman Rosenthal speaks at the Meditatio Seminar: “Meditation and Mental Health”.ᅠ
From: adrianox72
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Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal is the psychiatrist best known for first understanding the effects of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and pioneering the beneficial effects of light therapy. In this video he talks about his new passion, “Meditation and Mental Health” and transformation and healing through transcendental meditation.

Slipping beyond space-time, just another meditation benefit.

Can Meditation be a benefit to cancer patients years after diagnosis?

In a meeting of the American Society of Breast Surgeons in Washington, D.C., they found that with weekly courses in meditation improved the quality of life for cancer patients, even years after their diagnosis.

In randomized test the treatment group improved significantly on the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC) while there were no significant improvements in the control group. Even years after diagnosis meditation and yoga were helpful in reducing anxiety.ᅠ

“I think that the health value of meditation is remarkable. And it’s becoming accepted now in Western medicine,” she added. Dr. Lerman’s team randomized 68 female cancer patients, 52 of whom had survived breast cancer, to a treatment group of 48 or a

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Once again the benefits of meditation were as they said, significant.