In the busy day-to-day that is constantly drawing energy, brain power, and creating stress, it can be harder to make time for self-care and learn how to release from the daily grind. LA based, Mariah K. Lyons – meditation guide, 400hr RYT yoga instructor, Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant, reiki master healer and holistic lifestyle leader – believes everything is intrinsically connected and works to find the balance and synergy between mind, body and spirit. We are taking Mariah’s lead, and learning how to integrate meditation into our daily lives to bring a sense calm to the daily hustle…
We are officially in an era where meditation is no longer fringe. We are constantly hearing about the benefits of meditation, corporate companies are implementing meditation into their wellness structures and there are new meditation studios popping up around the country. Doctors are now prescribing meditation to patients, and it seems that science now proves what yogis have been teaching for ages. Meditation works wonders.
THE SCIENCE OF MEDITATION
On a scientific level, meditation and mindfulness literally change the brain. Almost likened to working out a muscle at the gym, which stretches and increases in size and functionality. Studies have shown that after meditating 20-40 mins a day for 8 weeks, researchers found an increase in participants’ grey matter in the prefrontal cortex of their brain, as well as the posterior cingulate, left hippocampus, temporo parietal junction and part of the brain stem called the pons. These areas all regulate learning, cognition, memory, empathy and emotional regulation as well as self relevance. The part of the brain associated with the fight or flight response, stress and overall fear, the amygdala, actually got smaller, decreasing stress and anxiety.
Many meditation teachers often discuss how 20 mins of deep meditation in a theta or delta brainwave is equal to 2 hours of REM sleep, which we know to be the most restorative time in our sleep cycle.
DAY TO DAY BENEFITS
As we look in to the spiritual view of meditation, it allows the meditator time to be with themselves. It offers a pocket of time in one’s modern day to breathe, to sit quiet, to go within, to feel into their heartbeat and breath within their own body, recognizing that same heartbeat and breath in their neighbor, the breath of an animal and the beat of a drum. In a world of change and oftentimes seeming chaos, meditation allows the individual rest, recovery and an opportunity to plug into the essence of lifeforce, chi, prana within themselves. There is no outside noise, no boss, no social platforms, no (insert distraction here), just being with oneself. Restorative, rejuvenating reps for you mind, body and heart.