Why Meditate?

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Joanna Voudouris, Yoga, Meditation and Breathwork Teacher

Meditation practice is simply a practice of quieting the mind and expanding our awareness. Staying present for a period of time. It sounds easy enough, yet many of us don’t do it because it’s uncomfortable to sit for 20 minutes, we don’t have the time, or just don’t like it.

We all know that if we did 20 minutes of squat jumps every day, we would strengthen the muscles in our bodies, why wouldn’t we want to train the mind, increase awareness, clarity and a sense of calm. There are physical benefits too, when our minds and bodies are relaxed we stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system causing our bodies to stop releasing stress hormones. Reducing stress lowers our blood pressure and heart rate resulting in better sleep and better immunity.

It can feel too much to begin with, just to sit in silence with yourself and an overactive mind, especially when you are worried or anxious, so let your breath take you into your body. Find a comfy seat and follow your breath. Follow your breath as it comes in and out of your body, notice where you feel your breath, notice the sensations, the depth, and quality. Just be with your breath. This is a powerful practice in itself.

There are many apps that can guide you, Headspace, Calm, and Just Breathe. I particularly like, Just Breathe, because there are short guided breathing exercises that you can do when a meditation practice feels too much.

Give yourself time to be and not do, it’s a gift.

Monday 24th May will be a restorative yoga practice, a gift of quiet stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system.

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