If we can make just 1% of the population meditative, the world will be a different place” ~Sadhguru
If you listed among your New Year’s resolutions the desire to learn how to meditate or to meditate more often, then you are certainly not alone. With an ever-growing amount research and evidence stating that meditation is good for anything and everything from a healthy heart, to work productivity, to a better sex life, it is a wonder we don’t schedule the time to sit and breathe as readily as we plan to sit down to dinner.
In fact, in 2012, the National Institute for Health estimated that 8% of Americans had practiced some form of meditation in the last 12 months (this included spiritual meditation and meditation used as part of some other practice such as yoga, tai chi or qi gong). With such a broad definition of “practicing” meditation, this number must be on the rise. The term “mindfulness” began commonly showing up in conversation in about 2013 and was one of the most cited “buzzwords” in social media, doctors’ offices and schools in the past year. In his book, Tools of Titans, Tim Ferriss asserts that more than 80% of world-class performers have some form of daily meditation or mindfulness practice. If you don’t believe him, or just for fun, check out this list I found of over 60 famous people who meditate. Everyone from Madonna, Sting, Steve Jobs and Jerry Seinfeld to the unlikely Howard Stern and Andy Koffman.
With one article citing at least 23 different types of meditation, where do we simple-folk start? If you have time, you might start by reading through this article to familiarize yourself with the different ways to start reigning-in the mind. In yoga, we practice a variety of techniques including single focus on the breath, self-enquiry, chanting mantras and the effortless presence cultivated in Yoga Nidra. It is not necessary to select just one technique in order to begin a yoga practice. Thanks to the presence of social media and portable or handheld technology, today we have access to a new approach called “guided meditation”. No longer is meditation something accessible only to the rich and famous or spiritually-isolated. Anytime you are near an electronic device, you are close to finding your center. Just say, “Alexa, Open Stop, Breath and Think” and you are on your way with a different guided meditation daily. Or set up any number of apps on your computer to interrupt your work and remind you to pause and breathe. Even your FitBit has an app for that. There is officially no excuse – why not start today?
While there are quite a few meditation apps out there, most agree on the top 5 (in no particular order):
For more information on Meditation for Beginners – check out LiveandDare.com – there is a wealth of information here if you subscribe.
Join us on February 19th at 10am at Discover Yoga & Physical Therapy for a FREE community meditation – click HERE to sign up.