How To Meditate

Simon was recently asked by Move123 to record a basic Meditation video. Listen  as he guides you through the basics of meditation through breath-control, relaxation and focus. Visit Move 123 at http://www.move123.com.au/

The Secrets of Meditation:

Meditation is where there is ‘stillness in mind’, ‘stillness in breath’, you are totally comfortable, totally alert and there is lots of energy and loving information circulating inside your body. This should manifest as being relaxed and warm in a cold room or relaxed and cool in a hot room. This should also include no numbness or pain in the body (especially the legs and back). Good meditation should manifest a sense of grounded, focused, well being and peace.
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In the youtube video linked here (https://youtu.be/RGktvDz6I3E ) I describe some the key things you can do for a grounded focused meditation and allow you to have a short meditation too (unfortunately youtube put an ad in the middle ! – what to do!)
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{More information – for those who like to read more !…}

1. Stillness in Mind:
To ‘still the mind’ may not be possible for normal people, but to reduce your thinking to one or two focused thoughts is possible. Generally during sitting meditation I find you most people get the best results by focusing on lengthening my body in all directions while making sure it’s completely relaxed.

2. Stillness in Breath:
Stillness in breath means essentially to hypoventilate, or to breathe less than normal. One of the best ways to still the breath is to simply relax and forget about the breathe while focusing on something else. You can focus on anything in fact and thus forget the breath and hence breathe less, but I find the most useful thing to focus on is simply lengthening the body in all directions while being as relaxed as possible without losing the length you’ve created in your body. Many people actually focus on the breath while trying to meditate but doing this for many people actually makes them breathe more than normal (hyperventilate) and consequently get less blood to their brain and less energy to their cells due to the loss of carbon dioxide from the body during hyperventilation.

3. Totally Comfortable Position:
To be be comfortable in any stationary position you need able to do that position without the assistance of any external forces. What I mean by this, for example, is that if you are sitting in a cross-legged position with your heels and knees the same height as your hips then you should be able to stand on one leg and be a able to lift the other leg up into the air to the same position as a cross-legged position with the heel and knee the same height as your hips without the assistance of the weight of your body (You can see what I mean by this in this video https://youtu.be/RGktvDz6I3E). Of course most modern adults can not due this and hence I suggest that most people will get a better result when meditating if they sit up straight and comfortably on a chair without letting their back touch against the back of the chair, or even by standing up with the knees slightly bent, the tailbone lengthening towards the floor and the crown of the head lengthening towards the sky.

4. Move Energy and Loving Information:
The essence of yoga and meditation is to connect or join the body, and the best way to do that is to move energy and ‘loving’ information through your body. On a physiological level the best way to connect the body is to improve blood flow and improve circulation. Most people think the best way to improve circulation is by making the heart rate increase. But this causes stress. It is far better to stimulate blood flow without increasing heart rate, either through gentle movement or by simply remaining focused on lengthening and relaxing in a comfortable stationary position.

For optimum health and longevity it is best if our autonomic (automatic) nervous system is primarily in the state of ‘rest and rejuvenation’ (the parasympathetic nervous system) as opposed to a state of ‘flight or fight’ (the sympathetic nervous system). When the sympathetic nervous system is over active the most prevalent emotions are fear, anger and aggression. With the parasympathetic nervous system the dominant emotions are love, peace and safety. If the sympathetic nervous system is dominant then the digestive system, the immune system and the reproductive system will be depressed or turned off entirely. Therefore, for optimum health it is best to foster the dominance of the parasympathetic nervous system, thus enhancing internal organ function and the emotions of love, peace and safety. This is achieved most easily if you can maintain a comfortable posture or movement while focusing on lengthening and relaxing. The most important places to keep relaxed are the ‘twelve bridges’ between the conscious and the unconscious mind, that have dual control (i.e. both conscious and unconscious control like breathing diaphragmatically and blinking). These 12 ‘bridges’ include the pelvic floor, the diaphragm, the jaw the lips and the eyes.

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LIVE AND ONLINE TRAINING:
If you join our intensive 200 hour training in india in February 2017 you can do daily meditation with us in simple static postures, dynamic movement as well more complex yoga postures at your own level – https://yogasynergy.com/yoga-teacher-training/

Alternatively you can join us to learn the same type of material on any of our online courses athttps://yogasynergy.com/online-courses/

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5. Research About Meditation: (From our book ‘Applied Anatomy and Physiology of Yoga’, (Borg-Olivier and Machliss, 2011):

The most consistent findings in the many studies of meditation was the presence of some sort of hypoventilation, i.e. breathing less than normal, [Wolkove et al., 1984; Sudsuang et al., 1991; Peng et al., 1999], and coherent synchronous brain wave patterns [Badawi et al., 1984; Arambula et al., 2001; Travis & Pearson, 2000; Travis, 2001] distinct from that of ordinary waking, hypnosis or sleep [Hewitt, 1983]. However, various studies of meditation have reported the presence of levels of coherent brain wave patterns in the delta [Stigsby et al., 1981], theta [Kubota et al., 2001], alpha [Dillbeck & Bronson, 1981, Aftanas & Golocheikine, 2001], and beta [Benson et al., 1990; Sim & Tsol, 1992] ranges. For various reasons, foremost being the subjective nature of meditation, it is not always possible to determine which of the meditative practices are being examined in each scientific paper.

Other reported physiological effects of meditation include: muscle relaxation [Patel & North, 1975; Narayu et al., 1990], lowered blood pressure [Wenneberg et al., 1997; Barnes et al., 1999; 2001], reduced heart rate, increased cardiac output [Dillbeck & Orme-Johnson, 1987], increased cerebral flow, reduction of CO2 generation by muscle [Kesterson & Clinch, 1989], decreased sensitivity to carbon dioxide [Wolkove et al., 1984], reduced oxygen consumption [Wilson et al., 1987], increased galvanic skin resistance, decreased spontaneous electrodermal response, increased sensory perception and attentiveness [Brown et al., 1984], and decreased reaction times [Sudsuang et al, 1991]. Meditation training may also reduce the lactate response to exercise more effectively than simple relaxation does [Solberg et al., 2000].

Reported metabolic effects of meditation include: Increased blood pH during meditation but decreased arterial pH afterwards, resulting in a mild metabolic acidosis, decreased plasma lactate, changes of glucose metabolism pattern [Herzog et al., 1990], decreased adrenocortical activity just after 30 minutes of meditation and long-term decreased cortisol secretion [Sudsuang et al, 1991], changes in the secretion and release of several pituitary hormones [MacLean et al., 1997], increased concentrations of molecules thought to play an important role in learning and memory [Travis & Orme-Johnson, 1989] and increased levels of melatonin [Masion et al., 1995; Tooley et al., 2000], which probably promotes analgesia and reduces stress and insomnia [Elias & Wilson 1995; Harte et al., 1995].

Experienced meditators show higher plasma melatonin levels in the period immediately following meditation compared with the same period at the same time on a control night. Therefore, meditation can affect plasma melatonin levels. Facilitation of higher physiological melatonin levels at appropriate times of day might be one avenue through which the claimed health promoting effects of meditation occur [Tooley et al., 2000]. Melatonin has many reported health benefits, including anti-ageing effects, anti-cancer properties [Masion et al., 1995], and immune system enhancing effects [Maestroni, 2001]. Increased melatonin levels produced in association with meditation may help to explain why many meditators do not require much sleep.

 

 

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