The Art of Meditation

Yoga and yogis alike, for hundreds of year have studied the benefits of meditation and have sought out its profound benefits. Meditation in fact allows for us to be able to channel in the power of thought and clarity within us, allowing more room for happiness. Although it may take time in order to be able to meditate properly, anyone, even beginners can benefit from the practice of relaxation. Meditation is a technique that allows us to enhance our well being and helps us reach our optimal health. Helping reduce anxiety, manage depression, and supports our overall physical performance. In addition to being restorative to physical health, it also helps strengthen the spirit, activating compassion and empathy. 


A main concern that most people have when beginning the practice of meditation is time. While some may have the luxury of setting aside an hour or more for such activities, most of us may have trouble setting aside even 20 minutes. But one thing to keep in mind is that it is essential to take care of ourselves and prioritize our health especially during our busiest times. Even taking the smallest increments of time to meditate throughout your day, even if just for a few minutes at a time, will create a huge difference. Setting time aside to be aware and present helps us improve our lifestyles and focus more on ourselves and strengthening our relationships with others. 

From a biological perspective, there are specific reasons why meditation is so effective. Helping activate our parasympathetic system, it also helps stimulate our immunological response, along with decreasing heart rate and elevated blood pressure. Meditating has proven to have a direct effect on decreasing the number of medical visits for many who partake in it.  

Everyone can learn to meditate. If you’ve tried before, and feel like it might not have been for you, be sure to give it another shot. 
1. Be sure to find a comfortable space (your office, your living room, bedroom)  
2. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, truly focusing on extending your inhales and exhales. 
3. Think of a peaceful place, somewhere you can relax and be one with yourself. 
4. Continue this breathing pattern for as long as you choose, building up a rhythm. 
5. If you wish, gently stretch your body while keeping your eyes closed. 
6. Relax and enjoy.  

There are also multiple forms of meditation in which you can participate in. From concentration meditation to mindfulness meditation, there is a form of connecting with oneself that is unique and can be tailored for any individual. 

A concentrative meditation technique is based off of the control of focus. Focusing on one single point while being mindful of your breathing is the backbone to this form of practice.  Listening to a repetitive song, staring at a candlelight, or even counting your breath as just some ideas of how to reel in one's focus. The refocusing of awareness allows your mind to not wander so that instead of having your mind be clouded, you are able to let your thoughts go. With mindfulness meditation, it is encouraged that the participant is to observe their train of thought. It is essential that one doesn't further their thoughts or involve themselves in them but simply is ware as each mental note arises. Through this form of meditation, one is able to see their progression of thought as well as see the particular patterns of their tendencies. With practice and frequent practice of this form of meditation, an inner balance begins to develop. 

There are plenty of other forms of meditation as well. For example, a historic Buddhist practice is to focus directly on the cultivation of compassion which involves transforming negative events to positive ones. Along with this, plenty of movement based meditation practices exist such as tai chi, chi­kung, and walking meditation as well.  

Yan Jiang