Meditation mantra: It’s as natural as thinking and breathing

Meditation mantra: It’s as natural as thinking and breathing
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Meditation helps improve focus as well as physical well-being.

Meditation is easier than you think.

Everyone needs a way to de-stress throughout the holidays — a way other than consuming too many Christmas cookies or another drink. Taking time to meditate throughout the next couple of months could improve not only your holiday experience, but your overall well-being.

Everyone knows the stereotype of someone meditating. The individual looks so calm — serene even. Allow us to share a secret about meditating — you do not have to be calm. Your mind does not have to be quiet. The goal of meditation is a heightened sense of awareness, not saint-like serenity.

“If you are seeing a really stereotypical image of someone meditating portrayed in a movie, or something like that, it looks out of reach,” said Corepower Yoga area developer Catrina Reeder, who recently led a meditation workshop at their studio in Park Road Shopping Center. “If you are looking at some of the really ancient yogic practices, it can seem really removed, like it does not fit in modern times. Just like with yoga. What we do at Corepower, they don’t necessarily the intense workout, they just see, ‘oh, you are stretching in a room.’ Bridging that gap with meditation really helps, and demystifying it in the same way that we do with our yoga classes.”

It’s no stretch to make meditation a vital part of your life.

“Brushing your teeth is something that is a nonnegotiable, hopefully for most people,” Reeder said. “What if just that pause in your daily life could be a non-negotiable. Just like brushing your teeth or driving your car, it’s something that you know accomplishes something. That’s the same thing that you can apply to meditation if you could see the benefits long term, even if it’s just taking that moments to pause.”

Here are four types of meditation to try this month:

For beginners:

Mantra
“That could just be giving your brain something to think about,” Reeder said. “It can be something as simple as, ‘inhale’ ‘let’ ‘exhale’ ‘go.’”

Breath focus
“It could just be bringing more attention to something you bring every day,” Reeder said. “This is another easy one for beginners.”

If you want to make it more of a regular practice:

Guided
“This one usually slightly tougher, because it takes more time,” Reeder said. “People have to actually pause and carve out the time. It’s a good way to discipline yourself.”

Vipassana
“It’s where you label what is happening in your brain,” Reeder said. “For example, if you are in meditation, and a memory comes up, you just go, ‘memory.’ You brain has something to do, and it doesn’t have be blank, like we like to think that meditation has to be calm or quiet, it doesn’t have to be that.”

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