Living Consciously

Despite the fact that I am the most inflexible person I know, I practice yoga at least once a week. Obviously, I’m hoping that attending the sessions will help me improve my flexibility, but that’s not the main reason I do it. The appeal of yoga – for me -is that it forces you to stay in the moment. The poses are usually very challenging and they require that you breathe your way through them, so it’s difficult to focus on maintaining your position and your balance if you’re thinking about the stressful day you had at work. For me it becomes a time of respite and retreat because I know I have to focus on that pose and that moment – the true definition of living consciously.

The term “living consciously” became a part of my vernacular back in May when I attended the Alive Expo and saw it written on a banner at a natural healing booth. Since then, I’ve been making a conscious effort to live more consciously, and a big part of that has been meditation.  Like yoga, it too is a practice, but much more difficult.  It takes a lot more effort for me to still my mind when I’m not engaged in some kind of activity. To just be still and quiet without any thoughts is hard to do, especially for a busy body like me. But what I’ve learned is on those days that I can accomplish that task, it makes a world of difference. There is something very magical and transformative that happens in the midst of meditation.

The beauty of meditation is that it’s giving you an opportunity to set aside time to be fully present. I like to look at it as the reset button for your mind. You get to empty yourself of all the stressors in your life for those few minutes, which can be a very minimal amount.  I’ve started with five minutes in the morning, and it has made a TREMENDOUS difference for me. Honestly, you don’t feel like anything is happening while you’re meditating, but it’s so much bigger than what we can see.  I just know on those days that I’m able to meditate, I’m more relaxed, productive, and care-free. It gives me a knowing that everything is going to be okay, so I don’t have to try to figure everything out.  One researcher put it this way, “meditation trains the brain to be more present-focused, and therefore to spend less time anticipating future negative events.”

Furthermore, scientists have linked physical and health benefits to meditation.  Scientists at England’s University of Manchester have confirmed how some people suffering from chronic pain might benefit from meditation based therapies. They concluded that people who are more advanced in meditation practices are likely to anticipate and experience pain less than less- advanced meditators or non-meditators.  For me, I don’t need scientific data to convince me of the benefits of meditation and living consciously – I’ve tried it and experienced it for myself.

Anyway, this is just another little tidbit I wanted to share with you. My life philosophy is “Each One, Teach One”, so I hope you will give it a try and enrich your life. We have to make the best of this life and enjoy every moment because it’s the only one we get! Tomorrow is not promised, LIVE and ENJOY TODAY!

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