Meditation / Nidra

Yoga and Meditation for Stress Reduction

Many people picture yoga as a posturing practice, but it’s necessary to remember that meditation and pranayama are monumental parts of a complete practice. Meditation has been demonstrated to not only decrease stress levels, but also induce changes in brain physiology. Eileen Luders, a researcher in the UCLA School of Medicine, conducted a study in 2009 that compared the MRIs of 22 meditators, with 5-46 years of experience, with 22 non-meditators, and found that meditators had increased gray matter in the areas of the brain associated with attention, regulating emotions, and decision-making. In effect, meditators were more focused and better equipped to deal with negative or stressful situations and make logical, mindful decisions. Similarly, in 2009, Philippe Goldin, a project director in Stanford University, monitored individuals taking an 8-week course on meditation and yoga.

Yogic Meditation with a Partner

Sit back-to-back with your partner, supporting each other equally. Take deep, slow breaths. Relax into a common rhythm. Experiment with one partner exhaling as the other inhales, and vice versa. Paul and Marie Jerard also do a supine head-to-head variation of this, with the lower legs elevated on a folding chair (blankets are on the seats and a blanket may be under the head, depending on the natural tilt of the cervical spine). The knees and hips are set at 90 degrees and your crown chakra is about six inches away from your your partner's crown chakra.

Practical Ways to Include Meditation into your Yoga Class

In order to incorporate meditation into your Yoga classes, creating an introspective atmosphere is an easy way to demarcate a period of quietude. Your own internal atmosphere as well as the atmosphere of the room are important when your are setting a meditative tone. Remember to keep your own internal state quiet. This will allow your students to relax and slow down. Additionally, dimming the lights and playing soft, meditative music for five to ten minutes, at either the beginning or end of a class, will create the space for a seamless period of stillness and peace.

Yoga and Meditation For Panic Attacks

Numerous studies have shown that Yoga can be very good for the body and the mind. It has been known to reduce blood pressure and help to release the endorphins that make you feel good. There’s more to it than physical activity, however. Practicing Yoga also entails doing breathing exercises, relaxation techniques and meditation.

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