Yoga and meditation are other forms of relaxation that occur when we concentrate on body positions and breathing patterns or allow the mind to enter a state of stillness. This has been practiced for centuries and is known as “yoga”. Courses are offered in many communities.
Wear comfortable clothing. Find a comfortable position sitting in a comfortable recliner chair or lie on your back. Put one hand on your stomach and put the other hand on your chest. Close your eyes and inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, as you notice, which hand is rising and falling with each breath. Exhale through your mouth. Do not hunch your shoulders or move your chest.
The breathing is done with your abdomen. Focus on the sensation of the warm, relaxing air flow into your body and imagine that the warmth spreads all over your body. Focus on this feeling of relaxation, as every muscle in your body becomes more and more relaxed.
Sit in a comfortable position on a chair, or choose a cross-legged position on the floor. You can lie down, if sitting is not comfortable for you. Focus on stillness: sit (or lie) as still as possible. Breathe in slowly and deeply. Exhale slowly, and focus on a sound, as you exhale. You may want to choose a meaningful word, or a short phrase. You will probably relate best to a word that has spiritual significance to you. As you hum this”mantra”, allow your feelings and sensations to drift in and out of your mind. If you find, that your thoughts wander to something else than your breathing, refocus yourself. Don’t get anxious: it all takes practice. You will notice, that this quiet exercise will feel very peaceful, and you will give your mind a chance to quiet down.
Meditation In Religion
Meditation is practiced in many religious expressions. The “Jesus Prayer” has been used for centuries in the Christian faith, and the chanting of a single syllable like “Ommm…” has been part of spiritual exercises for Hindus.
Daily prayer is a boundless source for peace and inner healing. It can be a simple prayer which is originally yours: thanking for life’s blessings, forgiving others, forgiving yourself and letting go of pain and guilt. Or choose a meaningful prayer from a devotional book which is dear to you. You will discover what inspires and lifts you up. Make it part of your life.
We do not need a lot of time. Often meditation is associated with thoughts about sitting on a mat and chanting for hours on end, or going to a retreat for several days. There is nothing wrong with a retreat or an unhurried, restorative time away from the daily grind. But the most important thing is to allow time on a daily basis. Pick 20 to 30 minutes that belong to you. Pick them during a break during the day, or take time to wind down at the end of a busy day. Some of us enjoy the serene quietness of an early morning more. It does not matter when, but do it, and give your mind the quiet time it needs on a regular, daily basis.
1. B. Sears: “The age-free zone”.Regan Books, Harper Collins, 2000. Also see Dr. Sears’ site.
2. B. Sears: “Zone perfect meals in minutes”. Regan Books, Harper Also see Dr. Sears’ site.
3. B.J. Wilcox, D.C. Willcox and M. Suzuki: “The Okinawa Program.” Clarkson Potter,2001, N.Y., U.S.A.
4. E.L. Rossi: The psychobiology of mind-body healing. Norton &Co., 1986, N.Y., U.S.A.
5. Vitamins and Foods. Audio-Digest Family Practice Vol 49, Issue 29, Aug.7, 2001.
6. P.C. McGraw: Life strategies. 1999, Simon&Schuster Source, N.Y., U.S.A.
7. B. Sears: “The top 100 zone foods”. Regan Books, Harper Collins, 2001. Also see Dr. Sears’ site.