8 Benefits of Meditation

Keep an eye on our schedule for new meditation offerings coming later in summer!

 

8 Ways Meditation Can Improve Your Life

By Kristine Crane for US News

Meditation reduces stress.

“Meditation is mind without agitation,” Narasimhan says. Stress creates agitation and is something most of us deal with on some level. And it’s increasing, given the rising use of anti-anxiety medications, notes Stanford University researcher Emma Seppälä. Meditation allows people to take charge of their own nervous system and emotions. “Studies have shown improved ability to [permanently] regulate emotions in the brain,” adds Seppälä, who is also the associate director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford. “It’s very empowering.” 

It improves concentration.
“I’m more centered and focused in everything I do. I don’t find myself getting as distracted anymore,” says Sara Robinson of Indianapolis, who did the Sahaj course last February. The ER nurse and sky-diving instructor adds that multitasking is easier. At least one study has shown an improved ability to multitask, Seppälä says. “Meditation has been linked to a number of things that lead to increased ability to focus, memory … We’ve seen this at the level of the brain.” Greater concentration is related to the increased energy meditation provides. “It connects you with your real source of energy,” Narasimhan says.

It encourages a healthy lifestyle.

“I tend to want more things that are better for me,” Robinson says, adding that she eats more fresh foods and has cut out nearly all alcohol. She also stopped smoking. Susan Braden, who lives in Takoma Park, Maryland, and also did the Sahaj course, says the practice has made her apply the Hippocratic oath — “First, do no harm” — to herself. “You just want to put good things in your body,” she says. That means “closest to what’s natural. So if it doesn’t look like a tomato, I wouldn’t eat it.” Braden also gave up coffee, replacing it with tea.

The practice increases self-awareness.
Before Zaccai Free, a District of Columbia resident, began meditating in college two decades ago, he had a very short fuse – to the point, he says, of wanting to commit acts of violence. Meditation taught him to recognize his own anger and become more detached from it. It cleared his mind and calmed him down, he says. Mostly, “it made me more comfortable in my own skin,” adds Free, who does many types of meditation, including Sahaj, Agnihotra, laughter and walking meditations. “When you take more time to dive inside yourself, you are more comfortable showing who you are.”

It increases happiness.

“Meditation puts you on the fast track to being happy,” says Ronnie Newman, director of research and health promotion for the Art of Living Foundation, the umbrella organization for the Sahaj meditation course. Studies have shown that brain signaling increases in the left side of the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for positive emotions, while activity decreases in the right side, responsible for negative emotions, Newman says. The other benefits of meditation, including increased self-awareness and acceptance, also contribute to improved overall well-being.

Meditation increases acceptance.
Braden was a high-profile senior policy advisor in the State Department, constantly on the go to trips around the world, until seven years ago, when she was struck by multiple sclerosis. She turned to meditation, and her world view flipped. “I have a disease which really brings you back to yourself,” Braden says. “Meditation helps me accept that. You explore your inner self and realize that’s just as big as traveling to Burma.” For Braden, learning to meditate has been harder than learning Arabic. “It’s a lifetime job. But it changes how you feel life, and it’s made it more enjoyable for me,” she says.

It slows aging.

Studies show that meditation changes brain physiology to slow aging. “Cognition seems to be preserved in meditators,” says Sara Lazar, a researcher at Harvard University. Lazar adds that meditators also have more gray matter – literally, more brain cells. Lazar’s colleague, Elizabeth Hoge, did a study that showed that meditators also have longer telomeres, the caps on chromosomes indicative of biological age (rather than chronological). That meditation lengthens life “may be a bit of a stretch,” Hoge says. “But there is something about meditation that is associated with longer telomeres … [perhaps that] it reduces stress and its effects on the body.”

The practice benefits cardiovascular and immune health.
Meditation induces relaxation, which increases the compound nitric oxide that causes blood vessels to open up and subsequently, blood pressure to drop. One study, published in 2008 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, showed that 40 of 60 high blood pressure patients who started meditating could stop taking their blood pressure medication. Meditation also improves immunity. “I hardly ever get sick anymore,” Robinson says. “I don’t think I’ve had a cold since I started this.”

 

What To Expect During a Reiki Treatment?

The International Association of Reiki Professionals shared this article about what to expect in a Reiki session.

How long is a Reiki session?

A session is generally one hour. 90 minute sessions may be available in some cases.

Will I be lying down on a massage table or sitting?

Reiki is usually performed on a client who is fully reclined comfortably on a massage table. It also may be performed on a client who is semi-reclined on a massage chair or recliner. If you have mobility or pain issues please communicate these to your Practitioner so they may make you your most comfortable for the session.

Am I clothed during my Reiki session?

Yes. Unlike a massage therapy session, you will be fully clothed. Unless, of course, your Reiki Practitioner is also a licensed Massage Therapist and you are receiving both massage and Reiki, then you would speak with your practitioner about your preference. But for a Reiki session only, you will want to wear loose fitting comfortable clothing.


You can see the rest of the article at their site

What is Reiki & How Do I Know It Works?

Pronounced “ray-kee,” Reiki is an energy medicine practice in which the practitioner places her/his hands on or near the person receiving the treatment, with the intent to transmit ki, or a life-force energy. Reiki is an ancient practice that originated in Japan and although not scientifically proven, many individuals find Reiki improves the flow and balance of the body’s energy. Many individuals receive Reiki on its own or in combination with other therapies, such as massage. Typically, individuals receive Reiki fully clothed and in a comfortable position either sitting or lying down. 

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Reiki Level I Training & Certification

Reiki is a powerful healing modality that restores balance and removes energetic blockages. In Yogic, Reiki, and Energy philosophies it is said that what shows up in the body began in the mind and heart. Reiki is an effective way to reach the root causes and, blockages, and old beliefs to make space for healing, peace, and balance.

In this training you will

  • Learn The Origins of Reiki
  • Understand How Reiki Works
  • Learn simple mediations to help your practices
  • Receive the Level I Reiki Attunement
  • Have lots of hands on practice with yourself and class mates
  • Receive a certificate confirming your training
  • Have a clear 21 day plan to deepen your personal practice

This training is offered by Adam Schifferli, RYT, Advanced Usui Reiki Master Healer Teacher, and Kundalini Reiki Master Teacher

Contact us with Questions!

Mindful Hatha Yoga

Mindful Hatha Yoga is an all levels class that offers pranayama (breathing  techniques), yoga asanas (postures), and deep restful relaxation and meditation for a full risch practice that will leave you feeling stretched, opened and connected. Practice mindfullness within your practice and experience the richness of each breath, each movement and each pause. Make some room in your life for stillness.

This class is open to any practicioner