Friday, January 18, 2013

Personal Meditation Benefits

I recently started an 8 week meditation course at my local gym through the yoga studio. I have been practicing on my own for about 7 weeks, but it's good to have someone guide you beyond your own limits.

The first week involved focusing on being mindful of this moment, not thinking about the past, future, and things that you can't change, and meditating while focusing on the breath alone or body awareness. I do about an 18 minute meditation every morning when I wake up and throughout the day whenever I'm not doing anything I will meditate for a few minutes. It's really helpful and soothing to meditate while I walk on the treadmill at the gym. It's just an 8 minute slow pace, but it's a good time to forget about everything going on around me while I get my mind set.

Below are my experiences through the first week.

Personal Benefits of Meditation

- Lower Blood Pressure – 120/70
- Lower Heart Rate on Treadmill – down from 111 to 106
- Quicker Return to Lower Heart Rate after Working Out
- More aware of things going on in my body
- More empathetic towards others
- Easier to relax in situations that used to be stressing
- Helped with my back and neck problems – No overall pain in my body
- More aware of this moment, not thinking about the past and future so much
- I’m more open with people
- More conscious about what I eat
- More positive about everything
- More creative thoughts

Mindfulness Practice

- I catch myself thinking about things that I don’t have any control over – past, present, or future
- More aware of what I say to others and myself
- I try to make sure I have only positive thoughts
- While meditating, reading, doing other activities I notice that I’m not fully focused on this moment
- My thoughts aren’t like other people’s thoughts. I think about experiences and conversations, not little things like daily needs

Meditation Experiences

- Without something specific to focus on my mind wanders a lot
- I can easily see a bright light, but I can’t control the colors
- I feel light headed at times during the day – probably a reaction to enlightenment and the burdens that go along with it
- My breathing slows down to the point that I don’t feel the need to breathe at all for 5-10 seconds between  each breath
- Very rarely is my mind completely at ease, but it does happen after about 5 minutes

I'm sure over the next few weeks, months, and years I will have even better experiences. I encourage everyone to find their own meditation practice. 

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