Do you have varicose veins or concerns about your circulation due to cold hands and feet? Does stress from work eat away at your mental health? Are you just looking for a way to improve your overall health? Consider the many known benefits of yoga and meditation for your health!
How can you best use yoga and meditation to reap benefits for your health, though? Give the following eight suggestions a try:
1. Start Your Day With Mindfulness
Starting your day right matters. Take advantage of the twilight zone between sleep and full wakefulness to develop a positive mindset for your day. Listen to a brief guided meditation on YouTube if you struggle to sit in silence.
Another idea is to begin your day with a few gentle yoga stretches. You can do these in bed before rising or start there and gradually flow to the floor to complete your workout. You’ll have accomplished movement before pouring your first cup of coffee.
2. Set Frequent Stretch Reminders
Nearly everyone has a cell phone — they’re practically a necessity these days. You’ll find no shortage of apps that periodically rouse you with a chime. You can even use your phone’s alarm.
Whichever you choose, set a stretch reminder for once each hour. When it sounds, stand up, take a break and stretch for a full minute.
3. Listen for Unexpected “Meditation Bells”
Many Buddhist temples use Tibetan bowls to ring in various stages of a meditation. Take a hint from them and listen for unexpected meditation bells throughout your day. Where do these chime?
Are you stuck in a long grocery line behind someone paying with a check and a thousand coupons? Instead of grumbling, pause for a few minutes and focus on your breath. Is traffic getting you down and making you late? You could curse and instigate a road rage incident or take a few moments to perform a body scan and ease those tense knots.
4. Take Breathing Breaks
What do you do on your breaks? Do you scroll social media, hit the water cooler, or, worse, the smoker’s bench?
Why not simply breathe? You can practice various styles, but the simplest is probably 5:5 breathing. All you have to do is inhale for a 5-count, then exhale for the same length. Repeat for a full minute or until you feel calm.
5. Explore Various Yoga Styles
If you stick to the same Hatha class each week, you may get a great workout. However, you’ll miss out on the wonders that other yoga forms have to offer.
If you’re in the mood for something upbeat and challenging, give Bikram or Vinyasa a try. Do you want to kick back and cultivate inner stillness? If so, yin yoga may be your jam.
6. Study the Philosophy of the Masters
Headlines might hail mindfulness as the “latest” fitness fad to sweep the nation. However, this practice has roots in antiquity.
Study some of the ancients, like Lao Tzu’s “Tao Te Ching.” You’ll find many of the ideas you previously thought were “new age” have been practiced by humans in other parts of the world for thousands of years.
7. Introduce Your Family Members to Mindfulness
Meditation might be a solo inward journey, but it’s one that everyone can benefit from. Why not introduce your family members to your practice?
What if you fly solo? That’s fine. Do you have a friend or colleague you occasionally work out with after work who may try on that new yoga studio for size with you?
8. End Your Day With a Gentle Stretch
Yoga has one decided advantage over other exercise forms — you can practice it at the day’s end to wind down for the evening. Doing so might benefit you if pain keeps you awake, as research shows gentle yoga and stretching before bedtime can help you relax and improve blood flow. Combining this movement with slow, deep breathing can tap into your body’s parasympathetic nervous system response, telling you to rest and digest.
Benefits of Yoga and Meditation for Your Health
It’s impossible to overstate how crucial caring for your health is. Follow the tips above to reap the benefits of yoga and meditation. A combination approach of holistic at-home therapies and treatments from your doctor can help protect you for years to come.