The idea of inner-peace has always been the source of criticism, with many people refusing to believe in its existence. However recently there has been scientific evidence discovered which demonstrates the health benefits of this practice. It’s been found that finding inner-peace through meditation has psychological benefits such as increasing serotonin levels, which increases happiness as well as having biological benefits such as lowering cholesterol.
‘Some people take years to master the art of meditation.’
Meditation is the art of transforming your mind by entering a stage of deep peace. The most popular way to meditate is to get into a comfortable position such as sitting crossed legged with hands placed one on top of each other on your lap. Next, close your eyes and focus on your breathing, trying to not let your mind wander. Personally, I like to imagine a lotus flower in my lungs opening and closing its petals as I inhale and exhale.
The whole point of meditation is to find inner peace, relax and restore our bodies’ harmony, so I find meditation often helps when I’m stressed or tired…but there are no rules! Just find whatever is comfortable for you and don’t feel pressured to get it right first time – some people take years to master the art of meditation.
Another popular way of finding inner-peace (and my personal favourite) is yoga. The art of yoga is not only a good way to be serene and peaceful, but its also a very good way to exercise, especially if strenuous cardio isn’t your thing. The great thing about yoga is that you can pretty much do it any time, any place – as long as you have your mat – so its easy to fit it in to your day no matter how busy it is.
‘I think the art of meditation and yoga is extremely under appreciated because the idea of inner peace is often ridiculed.’
My favourite time to do yoga is first thing in the morning and last thing at night. For me, doing yoga first thing in the morning is the best way to start the day – along with a big cup of green tea! It helps me to relax before a day of lectures or studying and stretches out any aching muscles – definitely worth missing an extra half an hour in bed! Doing half an hour of yoga before going to sleep, helps me to shut my mind and body down in order to get the best nights sleep possible which is crucial if you want to get the most out of the next day.
One of the most important ways to prepare for meditation is to create the right atmosphere. I like to light a few candles, burn some incense and listen to some relaxing music whilst practicing meditation or yoga, to get into the right mind set, however this isn’t necessary.
I think the art of meditation and yoga is extremely under appreciated because the idea of inner peace is often ridiculed. Yoga and meditation play a big part in the religion of Buddhism which has around 500 million followers in the world and is becoming increasingly more popular as the idea of reaching inner-peace is becoming more and more recognised.
With Buddhism and meditation being referenced in art forms such as film and literature more and more, hopefully in the near future meditation will get the love it deserves!