Meditation dates back millennia and allows you to find inner peace through mindfulness and concentration exercises. There are different forms of meditation, including yoga. Learning to meditate isn't difficult. We show you simple exercises you can complete at home.
Meditation is a method for achieving mental relaxation, an act of mindfulness and concentration. The Latin origin of the word «meditatio» means to ponder, reflect or preparation. The roots of meditation lie in eastern traditions and several religions know this spiritual practice. However, there is nothing religious or esoteric about meditating – the relaxation technique works great without spirituality. There are numerous forms of meditation, including yoga meditation, zen meditation and transcendental meditation. What all forms of meditation have in common is the maintenance of a specific body posture and a focus on a single thing, such as breathing or your own body. Other relaxation methods like mindfulness training (mindfulness-based stress reduction MBSR), autogenic training, respiratory exercises and yoga also work with meditation and breathing. Meditation and mindfulness training can be learnt alone or as part of courses.
You have hardly sat down and your thoughts are already running wild? Your legs and feet fall asleep? This is completely normal. Keep patient and try out the following tips:
Meditation and mindfulness exercises have a positive effect on our whole body. We are able to handle stress better, experience inner calm and find a balance. These mental factors in turn influence our bodily functions including our blood pressure, immune system and cholesterol level. Various neuroscientific studies show how meditation and mindfulness exercises actually change our brain’s activity and structure. Meditation and mindfulness make us more resistant to stress, help with depression, fear, sleeping disorders and pain, strengthen the immune system and cardiovascular system and improve our feeling of well-being in general. An overview of scientific studies can be found on the yoga wiki (German only). The German online yoga school www.yogaeasy.de summarises the benefits of meditation in an infographic.
Many people have lost contact with their bodies and no longer notice emotions or more subtle feelings at all. This is, however, a key requirement for enabling us to look after ourselves. Mindfulness meditation and yoga help us to perceive the moment and ourselves, to be present and to accept what is there. Mindfulness promotes self-regulation. Would you like to improve your mindfulness and increase your feeling of well-being? The website (German only) of the German Centre for Mindfulness offers guides and videos on the topic of mindfulness, how you can practice mindfulness in everyday life, mindfulness at the office, mindfulness against stress, etc.
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