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What is Vedic meditation?

STATE OF MIND: Meditation can help reinvigorate the mind and improve our overall health

WE LIVE in a world full of distraction, and with the stresses of everyday life, it is easy to see why there has been an increase in the attention surrounding mental health issues. Anxiety and depression are now the most common mental health disorders in Britain. As more people open-up about their mental health, we are now seeing an increasing number of people turn to meditation to alleviate symptoms.

Chantelle Kimberley looks at one type of meditation in particular:

Vedic meditation is a mantra-based meditation technique descending from the Hindu Vedas. The purpose of the meditation is to gain deep rest to purify and re-balance the whole body. Meditation helps to reduce stress and anxiety, increase awareness and clarity of the mind, and improve physical wellbeing and to slow the ageing process.

This meditation technique should ideally be practiced for 20 minutes twice a day while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed, before food and on an empty stomach. It brings about a state of deep relaxation, which is said to bring the meditator into a deeper rest than sleep.

Will Williams, Europe’s leading Vedic meditation expert, says:

“Our mind is the engine of our experience. It comprises all of our cognitive functions – perception, thinking, judgement and memory. It interacts with our physical brain and our central nervous system, and when our mind is out of balance, it has a major impact on our overall sense of wellbeing.

WATCH WILL WILLIAMS EXPLAIN HIS APPROACH, BELOW:

“Meditation and mindfulness represent a way to counteract this process, with benefits for both body and mind.”

Who is it suitable for? Anyone can meditate. Anyone can learn to meditate. People often link meditation to having to be really ‘spiritual’, where you spend hours sitting on the floor with your legs crossed and hands laying above your knees.

To practise meditation, you don’t need any special skills, any more than you need special powers to be able to learn to ride a bike or to use a computer.

Some people find it comes more naturally to meditate than others, but anyone can do it and will definitely see the benefits of doing it. Williams said:

“Since meditating, I’ve found that my anxiety has got a whole lot better. The things I used to stress about seem so much less important now. I’ve learned to let things go."

BENEFITS

• Meditation reduces stress. Stress can cause long-term damage to our physical and psychological wellbeing. It can affect our relationships, our work and our sleep, thus preventing us from being our true selves. The benefits of Vedic meditation for stress are proven, with an average reduction of 33 per cent in the stress hormone cortisol, and an increase of ‘happy hormones’.

• Meditation reduces anxiety. Vedic meditation plays a big role in improved respiratory (breathing) efficiency, which brings a greater sense of calm and control within your body. It has also been shown to bring about a state of relaxation that is twice as powerful as that which we experience during rest alone and compared to other anxiety reduction techniques, Vedic meditation has been shown to be up to 250 per cent more effective.

• Meditation improves cardiovascular and immune health. Vedic meditation for cardiovascular health has been shown to be extremely effective at reducing stress and improves overall health. Mindfulness meditation has benefits for health and performance, including improved immune function, reduced blood pressure and enhanced cognitive function. Other benefits include:

• Encourages a healthy lifestyle
• Increases self awareness
• Lifts depression
• Increases happiness

For more on Will Williams’s Vedic meditation course, click here.

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