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Published on May 7th, 2018 | by Catherine Tingey

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Meditation and Your Brain

Meditation and Your Brain

When long time meditators or ‘yoga people’ describe meditation, they sometimes use words like detachment, the witness, and other concepts that aren’t well known to the general population.

I like to describe meditation a little differently.

Private Yoga Instructor Santa Monica Los Angeles Brentwood Pacific Palisades Bel Air Venice Marina del Rey

AMANGIRI

Meditating is like building a five-star hotel in your mind that you can visit whenever you want.

Massages, facials and amazing food in an amazing location. That’s my idea of a vacation.

Wouldn’t you love to be able to stay at your favorite hotel, whenever you want? Meditation can literally feel like a vacation away from your life, and away from reality.

But forget what meditators and I say, let’s look at what the scientists say.

MEDITATION and YOUR BRAIN

Meditation actually changes the physical makeup of your brain? I’ll say that again–

Meditation has been shown to add folds to the outer layer of the brain. This process (called gyrification) may increase the brain’s ability to process information.

A 2013 review of three studies suggests that meditation may slow, stall, or even reverse changes that take place in the brain due to normal aging.

Private Yoga Instructor Santa Monica Los Angeles Brentwood Pacific Palisades Bel Air Venice Marina del Rey

Monkey Mind. Image Courtesy of mindful. org

Another fascinating benefit is that meditation actually reduces the activity in the ‘me-centered’ area of the brain. This is the area responsible for annoying, often fear-based thinking, what-if scenarios, and aimless wandering of the mind. Don’t get me wrong – there is carefree daydreaming, and then there is monkey-mind. If you’ve ever laid in bed awake unable to turn your mind off, you’ve experienced monkey mind.

From a disease perspective, studies by the NIH have shown meditation to be beneficial for the following conditions:

  1. Pain

  2. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

  3. High Blood Pressure

  4. Ulcerative Colitis

  5. Anxiety, Depression & Insomnia

  6. Smoking Cessation

When I meet people who are tremendously successful professionally and personally, yet still feel like they’re searching for something, I recommend meditation.

When I meet people wanting to sharpen their focus professionally AND be more present with their families, I recommend meditation.

And when I meet people who are running themselves ragged in their lives and unable to ‘turn it off’, I recommend meditation.

The benefits of meditation are so profound that everyone can benefit.

GETTING STARTED

Check out the latest meditation apps. 

You can also work privately with a meditation teacher. I teach people five different meditation styles to find the perfect fit.

And if you live in Los Angeles, check out some of these local resources.

Have a favorite meditation benefit? Share in the comments below!

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Entrepreneur, yogini, designer, award-winning filmmaker, personal trainer and former marathon runner. She left a career in finance to start her own business and along the way, became a yoga teacher after practicing for 24 years.


About the Author

Entrepreneur, yogini, designer, award-winning filmmaker, personal trainer and former marathon runner. She left a career in finance to start her own business and along the way, became a yoga teacher after practicing for 24 years.



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