Meditation is a legitimate health craze. The powers of meditation are mighty and can do so much for one’s mind, body and spirit. Research has linked the practice to a plethora of benefits including improved cardiovascular health and cognitive benefits. Studies suggest that meditation is about much more than “blissing out” and the effects on the mind, body and spirit are phenomenal.
At first glance of the mind, body and spirit, or even with self-assessment, it is easy to see the benefits of meditation. Within the mind, meditation cultivates willpower and helps to build focus and concentration. Meditation also increases gray matter and boosts cognitive function. There are changes that occur throughout the body during a meditation practice which include a decrease in pain, as well as the lowering of blood pressure and the easing of inflammation. Meditation also reduces the risk of heart disease and boosts the immune system. With regards to an individual’s spirit, meditation cultivates so much good. Meditation builds self knowledge, increases compassion, improves empathy and cuts emotional reactivity.
It all sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? However, some still may be wondering what exactly meditation is. By definition, meditation is the act or process of spending time in quiet thought. Meditation is not a difficult activity to participate in. However, it does take some practice to become mindful and present. Start small. Set aside ten minutes a day in a quiet place to meditate. Focus on breathing patterns, and if the mind starts to wander bring your awareness back to your breath. This is how the practice of meditation begins.
If your curiosity is piqued and you would like to give meditation a try, there are some things to consider in order to really and wholeheartedly reap the benefits of the practice. You should experiment with different sitting positions, for example cross-legged, kneeling or on a chair until you find one that you can comfortably hold for at least ten minutes. Study and begin to explore the basic meditation techniques of mindfulness and loving-kindness. If available in your area, take a meditation class with a teacher or join a meditation group. It’s also best to consider what motivates you to meditate and make sure to remain enthusiastic about that topic.
Lastly, with meditation, it is so very important to follow a healthy lifestyle. Eat well, exercise regularly, get enough rest and avoid bad habits such as drinking and smoking. Keep your mind alert and engaged, especially before a session. All of these combined factors will allow you to really reap the benefits and mighty powers of meditation.
Meditation in Phuket
Looking to explore meditation in Phuket within a friendly environment that is able to help guide and nurture your practice? We welcome you to join our Beginner’s Meditation class here at Santosa Detox and Wellness Center. Simply fill out the enquiry form and a member of staff will get back to you advising the days and times of the class. Join our friendly class to experience the mighty powers of meditation here at our detox and wellness center located near Kata Beach on the southern Thai island of Phuket.
Meditation has a huge impact on mental health and well-being. Meditation’s aim is simple: to pay attention, to be mindful. Recent scientific studies are proving that meditation has a profound effect on a person’s happiness. Meditation also decreases stress levels as well as sharpens memory and attention.
What is meditation?
Meditation is a way of concentrating on the here and now, and by doing so becoming more aware of how the here and now is affecting you. The trick is to breathe in, to observe and to learn to change the way you relate to the here and now.
While attending a mediation class, a teacher will ask you to sit upright in an alert position. You will be encouraged to focus on something rather straightforward, for example the inhalation and exhalation of your own breath. In doing so, you will soon realize that even a little bit of calm goes a long way.
Often referred to as “mental hygiene” meditation can improve your life in a variety of ways. Below, we highlight some of the main benefits of meditation.
1.Meditation reduces stress
Meditation allows people to take charge of their own nervous system and emotions. The practice pushes for a mind without agitation. Stress is an agitation, but through meditation you will be able to learn how to regulate stress and better control it.
2. Meditation improves concentration
Meditation is often linked with a variety of factors that increase the ability to focus as well as aid in memory. The strong focus of attention in meditation, for example on an idea, object or activity, is one of the central aims of the practice and helps people’s cognitive skills.
3. Meditation encourages a healthy lifestyle
Meditation encourages wanting things that are better for yourself. This awareness has been attributed to those who meditate choosing a healthier lifestyle as meditation encourages not harming oneself.
4. Meditation increases self-awareness
The practice of meditation clears the mind and calms it down. Meditation makes you feel comfortable in your own skin. Meditation helps you become more aware of your emotions, in turn increasing your self-awareness.
5. Meditation increases happiness
Meditation puts its students on the fast track to being happy. The practice increases signals in the left side of the brain which is responsible for positive emotions. The increased self-awareness that meditation ignites also contributes to overall well-being.
Is meditation worth a try?
Meditation is not a wonder cure, but a lot of evidence suggests that it does good for those who practice it regularly. Meditation has a variety of health and neurological benefits which balance a person’s over all well-being. It creates self-awareness and helps people become more in tune with their surroundings and factors in their lives that may be holding them back. Meditation is definitely worth a try if you would like to dig a bit deeper into yourself and become a bit more aware.
Meditation Class in Phuket
If you are new to meditation and looking for a supportive environment to practice in Phuket, please contact us. Santosa Detox and Wellness Center facilitates a wide variety of classes in our open air pavilion including meditation. For more information, please call +66 (0) 76 330 600 or fill in the form below.
In April Anne Haack, traveller, artist, DJ and experienced certified Yoga Teacher, Ayurveda Healing Massage Therapist and Reiki and Chakra Healer, who has been immersing herself into healing arts and yoga for the past 15 years, will be at Santosa. In these two days in April you will get the chance to learn about Chakra Healing and Meditation.
8 April 2016: 4pm – 5pm Chakra Dance Meditation (FREE)
9 April 2016: 1:30pm – 4pm Chakra Vinyasa Flow Workshop – 1,000THB/person
On these two days you can book Private Chakra Healing Treatments with Anna Haack for 1,500THB (1.5h).
If you are interested, want to know more or want to book, just call us or fill out the form at the bottom.
UPDATE: Only a few spots Left! Book the FREE Class at the bottom of the Page! (Enquiry)
Every night you voluntarily allow your body to shut down. You lie down, close your eyes, and slow your breathing. It’s paradoxical that we as humans will fly across the room to plug in our phones in order to prevent it from shutting down, yet one of the biggest facets of human life is the concept of shutting down. Sleep is a wonderful thing, it is a time in which our thoughts become dreams, and our bodies remain a vessel. See the other great benefits sleep can provide to your brain and body…
As much as anyone loves sleep, doesn’t everybody hate that fifteen minute period when lying in bed trying to go to sleep?
There are many factors in our everyday life that can affect the way we sleep, and by lessening their influence an hour before bedtime we can avoid the trouble of falling asleep.
Light is one of biggest the factors that give us the most trouble when falling asleep.
There are two ways in which light can affect our sleep. One way is when we are falling asleep and there is a light staring into our eyes. This is a very direct way because we can simply shut off the light and find our way to bed. Another way in which light affects our sleep is when we are already sleeping. If a light were to emerge from your phone, or from the corner of your window and make its way to your eye it can mess with your internal clock. A beaming light in your eye will convince your body that it is daytime and that you must wake up right away. Exposure to light while sleeping throws your internal clock into a jambalaya and wreaks havoc on your sleep patterns, so if your sleep is in your best interests you may want to sleep with your phone far away and all your windows shut!
Jet lag and shift work also play large roles in the way we sleep.
This is because we mess with our internal clocks. There is something called the circadian rhythm which is a very important timeline for the body to perform certain jobs – e.g. detoxing, digesting, laying memories and so much more.
If you work a night shift or have jet lag then you may suffer from excessive sleepiness, but also research has found it can slow you down mentally by affecting your memory and reaction speed. Even things like diabetes and heart disease have been linked to this now…
Now comes the big one: Stress. Stress can affect your sleep big time.
Your body is programmed to react to a stressful situation by waking up / being ready for action. This makes deep sleep very hard to achieve if you have a high level of stress. Someone with high stress levels, or depression, experiences more REM sleep rather than deep sleep and that doesn’t allow the body to truly rest. If this is the case for you, maybe take a spa day and go get a massage, or meditate to get rid of that unneeded stress. Another stressor is not just our environment but also what we feed ourselves – specifically caffeine. Do you like to sip on some black tea or soda before you go to sleep? Well if you enjoy sleeping you should stop because the caffeine levels in soda and tea are high and caffeine stimulates your nervous system making your body more responsive and less relaxed.
Now how does sleep help with detox and what is sleep actually good for?
When you sleep your brain has an extremely unique way of removing waste through the Glymphatic system. During sleep your brain releases toxins which include harmful proteins that have been linked to brain disorders as well as Alzheimer’s. An even crazier concept is that during this time your brain cells shrink by sixty percent so it is easier to seek out the harmful toxins. The Glymphatic system is just like the Lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is responsible for removing toxins in the body, but the brain is a closed organ so it has to have its own way of removing waste. The ‘G’ in Glymphatic stands for Glial cells.
Ugh so much big science talk, just bear with me, please. These cells manage the system.
Glial cells flush the waste from the brain to the circulatory system where it is eventually circulated to the liver where it is eliminated. Basically now you know how your brain detoxes itself! Your brain actually performs its own colonic!
It is actually found that your Glymphatic system is ten times more active at night than it is during the day. Therefore, without even being aware that you are detoxing, your brain is doing it for you! Now when you dream about the Vegan summer rolls and vegan lasagna that Susana makes here at Santosa, wake up thinking about all the detoxing your brain just did for you! Your brain just does it at night to keep it classy. Always stay classy and Beautiful.
There are five stages of sleep, and each is pretty interesting.
The first stage of sleep is our lightest in which we can be woken up, and most likely a person being woken up then will wake up by saying, “I wasn’t sleeping.” He/she was sleeping, but only in stage one sleep. An interesting thing about stage one is that this is when you experience the sensation of falling. Not in deep sleep, but in the lightest of sleep! Stage Two is a slightly deeper sleep in which eye movement ceases and brain waves become slower with occasional rapid bursts. In stage three sleeps your brain waves become extremely slow and have adopted the name delta waves and are interspersed with some fast waves. In stage four sleep the delta waves are not interspersed with faster waves, and your brain solely produces delta waves. If you’re an occasional bed wetter, it’s ok. Sleep walking, bedwetting, and night terrors all occur during stage three and four of sleep which is considered deep sleep. When you’re in deep sleep you’re a hard person to wake up, your eyes are still, and you have no muscle activity (Besides your cardiac muscles which regulate your blood, and create heartbeats).
The final stage of sleep is the REM period.
During this time your breathing intensifies, your eyes begin to jerk, and your limb muscles become temporarily paralyzed. During REM sleep your brain waves increase to a level as if you are awake. Blood pressure rises at this point as well as your heartbeat. This all sounds scary, but don’t worry: it’s normal.
The normal human being experiences three to five intervals of REM sleep a night. The reason these scary things happen during REM sleep is because this is the same time you dream. These are the dreams that you can actually remember.
It all sounds pretty hectic but it’s all completely healthy, and is important for maintaining homeostasis (balance in the body), and high energy levels! Sleep better, detox better!
Becoming a mother is one of the most magical transformations in a woman. At Santosa, we provide yoga and meditation private classes to future “Moms”. What can we do more to be ready? We are delighted to share more tips here.
There’s a lot of fear of the unknown as to what happens to our bodies during pregnancy and labor. The more fear we have, the more anxious we become and the more stress hormones are released, thus making labor, in itself, more painful. As you ease your mind–empowering it with information about what to expect throughout pregnancy and labor–the intensity of pain lessens.
Pregnancy takes time for a reason. The gradual process gives you time to plan! So you have time to get things ready before you go to your birth place. Have fun with it, don’t panic, enjoy this moment with your partner and your other kids.
Tap into the Power of Prenatal Yoga
In a prenatal yoga practice, there’s a lot of emphasis on breathing, especially through the difficult poses. Through working with our breath, we are able to relax more in uncomfortable moments. Our breath will allow us to remain present and ground us during these times, as well as give us a break in tough times.
By practicing the poses common to most pregnancy yoga classes, you will learn how to release lower back tension, and open up your chest, shoulders and hips. All of these muscles can hold tension during pregnancy and labor, so learning how to release this specific tension is very helpful.
Santosa can offer private Prenatal Yoga classes upon request…
The most important thing to do is just to breathe deeply and naturally like you would if you were exercising. Focus on breathing OUT any tension that you may have. It sounds crazy but it works. A good birth can be as simple as mastering the breath.
Make Time for Meditation
A meditation practice puts your body and mind into training enabling you to sit be with discomfort at times. The deeper we are able to go into a practice, the more objectively we are able to observe everything around and within ourselves, rather than reacting to it. It will allow us to remain present with everything.
Eat Nutritious Food
Almost all pregnant women need to get more protein, increased amounts of certain vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, iron and calcium, and they require a higher calorie intake to keep up their energy. If your diet is poor to begin with, making the transition to eating nutritious meals is one of the best things you can do for your baby’s health. A healthy diet includes proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and plenty of water. But eating better doesn’t mean eating more – or rather, not much more.
We can’t control everything
Some women give birth exactly as they had planned, but many don’t. You can have a great empowering birth, even if things did not go exactly as you had planned. Both natural and surgical birth can teach us an important lesson for being mothers: that we don’t always get to pick how things go, and sometimes just need to surrender.
Becoming a mother is one of the most magical transformations in a woman. Enjoy the journey and remember to treat yourself well.