Calligraphy for the Brain

For many, practicing yoga is much easier than the practice of meditation. With yoga, you're focused on breathing and feeling the body navigate from pose to pose. Those two components are just about enough to get the "back seat driver" (your mind) to quiet down a bit. Get to Savasana and one of two things can happen. You're in the zone of surrender and keep the inner chatter down to a minimum or the voice slowly starts its relentless expression. Sound familiar? You're not alone.

For many, the concept of meditation sounds great; however, when it gets time to make the effort to do it...well, that's another story. First issue is to determine how to actually do it. Google "meditation" and a long list of choices to consider trying pop up. There are guided meditations, chanting meditations, breathing meditations, walking meditations...and so on. Studies have shown how meditation can alter the brain frequencies; thus, put you in a different state of mind. The change in frequencies have a positive ripple effect on the physical body's autonomic nervous system (ANS) with a regular practice. In other words, the body follows the mind.This fact is perfectly illustrated by medical statistics of heart attacks, depression and anxiety.

Most of us need structure to build a foundation of knowledge upon. When one starts to learn yoga, the focus of getting the pose "right" dominates the mind. After you practice it for awhile, the basic structure of poses is ingrained and you start to experience deeper sensations of the move. In other words, we often need structure to reach a place to enjoy and practice outside of the structure "box". Just like no two people have the same sensations from a yoga pose, the same applies to meditation. It is very personal.

I like to consider meditation calligraphy for the brain. Simply sitting outside, taking in the beauty of Nature, letting the eyes vision be the thought, is a wonderful meditation. If I catch my mind getting too noisy, I find it useful to envision writing on the mind's wall a word, like peace. By coordinating the breathing with the slow writing of each letter, I feel all fall into place. See the mind like a vast canvas and see how beautifully you can write your word. Here's another cool thing...if you do not have the best handwriting on physical paper, you will discover how beautifully you can write in the mind! The "handwriting on the wall" will integrate itself long after you consciously end your practice. Just like yoga, meditation has cumulative effects on the mind and body.

A personal favorite series of meditation cd's to surrender to are the works of  Dr. Jeffrey Thompson.
I find that lying in the pose "legs up the wall" with the earphones emitting the magical frequencies he has compiled perfect for me. There are many to consider and try. Just remember it is a practice and not a chore. It takes patience to integrate this in your routine; however, do not let it become one of the things to do and cross off the list. Then, the purpose of it has not quite sunk in. Be patient and be still....even if it is for just two minutes. Your current etchings in the mind did not get written in one day. Meditation will help you learn how to consciously erase old and draw in new....every day of your life.

Meditation can be done anytime and anywhere. Obviously, if you are listening to cd's designed to get you in a theta or delta brain wave frequency, you need to be in a quiet place. If you practice yoga, the practice itself can be enriched by being done as a moving meditation. Taking a walk outside is a great practice. Walk slowly, observe the details, consciously breathe, and let the "to do" list stay at home. It is not all about sitting in a lotus pose for hours. I don't think my hip joints could take it. Don't take things so have got to keep a sense of humor in life. Smiles lift you up. Meditate on that~


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