SHA Magazine Health & Beauty
Meditation for beginners
Celebrate International Mindfulness Day by learning how to practice this ancient discipline with very positive effects on general health and well-being.
Sitting in a lotus position with your eyes closed as you try to empty your mind isn’t enough to achieve a state of full meditation. Because the brain, just like the heart, never stops working. “Controlling the human mind is really complicated”, explains Rachel Rose, Mind & Body expert at SHA Wellness Clinic. “If it were easy, we would all do it. But there are very specific techniques backed by extensive research that work in a very reproducible way”.
The main problem when starting meditation is that people often don’t know where the process is going and, not knowing the destination, getting there can be difficult. “Meditation is brain training, like studying the multiplication tables: some children find it harder than others, but everyone ends up learning them in the end. So, the first few times you try it, you may feel nothing or be confused. After a few days, you feel a tremendous sense of calm and, as you master the technique, you find a conscious and deep relaxation. When this happens, you create new sensory and neurological memories that, once you are familiar with them, are easier to return to”, she says.
Meditation is about developing the ability to keep the mind focused on one thing, a difficult task if you have not done it before and one that can put many people off. In fact, highly creative people tend to have more trouble meditating than those who are not. For beginners, Rachel recommends “focusing on something that doesn’t trigger emotions or memories, even something a little boring, and concentrating on counting breathing: four on the in-breath, six on the out-breath. This helps the mind to stay focused and reach a state of deep relaxation more quickly. In addition, meditating leads to the development of interoception, which is the sense of the internal state of the body. In today’s world we are so used to constantly seeing ourselves from the outside, in mirrors, selfies or videos, but meditation allows us to change our perspective and begin to see ourselves from the inside. And by changing the point of view, we see problems in a different way. But, for me, the most important thing about meditation is that you open up a space of self-care and begin to connect with yourself. Neuroscience has confirmed that meditating for 12-20 minutes a day, five times a week, is enough to calm the central nervous system”, Rachel adds.
Meditation improves mind-body balance, promotes relaxation, helps control anxiety and stress and, according to the latest studies, also has a very beneficial effect on inflammatory processes, autoimmunity and biological ageing. Hence, all SHA programmes include at least one meditation session or a group mindfulness class.
Click on the link if you want to learn more about the SHA mind-body therapy programmes: https://shawellness.com/shamagazine/es/disciplinas-para-cuerpo-y-mente/