mindful-meditation

Mindful Meditation sessions with Joyce Callen are each Thursday after Chair Yoga.  We have done this a few times now and find it to be very beneficial during these times of anxiety.  All who would like to participate are welcome to join in whenever it works for you.  Some people are coming to yoga first and then staying to participate others are joining in via zoom for just the meditation section.  Chair Yoga will be from 9:00 -9:40 with Mindful Meditation starting at 9:45 and going until 10:05, we’re hoping this will allow enough time for those of us who want to go to Bible Study to be able to do that when it starts.  The link will be the same as the chair yoga:      https://us04web.zoom.us/j/450243871                        Zoom meeting ID: 450-243-871

Any questions feel free to contact Joyce Callen, Joanne Ligtenberg or Tamara Ligtenberg.

INTRODUCTION TO MINDFUL MEDITATION

The word meditation is seen or heard daily everywhere from newspaper articles and magazines, to TV shows, recommended books and even cartoons. This has created much interest in the practice of meditation to learn how to relax.

Mindful Meditation is basic meditation because of the way it is practiced.  It is based solely on your breath.  Your breath is always with you. The ultimate achievement is “Dropping into stillness, not thinking.”

Physiological Benefits of Mindful Meditation:  During this type of meditation, blood pressure, heartrate, rate of breathing, muscles tension and metabolism are all decreased.  Blood flowing to the muscles of the arms and legs becomes stable.  The slow brain wave rhythms increase.  These are the alpha waves, the pleasure waves that enhance both our moods and health.  During most of our wakeful hours the higher frequency beta waves are engaged during every day thinking and stress.

There is a Comparison to achieve a restful state Between Sleeping and Meditation:  A restful state is achieved more quickly during meditation than sleep. This occurs because during sleep it takes four to five hours for our oxygen consumption to gradually decrease and level off to an average of 8% less than when awake.  However, during the first three minutes of meditation the average decrease of oxygen consumption is decreased by 10 to 17% less. As a result, a restful state is achieved quicker during meditation.

Deep Breathing is an essential for Mindful Meditation:  Deep breathing means that your diaphragm is involved. It is used at the beginning of each practice, but will decrease during the practice as you relax. When you take a deep breath, your stomach should expand. If your shoulders rise, you are doing high chest breathing and not getting the benefits of correct breathing. Exhale through your nose, especially if you are prone to anxiety. You will find it helpful to take a deep breath at times throughout your day just as we should drink water throughout the day.

What will your meditation experience be like?  The experience is individual.  For some it is a feeling of peace, or warmth, or relaxation and can bring a shift in attitude to positive. There is no right or wrong feeling. Practice needs to be done without  judging if you are doing it correctly during the practice, or at the end. This only impedes your learning. At the end of meditating, do not stand up immediately because remember you have decreased your automatic bodily functions. At first you may even feel tired. Take a moment to stretch and have a drink of water. When you go about your day again, you will feel rested and energized because of this mini break you gave your body. Practice is not easy, but well worth your effort to achieve this relaxation response for your body and mind.

Joyce Callen, seventeen years as the facilitator of Panic Support Group-Greece, was taught this method by a licensed clinical cognitive behavioral psychologist. This integration of the body, mind and soul is known as the Relaxation Response.  Reference: “TIMELESS HEALING, The Power and Biology of Belief,” by Herbert Benson, M.D., Harvard Medical School, founder of the Mind/Body Institute