In the West, many people associate yoga purely with posture work and breathing techniques so you may be surprised to learn that meditation is actually the ultimate aim of yoga. The physical practice and breath work are simply preparations to ensure that the body and mind is in the best possible state to meditate.
Whilst the benefits of meditation have been known by yoga practitioners for hundreds of years, scientific research is now backing these up with substantive studies which show that the practice not only has an impact on mental well-being but physical health too. Reduced stress, lower rates of anxiety and depression, better sleep and reduced blood pressure are just a few of the measurable benefits of a regular meditation practice.
Whilst there are many forms of meditative practice in yoga, I find that beginners usually connect most easily with guided meditation where I take them on a visual journey. By concentrating on the sound of my voice, people are able to stop their attention from wandering so that they can engage more fully with the meditative process. It also requires no previous experience and is therefore available to everyone.
Meditation at care homes
I have taught meditation to residents at care homes (namely Bupa and Sunrise Living). High levels of anxiety and memory impairment (from which many residents suffer) can be significantly reduced with regular meditation which brings with it a calmness and sense of clarity. Also, because it does not require a certain level of mobility or mental agility, the practice is open to all.
In a care home setting, I have taught large group meditation classes, hosted small classes in a resident’s bedroom as they are bed bound (and are joined by a few resident friends so they can practice together) and also on a one-to-one basis. Please click here to read a case study.
If you are a care home and would like to know more, please do not hesitate to get in contact.
Private meditation classes at my yoga studio
I offer daytime meditation sessions at my home studio by arrangement. Some of my long-term private yoga clients request a meditation session every few weeks to bring a wholeness to their practice.
Anxiety and depression is the second most common reason why people come to my yoga classes. For some, a physical practice is not the path for them to achieve a greater peace of mind and so turn to meditation.
I have been approached by parents who have requested meditation sessions for their children who are showing signs of stress caused by school, family breakdowns and growing up in an information driven 24 hour society.
Meditation at the workplace
Meditation is a simple activity to arrange in the workplace. Requiring no props or equipment, numbers are only limited to the size of the room available which means that a regular meditation class can work out to be a very cost effective activity per head.
As you are no doubt aware, the number of work days lost to stress and anxiety is on the rise, so this is one activity that can benefit employee and employer alike. In fact, I have been approached by members of staff at care homes to teach meditation to them as their job can take quite an emotional toll on them. Meditation is available to everyone, so if you have staff who might not be able to participate in other work activities due to a physical challenge, this maybe a great activity to offer as an all-inclusive option.
Please note that I offer ‘Yoga in the Workplace’ too – please click here for more details.