How Meditation Changes Your Brain

How Meditation Changes Your Brain

There are a lot of reasons why people think meditation doesn’t work. It’s too simple, or I’m not doing it right. How can sitting quietly for ten minutes and trying to focus only on your breath help you get more things done in the day? It doesn’t work on me, or I can’t keep my mind still for that long. I’m just not the kind of person who meditates; that’s for people with a lot of time on their hands. I simply can’t spare the extra time during my day to focus, only on myself. Not surprisingly, these same people may be the ones most likely to suffer from anxiety, depression and insomnia because of the imbalance in their lives. Too much of their energy is focused on outward, result-oriented activity; too little attention is paid to the health of their mind. Meditation is like exercise for your brain. It stimulates the region of your brain that enables you to complete complex tasks, while simultaneously developing other regions that govern your ability to empathize with others. By eliminating distractions and training your brain to focus on a single action, breathing, you improve your attention span and deepen your sense of self-awareness. For so long, meditation’s claim that you can improve your life by just sitting in stillness has been easily ignored by skeptics. But recent studies have shown that the change claimed to be possible through meditation can actually be measured scientifically, and the results are astounding. Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, has been doing her post-doc research on the measurable effects of meditation on the brain, and her findings indicate that meditation not only reduces stress, but it actually changes your brain chemistry. In her first study, Lazar looked at long term meditators and compared their brains to those of a control group. The comparison showed that those people who had practiced yoga and meditation for many years had an increased amount of grey matter in the auditory and sensory cortex. This might not seem that surprising, considering that practicing mindfulness through yoga and meditation is focused on paying attention to your breathing, your surroundings and the present moment – it would seem to follow that the parts of your brain dedicated to experiencing sights and sounds would improve. What was surprising, however, was that the brains of the long-term meditators also had more grey matter in their front cortex, the part of the brain associated with working memory and executive decision-making. Many studies have shown that our cortex shrinks as we age, but remarkably, in this one region of the brain, the long-term meditators had the same amount of grey...

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5 Reasons To Start Your Teacher Training

Become An Inspirational Warrior Few people get the chance to create meaningful change in other people on a daily basis. But with each class, yoga teachers have the unique opportunity to stand in front of dedicated, open-minded students ready to be inspired. You will experience the life-changing benefits of your yoga practice and be able to pass that knowledge onto others. Even if you aren’t looking to become a yoga teacher, your training will deepen your understanding of yoga, build your confidence with your practice, and grow your enthusiasm by giving you the ability to share it with those you love. Go Deep Into Your Practice Teacher Trainings are a unique way to truly deepen your understanding of yoga. The power of an intensive course of this kind will give you the ability to elevate your personal practice to new levels that you can’t experience in a typical yoga class. It’s a powerful way to push yourself further into yoga than you have ever gone before, while simultaneously expanding your understanding of the science of yoga. Give Yourself Newfound Freedom While yoga is a deeply spiritual and personal practice, it is also a fantastic way to give yourself financial freedom, expand your world and pursue your passions. Is there something you’ve been wanting to dedicate your time to, but haven’t been able to break away from you full-time job? Becoming a yoga teacher by taking a teacher training can give you an incredible job that is fun and flexible to your schedule, finally giving you the freedom to chase after your dreams. Expand Your Mind If you’ve been taking yoga classes for a few months, or even a few years, you still may feel lost when you hear your teacher talking about the Yamas and Niyamas. With a teacher training, you get the chance to dive deep into the philosophy of yoga, learning about yoga’s moral and ethical codes, its history and the meanings of its essential words. You’ll learn about the eight components of yoga through the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, including the essential translation of yoga as the practice of quieting the mind. Strengthen Your Relationship and Grow Your Community Hopefully, attending class has opened your world up to the most incredible people. If you’ve ever wanted to strengthen those relationships and join a loving, supportive and engaged community of yogis, teacher trainings are your chance. The experience of engaging with your practice on this level, exploring your own personal strength through intimacy and honesty, gives you lifelong skills to deepen your relationship with yourself and those you love. You will gain profound insight and confidence that will radiate into the world around you, building your compassion...

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