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. Read More

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Take a Deep Breath, Relieve Your Stress

Earlier this year, after I lost my temper and began arguing with my partner, he took a moment of pause and said, “Take a deep breath.” Even in my anger, I knew he wasn’t trying to be patronizing, he simply knew I was irritated and wanted to help me relax. This is his thing; he spends 15 minutes every morning meditating. But I don’t. I suffer from an all-too-common condition. Read More

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Meditation Improves Relationships

In case you missed it, emotional regulation resulting from mindfulness was discussed in Part 1. However, mindfulness can also be practiced in order to improve relationships; and no matter what gender you identify with, or what kind of job you perform, improving relationships makes life a whole lot better…and easier!
“Specifically, mindfulness meditation has been shown to reduce activity in the amygdala, a region of the brain that determines how much stress we experience and that is central in modulating our fear responses. For example, people with very active amygdala tend to experience more depression and anxiety.”
Study after study indicates that strengthening the trait of being mindful predicts: Increased response flexibility – Instead of responding in the same way to people or events with negativity, flip that emotion into something positive and see how that makes you feel. Decreased reactivity – Thinking about it, before acting on it, can be a good thing! Decreased emotional stress (in response to relationship conflict) – More deep breathing to keep things calm inside and on the outside. Improved ability to enter conflict discussion with less anger and anxiety – Clearly a winning strategy. In other words, decreasing amygdala activity through yoga and meditation can alter how we perceive ourselves in relation to others, but it also helps us deal with real life stresses in practical ways that lead to resolution. Less active amygdala, fewer emotional outbursts and more happy days! Start building your Hot 8 Yoga relationship by becoming BFF’s with yoga and meditation, and experience real improvement and satisfaction in your personal relationships! Monday through Friday, look for the "Invigor8 Meditation" classes beginning October 10th at all studios. See you on the mat! Source Material: http://www.traumacenter.org/products/pdf_files/Benefits_of_Mindfulness.pdf http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/11/mindfulness-emotional-stability-sleep_n_2836954.html http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kripalu/mindfulness-meditation_b_3238677.html

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Staying Cool When Things (Or Places) Get Heated

MINDFULNESS, a once obscure Buddhist concept, is now a vital component of yoga philosophy and practice. It can be defined simply as, a “moment-by-moment awareness”. In more clinical terms, it’s a state of psychological freedom that occurs when attention remains still and without judgment or attachment to any point of view. At HOT 8 YOGA, that familiar request by instructors to “stay in the present”, to have non-judgmental, moment-to-moment observations of the mind/body experience during class, is a constructive and comforting reminder. Emotional regulation is one of the specific benefits of mindfulness all HOT 8 YOGA members can enjoy. “When we ruminate, or get caught up in negative feelings, emotion regulation can be very helpful and healthy” [1]. Practicing mindfulness develops your ability to control negative reactions through the application of moment-by-moment awareness. For instance, let’s say you fall out of your vrksasana during class. You don’t get upset and storm out of the studio, humiliated! No way, because you check in with your body, take a breathe, sip water, pick up your foot and when ready, resume the asana, focused, in the present, and open to your outcome. When there’s stress, mindfulness helps with calming down and thinking rationally. The science shows that when mindfulness is practiced, an increase in pre-frontal cortex activity occurs; and in the amygdala, a gateway for depressive moods, such activity decreases [1]. Mindfulness techniques and meditations are also associated with increased activity within the limbic system, thalamus, and anterior cingulate cortex in the brain [1]. A regular mindfulness meditation practice can ensure: • Less rumination and negative thinking, over time • Higher positive self-awareness • Fewer depressive symptoms • Decreased negativity • Better working memory capacity and productivity • Improved attention span and focus when performing tasks INVIGOR8 MEDITATION, a mindfulness meditation class, launches at all HOT 8 YOGA studios weekday mornings beginning October 3. Come experience all the benefits of incorporating meditation into your daily routine! See you on the mat! HEIDI DILL SEP 21, 2016 Sources: [1] http://www.traumacenter.org/products/pdf_files/Benefits_of_Mindfulness.pdf [2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3303604/ [3] http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_does_mindfulness_control_behavior

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How to manage stress with meditation

Stress. All of us have it. That's why we created How To Manage Stress With Meditation, with instructor Charlie Knoles. In this course, Charlie helps you identify the sources of stress in your life and develop a new, healthy way to deal with stresses of all kinds. He'll also offer you a guided meditation to train your mind to react to stress in the most healthy of ways. This course is on sale for $29 but act fast! This special offer lasts until Monday, June 30th at 11:59pm EST. View the Course and Video >

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20 Reasons Why Mindful Meditation is Good for Your Health

For starters, let's define what mindfulness is: A Perspectives on Psychological Science study described it as "the nonjudgmental awareness of experiences in the present moment." With that in mind, here are 20 reasons why you might want to consider incorporating mindfulness meditation into your daily life. And for our full coverage on the topic, click over to our Mindfulness Meditation page. Read the full article >

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5 Meaningful Meditation Methods

There’s a myriad of methods for meditation. Some are easy and some are difficult. All require daily practice to perfect. Here are five of the most popular methods of meditation and what they each bring to the Meditation Table. Here’s why You Should Mix them for Maximum Mindfulness. Read the full article >

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7 Health Benefits of Meditation

It's a piece of advice yogis have given for thousands of years: take a deep breath and relax. Watch the tension melt from your muscles and all your niggling worries vanish. Somehow we all know that relaxation is good for us. Now the hard science has caught up: a comprehensive scientific study showing that deep relaxation changes our bodies on a genetic level has just been published. What researchers at Harvard Medical School discovered is that, in long-term practitioners of relaxation methods such as yoga and meditation, far more ''disease-fighting genes'' were active, compared to those who practised no form of relaxation. Read the full article >

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Overcoming Obstacles: Finding Gratitude in Deep Stillness

Whenever we are faced with obstacles on our journey, they are actually amazing opportunities in disguise to create stillness, to go within and to find gratitude for all things and deep love in our hearts. The fluctuations of the mind, the ego, and external forces create a landmine of distractions that can keep us from going deep within to listen to our soul. We all know how easy it is, when faced with obstacles to move outside of ourselves and stay distracted from our inner work, which can feel uneasy or uncomfortable. Yet, as described by the ancient philosophies, the truth is that the way to harness our power is to create stillness. In stillness we magnify our power by listening to silence. Silence gives us a glimpse of the free, unconditionally loving spirit within. It strengthens our intuition, which is our ability to see the inner world, in contrast to using our eyes to interpret the ever-changing outer world. Come to Hot8Yoga to learn the basics of meditation and connect with your Soul. We will use stillness, sensing, mantra, sound, and other methodologies that will vary week to week, so you can explore what works for you. - By Nicole Doherty

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