Over the weekend, I spent two days at Kripalu in Massachusetts. Upon arrival, I was exhausted, upset, bloated, and sick with a cold. Two days of yoga, meditation, healing, self-attention, community, and stillness is exactly what the doctor ordered. Forget antibiotics, meditation is just as powerful.
More and more information is becoming available about the ability of the mind to heal, enhance, and change. Of course, Buddhists and other healers have been practicing on this premise forever. Neuroscience, neuroplasticity, radiology, physics, and other life and bio sciences are validating that the mind is what we need to train our physical and emotional selves.
Check out books like “Change your Brain, Change your Body” by Daniel G. Amen or “Train your Mind, Change your Brain” by Sharon Begley. These authors do a fantastic job of translating the science into every day terms we can use to better understand how the healing brain works. Mindfulness can be practiced in many forms: meditation, imagery, yoga, chanting, etc etc. All of us can experiment with mindfulness because all of us have to breathe – everyday, all the time. Just take a few minutes to focus solely on your breath. That’s a form of mindfulness.
The word “yoga” means “union” in Sanskrit, the language of ancient India where yoga originated. The union occurs between the mind, body and spirit. Yoga is the practice of moving your body into physical poses and postures while focusing on your breathing. At Kripalu, I had the opportunity to do three yoga classes per day, plus an evening meditation. And at each session, I had a choice to do relaxation, moderate, vigorous, or dance yoga. Whether I was feeling tired, energized, playful, or scared, I could practice being mindful.