10 Minutes of Meditation A Day Can Change Everything
Did you know that 10 minutes of meditation each and every day can actually reduce your risk of giving a shit? Yep! Well, that’s an oversimplification — and a funny one at that — but it holds some real truth to it. Meditation — yep, just 10 minutes a day — can help you adapt to stress, move through your life with clarity, and achieve more happiness. Here’s how:
Meditation comes with SO many benefits, according to leading meditation app Headspace: you’ll reduce stress levels, get better sleep, and increase focus. But perhaps more importantly is that you’ll find peace. And that’s why we offer Meditation classes each week at the Studio.
By integrating mindfulness and meditation into your wellness routines, you will actually change the way your brain works. In fact, neuroimaging studies have began to look into the neural mechanisms behind mindfulness meditation practice — with some really astounding findings.
According to a study, “MRI studies have demonstrated that experienced meditators exhibit a different gray matter… in multiple brain regions when compared to non-meditating individual.” In fact, people develop more gray matter in more important regions within the brain.
So, what’s gray matter — and why does it matter?
Gray matter is what actually powers our brain. When this increases, we boost our memory, sense of self, empathy, and response to stress, according to a study done by Harvard researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Many researchers also believe that meditation is the key to a longer life, and that’s why we love it so much.
In our Meditate + Stretch class, we focus on mindful meditation coupled with breathing exercises, such as cardiac coherence.
Cardiac coherence, often used as part of a meditation routine, is a mindful breathing technique that helps to control heart rate. This can help our bodies adapt to stress, find positivity, appreciate yourself and engage your empathy, according to University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences.
The general technique is this: Inhale for 5 seconds, exhale for 5 seconds.
AQUASTUDIO founder Esther Gauthier loves being mindful, whether it’s through meditation or cardiac coherence — or both!
“Cardiac Coherence explains the heart frequencies and how when in cardiac coherence (regular interval) your heart functions at optimal level and transmit this information to all cells in your body, allowing all of your organs to also function at optimal level,” she says. “The result is a long list of health benefits when practiced over a long period of time.”
When we breathe mindfully, we enter into a meditative state that allows us to truly disconnect, tune in to our bodies, and find a calm state.
AQUA Members, you may find that taking a Meditate + Stretch class after an AQUA class is just the decompression you need after a long day. It can help steady your heart rate and get you into a sleep, comfortable state of pure bliss. And that’s the goal, huh?
Gauthier says that meditation is a way of letting our brains rest:
“Our brains accumulate an overwhelming amount of information on a daily basis, and stores every bits of info in its drawers. When it reaches saturation, it can’t operate anymore. It’s overloaded. Meditating is about clearing your drawers. When you sit with yourself, you allow your brain to scan the drawers and let go of the unnecessary thoughts that no longer serve you.”
If you’re scared to meditate — or worried you won’t be able to focus, don’t worry! Many people think it’s complicated, and that’s okay. The truth, however, is that it’s not:
“It may seem complicated but it’s actually quite simple,” Gauthier says, “You close your eyes, let the thoughts run through you, observe them without judgement and continue to focus on your breathing.…trust that your brain will automatically know what to do.”
If you want to learn more about cardiac coherence, pop into a Meditate + Stretch class or practice it on your own here.