By Claire Diab and Dennis Boyle
Did you know that the average person has more than 60,000 thoughts a day? And of those thoughts, 90 percent are left over from yesterday? Thoughts do not weigh in pounds, as we know, yet the thousands of thoughts do weigh on us and make us feel heavy.
You can clear your mind and feel lighter with a simple form of mantra meditation. Meditation is a powerful tool to incorporate into your daily life, bringing you clarity, a peaceful mind, better concentration, a sense of well-being, and increased energy. Meditation is synonymous with yoga and, in reality, is an integral part of any yoga practice.
Begin by focusing in on your breath. After a few moments of this, the transition into meditation is simple. Using the repetition of a mantra will help to bring you back each time the mind might wander and think of thoughts. You can use your own mantra or gently allow the mind to repeat a universal mantra, “So Hum Namah” which simply means “Coming Back to the True Self.” At this time, you will allow the breath to flow naturally.
Try meditation for a few minutes each day, and see if you notice the benefits. You may feel clearer, less stressed, and more energized.
Tips for meditation:
- Find a quiet area where you will not be disturbed.
- Meditation is best done sitting upright, so as to discourage falling asleep.
- Try to meditate on an empty stomach.
- Always allow time after your meditation to just sit quietly and reap the benefits of your practice.
Claire Diab is an internationally recognized Yoga therapist. She is the director of the Yoga Program for the Chopra Center founded by Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. David Simon. She is an adjunct professor of Asian Studies at Seton Hall University. She is the author of several books and DVDs on Yoga including “Yoga For Firefighters.”
Dennis Boyle is a retired fire director and acting chief with the West Orange (NJ) Fire Department. He was the recipient of the 1999 New Jersey Deputy Fire Chiefs “Fire Officer of the Year” award.