"In meditation, when the mind is calm, alert and totally contented, then it is like a laser beam - it is very powerful and healing can happen." Sri Ravi Shankar
So what is it to be healthy? To attain a perfect state of health, one also has to remain mentally calm, steady and emotionally stable. In Ayurveda Swathya means health. Its definition includes being in one's self. Swathya or health is not just confined to the body or the mind; it also connects with the spirit or consciousness. The clearer the consciousness is the more well-being is gained. It has been said that the root of an illness can lay in mind/consciousness. So by attending to the mind, clearing if of disturbances the recovery to health speeds up.
The practice and philosophy of Ayurveda are not only to restore balance and ease the aches and pains of the body but also those of the spirit. Since ancient times, the message of Ayurveda has been to keep in a state of balance and to avoid extremes so that the existence of the Divine can be felt on the central nervous system. Meditation has great benefits for the human system as a whole. Many people vouch for the fact that meditation has caused marked improvements in their health situations both physical and mental. This has also been proved correct scientifically. Mediation is a process by which there are marked changes in the patterns of the brain waves, having long-term healing effects. Scientists have started realizing the importance of mediation in various healing procedures. Many doctors are now starting to recommend the process of meditation in the cases of people suffering from chronic disorders and also in the cases of terminally ill patients.
Meditation gives complete rest to the entire system, especially to the brain that keeps functioning during the time we sleep. It invigorates and relaxes the mind so that it can start again afresh. Through meditation the body's metabolism is given attention helping lower the heart rate and blood pressure, which is directly related to the reduction of cholesterol levels in the body, thus reducing the chances of cardiovascular diseases. Stress-related disorders are greatly impacted with the practice of meditation. Stress releases lactate and cortisol in the bloodstream, having a damaging effect on various organs. Meditation helps reduce the production of these chemicals. Keep the body vital and strong.
Prana (or breath) is the vital life energy and is the very basis of health and well-being. Practicing breathing through meditation will provide you with energy, alertness, good humor riding your body of lethargy, dullness or weak enthusiasm. It has been profoundly useful for patients suffering from respiratory disorders because the process of breathing gets stabilized and relaxed, promoting clear and even flow of breath to the entire system. People suffering with asthma, allergies, and sleeping disorders are greatly impacted by the daily practice of breathing meditations.
So many people misunderstand meditation and when the hear the word "meditation" they want to run the other way. Most people think "oh there is no way I can sit for that long, or I am too busy, sick or have a too an active mind." They key is to start slowly. In Dr. Frawley mentioned in his book "Ayurveda and the mind" Mantras serves like a boat to take us across the ocean of the unconscious. Mantra prepared meditation is easier, safer and stronger than trying to meditate directly. For beginners, guided meditation is very beneficial. Below is a couple simple meditations and mantra. Give it a try and see how meditation can significantly impact your life!
Simple Daily Meditation
Allow the mind to relax; please follow theses easy instructions. Sit on the forward third of a chair or a cushion on the floor. Arrange your legs in a position you can maintain comfortably. In the half-lotus position, place your right leg on your left thigh. In the full lotus position, put your feet on opposite legs. You may also sit quietly with your legs tucked in close to your body, but be sure that your weight is distributed on three points: both of your knees on the ground and your buttocks on the ground cushion. On a chair, keep your knees apart about the width of your shoulders, feet firmly planted on the floor.
Take a deep breath, exhale fully, and take another deep breath, exhaling fully. With proper physical posture, you're breathing will flow naturally into your lower abdomen. Breathe naturally, without judgment or trying to breathe a certain way. Keep your attention on your breath. When your attention wanders, bring it back to the breath again and again -- as many times as necessary! Remain as still as possible, following your breath and returning to it whenever thoughts arise. Be full, vitally present with yourself. Simply do your very best. At the end of you're sitting period, gently swing your body from right to left in increasing arcs. Stretch out your legs, and be sure they have felt before standing. Practice this peaceful meditation every day for at least ten to fifteen minutes (or longer), and you will discover for yourself the treasure house of meditation.