Meditate on all levels
Photo by Eloise Christensen
Much of what we do in life is mind over matter especially when we set goals and benchmarks for fitness, health and happiness. Adding meditation into one’s daily routine of self-care is not only grounding, but it can also be used for all elements of daily life and existence. I asked a few Zenergy instructors who include meditation into their teachings what are the benefits of meditation and why. Their responses were not only inspiring but also encouraging as meditation comes in many forms.
Long-term meditator Diane Crist, who teaches early morning Gentle Yoga at Zenergy with an emphasis on breath, said that the benefits of meditation provides to our sense of well being, confidence, trust and happiness. “I began meditating in 1972 when my father died unexpectedly in a helicopter accident,” said Crist. “The next couple of decades, I explored Transcendental Meditation, Siddha yoga with Mukhtananda, Zen Buddhism and presently have settled with Tibetan Buddhist meditation with Anam Thubten Rinpoche.”
Restorative Yoga and Meditation & Gentle Yoga teacher at Zenergy Katherine Pleasants does her own home practice of Restorative Yoga to allow herself the indulgence of harmony and balance at the end of the day. “Meditation is like a love affair with your inner most self,” said Pleasants. “At times, it can be ecstatic and entrancing. Other times, simple and still and sometimes you may not even feel it’s profound effects until later.”
Alex Laws, a world-class triathlon athlete, teaches Rythmatic Meditation at Zenergy, a spin class he started in 1996, which includes meditation as part of a hard-core cycle workout. “You will be in your being while in class,” said Laws. “In other words, we will live in every moment of the 60 minutes of class. This lets you release any built up energy, lowers blood pressure and relaxes the mind for a full body fitness change. People tell me it has changed their life, made life more bearable, worked through passings, opened up their soul and they’re able to live a life of intuition.”
Yin Yoga and Hatha Yoga at Zenergy Cathie Caccia has a personal practice, which will include 20-30 minutes of chanting, sometimes in silent repetition of a mantra given to her by one of her teachers or from one of a few guided meditations for self-healing or from healing another. “Meditation helps me stay deeply connected to the teachings that I offer,” said Caccia. “It helps me balance and clear my energy, increases my intuition and connects me to source and guides.”
Eloise Christensen and Erica Linson teach Energy at Zenergy, which is two classes—Grounding and Change. For Christensen and Linson, meditation gives them a dedicated space to sensitize to what is important and what often gets lost in the business of living. Given that what is precious is often subtle so deepening awareness is key said Linson. “We find that for many people, a focus on energy helps ease and catalyze a deeper, joyful embodiment, connection to earth and capacity to create change,” said Linson. “Our approach works with the energetic aspects of being human. Thoughts, emotions, expectations, projections (conscious and unconscious), all have an energy to them and by grounding and clearing, we can orient more easily to the present and drop into a deeper connection to ourselves, the planet and the sacred. It’s the opposite of woo woo. It’s how shifting energetically can change our experience and relationships.”
Christensen and Linson, collectively, have been studying energy work for a combined total of over 30 years. Each has professional energy reading, healing and bodywork practices, and they focus on self-care and deepening awareness in their personal practices that fosters a strong internal connection and safe, open sensitivity to others and the world.
“Through grounding and running earth energy, I experience an energetic, earth-based embodying practice,” said Christensen. “Feeling a connection to the earth— my body feels alive, energized and connected, integrating my true nature and creativity. With my body energetically attuned, my spirit is comfortable.”
Some other benefits of meditation include stress, anxiety and cortisol reduction. In addition, meditation increases calming hormones such as melatonin and serotonin, which has a positive effect on signs of aging such as hearing ability, blood pressure and decrease pain and it also improves sleep. Any time for oneself is always good so why not meditate.