Between 200 and 500 million people meditate globally. Over 14% of US adults have tried meditating at least once. And yet meditation is still commonly misunderstood. Here is accurate information regarding 8 myths about the physical side of meditation.
Meditation is no longer a practice reserved solely for those seeking spiritual enlightenment. It has now become a familiar, mainstream activity. Even those who do not practice meditation are familiar with the basic concept.
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What is Meditation?
Meditation is a practice that involves focusing or clearing your mind using a combination of mental and physical techniques.
The practice of meditation is thousands of years old, and different forms come from around the world.
On the outside, someone who’s meditating might not seem to be doing anything other than breathing or repeating a sound or phrase over and over. Meditation is as complex as anything in your mind and as simple as sitting down and breathing.
Depending on the type of meditation you choose, you can meditate to relax, reduce anxiety and stress, and more.
What are the benefits of Meditation?
Even if you’re unsure about the details, you’ve probably heard that meditation is good for you.
In addition to managing stress, mindfulness practices have been linked to better outcomes for patients with heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, depression, and many other conditions.
- Benefit Heart Health
- Help Control Weight Gain
- Reduce Sleeplessness and Insomnia
- Relieve Anxiety, Stress, and Frustration
- Increase Mental Acuity
- Relieve Feelings of Pain and Discomfort
Despite these proven benefits, there are still many myths about meditation.
My goal is to help you sort out the facts from the fiction, so you can discover the actual benefits of meditation and how it can improve your life.
8 Common Myths About the Physical Side of Meditation
Myth #1: It’s okay to discontinue medical treatment if you meditate regularly
Always talk with your doctor before making any decisions about your health.
It is possible that meditation may reduce your need for prescription drugs or it may be a helpful supplement to conventional care. Each case is different, and no matter what anyone tells you, always consult your doctor.
Meditation is NOT a substitute for medical care.
Myth #2: Aches and pains are good
Small discomforts can learn to be tolerated during your practice (such as an itchy nose). Awareness of back discomfort may just be a reminder to sit up straight and keep your core muscles tight.
Aches and pains, however, are not ok and you will need to make adjustments as needed.
Scan your body to detect areas of tension and discomfort. Change positions if you feel stiff or get a cramp. You’ll eliminate distractions from your practice and protect your body from injury.
Myth #3: You must sit in full lotus position at all times
Sitting in lotus position with a straight back and legs crossed in front of you is a classic meditation posture. But it is not the only acceptable way to meditate!
Take a seat that’s comfortable for you.
That may mean a half lotus on the floor or sitting on a yoga cushion or in a straight-backed chair. And yes, you can meditate while lying on your back or even standing upright.
Myth #4: You don’t need help from an instructor
You can learn a lot about meditation from books and videos. Live teachers are even better because you can form a warm and supportive relationship, as well as get expert advice about any questions or concerns you have.
Feeling accountable to another person may also encourage you to practice more consistently.
Myth #5: Expensive props make all the difference.
You don’t need any props for meditation. If you choose them, they are there for you. Just know that they are not required.
If you like to sit on a cushion, select a cushion that works well for you. You can also use your bed pillow or an old phonebook or a folded towel.
The use of incense, sound bowls, crystals, and music is always optional. Consider what enhances your practice.
Your mind is what really counts.
Myth #6: Absolute quiet is essential to meditation practice.
Silence can be conducive to meditation, but it can be difficult to find in the modern world.
Sounds such as calming music, chimes, sound bowls, and nature sounds may actually contribute to your practice as they are very soothing.
Learn to accept background noise with a peaceful mind, and you will expand your ability to meditate anywhere.
Myth #7: Meditation requires a lot of time.
You can meditate for just a few minutes a day.
Focus on your breathing when you’re stuck at a red light.
Remind yourself of all you have to be grateful for while you’re waiting for your coffee to brew.
Meditate during tv commercials, in line at the grocery store, while waiting for an appointment.
Every moment spent in meditation is beneficial.
Myth #8: Meditation requires very little time.
Prolonged contemplation can lead to deeper insights.
While every meditation session is beneficial, a lengthier session will give you more time for introspection.
Health benefits also increase with session duration.
Try to mix up the lengths of your meditation sessions to get the fullest benefit for your goals.
- 8 Common Myths About the Mental Side of Meditation
- How to Start a Meditation Practice (for Women Over Fifty)
- Meditation and the Midlife Woman: A Powerful Combination
- 6 Basic Steps to Start Meditating When it All Seems too Complicated and Weird
- Guided Meditations That Help Beginners Find Their Focus
Final Thoughts on 8 Common Myths About the Mental Side of Meditation
Meditation practices are full of contradictions and diversity.
They’re also immensely rewarding and worth all the effort you put into them.
Clear up the myths and boost your physical and mental well-being through meditation.