Meditation has so many documented and proven benefits, but due to lack of general education on the subject the average American does not meditate. We would like to help answer all your questions about meditating so you can feel as comfortable as possible beginning your own meditation practice. Click here to read Yoga FAQ
Some of you have contacted me since Deepak Chopra was on Doctor Oz talking about reducing stress and losing weight. Here is the clip explaining how meditation helps you lose weight.
There are so many additional benefits to meditation and thanks to the advances in science a lot of the benefits can be scientifically proven and explained. Our classes, lessons and workshops in the Reno and Tahoe areas are designed to teach meditation without changing any of your current beliefs or religious views. We take a more scientific approach to this ancient practice and explain it in terms and guided lessons for everyone to understand.
Like Yoga, Meditation is associated with many religions. Also like Yoga, Meditation has absolutely nothing to do with religion. Religions adopt many practices like vegetarianism, yoga, meditation, refraining from alcohol, etc. to help guide their followers to a healthier lifestyle, but that does not mean everyone who doesn't drink, doesn't eat meat, practices yoga, or meditates does it as part of following a religion.
You can definitely add mediation to your lifestyle without changing anything about your current religious beliefs or adopting any new religious beliefs. All you need to do is find a meditation instructor that teaches meditation without attaching it to a religious practice.
This is a common concern of people who taught themselves to meditate from a book, cd, or even a basic course with an instructor who did not cover all the stages of meditation with you. There are ways to know for sure if you are meditating, but if you have already tried to meditate and you are not sure if you are doing it right we recommend to take a class or learn from an instructor who will take the time to train you properly. Knowing that they will not let you walk out of that training without the confidence that yes you now not only know how to meditate, but you know for a fact you are doing it properly.
There are so many claims of what meditation can do for you. Meditation is a wonderful and amazing skill to have, but we would like to focus on providing you the proven facts of what mediation can actually do for you, rather than what we think it has done for us or someone we know. We did several google searches for legitimate university mediation studies and here are some of our favorite articles. Please feel free to do your own research on the subject and if you want to share it with us we are always excited to read new facts on the subject... we might even add the study you found here.
"Alterations in Brain & Immune Function..." Harvard University
"...Stress Reduction Program on Mood & Symptoms of Stress..." University of Calgary
"...Meditation Technique & Acute Experimental Pain" University of CA, San Diego
"Meditation" University of Michigan, Health System
"Taking Charge of Your Health: Meditation" University of Minnesota
"...Meditation helps improve self-image to anxiety sufferers" Stanford
"Meditation produces positive changes in the brain" University of Wisconsin
This can be debated by many people, but the fact is no, you do not have to sit any specific way to meditate. Sitting cross-legged might be a requirement for a specific type or style of meditation, but when you remove all of someone else's style out of your private meditation practice what you have is pure meditation, what works for you, your own style and way. We believe that everyone is an individual and what works well for one person might not work at all for someone else. As we say in our classes adopt what you love and ignore what you don't. You can sit in a chair, on your couch, on the floor, on top of a mountain, in your parked car, or anywhere you want any way you feel comfortable to meditate.
If you don't want to meditate, don't. If you are not sure, because you don't know what it is really about then I recommend finding a good instructor and learn how to meditate and then decide if it's something you want to do. You can read the many proven benefits of Meditation above, but it needs to be something you are doing for you, because YOU want to, not any other reason. So if you are ready or not to start meditating is a question only you can answer.
Again, we firmly believe all decisions about your life are up to you to make and decide what works or doesn't work for you. It is recommended to meditate twice a day (before breakfast and before dinner) for 30 minutes each, but it is not a requirement. There are no mediation police that will come to punish you for meditating once a day, once a week, or 10 minutes every 6 months. Once you learn how to meditate it is your decision on how often and when to place meditation into your life. Everything we provide you with are guides, if those guidelines don't work for you find ways to fit what you want around your life. You should find meditation a beneficial addition to your life, not a forced chore.
Remember, we are always here for you to answer questions and you help come up with solutions if you ask for them, but we have no desire to force anything onto you or chase you around making sure you are following what we have taught you. All we can do is teach and guide, beyond that it is up to you.