As a daily meditator, I’ve often asked myself if I could reap more benefits from my practice. Studies show that meditation lowers blood pressure and other diseases related to stress and tension; it also increases the body’s ability to fight disease and depression and ameliorates sleep disorders. Meditation has been linked to curing chronic diseases, too. But I wondered, what else could meditation do that goes beyond scientific reason.
Meditators are firm believers in the law: if your mind creates or sees it, then the body believes it. Close your eyes and imagine eating a lemon and see if you don’t feel the tinge of sour inside your mouth. Imagine your biggest fear and see if your heartrate doesn’t increase. Imagine your happiest place and see if you don’t begin to smile. The brain is a tool. And learning to use it as a supplement to actual physical exercise doesn’t just save us time, it promotes mental ability and agility.
Here are the benefits of using meditation as exercise. Now is as good a time as any to begin a healthy habit. You’ll work your body and brain in tandem which is the ultimate goal of fully functioning health.
Challenge Muscle Memory
Do an exercise enough times and the body gets trained. It doesn’t take long, either. Muscle memory grows quickly. But as opposed to doing it in the 3D realm, practicing in a meditative zone reaps more benefits. Why? Because there’s less chance for injury and less time spent in a fitness facility.
Meditation is a sure-fire way to feel good about yourself again. Just imagine yourself in the act of exercising. Within minutes, the brain will pump endorphins and other positive chemicals throughout the body. No matter where you are or where you want to go, the beauty of meditation is that you can start today regardless of your physical state.
Practice Makes Perfect
The more you engage in any activity, the closer you are to mastering it. Of course, perfection doesn’t exist, but through meditation the impossible becomes possible. Many successful people have attributed outrageous feats to their connection to meditation.
Mind over Matter
Believe anything is possible. Why not? If the outcomes are positive, there’s even more reason to believe. But if they aren’t what you expected, perhaps you could remove expectation or find a lesson in the challenge. The mind is the leader of the body, so any hurdles must start here. Once the mind convinces the body that it has already done something, then that act becomes more and more feasible in reality.
Imagine your body burning fat and, if you are true to the meditation practice, this can become your reality. Increasing agni in the body happens first in the brain and then the belly. The brain is always telling the body what to do—how to regulate the system. You have the potential to set yourself up for success all the time. Don’t just ignite agni, but burn away old thought patterns, attitudes, and belief systems in order to make room for ones that will serve your wellness in more efficient ways. This creates balance which is the cornerstone to health.
The brain is constantly shaping the body. If you believe that thinking about a piece of cake will make you put on pounds, then it will. We all know people who are so afraid of fat that the mere thought of fat adds an inch to the waistline. So why not reserve these thoughts? Instead of defeating yourself and living in fear, convince yourself that you have the ability to make better choices and in the event that you make a less favorable choice, then nothing will happen as a result.
Going to the gym can be a nightmare. There is a whole gym culture that makes many people uneasy. Working out while stressed is counterproductive. Rather than make the journey to the gym, set up a mental gym and see where it takes you. Or at the very least, program your brain to overcome gym hang-ups. Better yet, reduce stress by making a space for a home gym.
Injury does not have to be your reality. Injury happens because you were not paying attention. Plain and simple, you did not listen to your body or you tried to push yourself too hard. Meditating on particular exercises that are challenging will bring you closer to your goals without incurring any potential injuries. Meditating on the exercise will also allow a problem-solving effect which will reveal unexpected yet effective ways to approach the exercise.
Instead of spending hours in the gym, spend a few minutes in a safe, sacred space honing your physical fitness needs. The majority of people complain about the gym because it becomes more stress than it’s worth. The commute to the gym, the gym environment, gym attire, lack of space or machines, and overall lack of time due to long work hours create enough reasons not to go to the gym than to actually go.
The majority of successful people, whether athletes or CEOs, will cite visualization as their secret charm. It’s not really a secret anymore. The more you can engage in a visualization activity while in meditation, the sooner you’ll reach your objective. Set an aim and repeat the behavior for a set number of days. Take notes and photos to document your changes. And be ready to be amazed by how not only will your body change, but your entire outlook on life will become lighter and brighter.