June 21st 2015 marked the first official International Day of Yoga as declared by United Nations recognising the holistic benefits of the timeless ancient practice.
With technological advancements, scientists in the West have been able to prove the mental and physical benefits of yoga and meditation. This really helps people like us coaching individuals to make use of mind-body remedies for health and fitness, while separating out associated religious, social or cultural nuances.
In honour of the International Day of Yoga, here are few science-based videos supporting the holistic benefits of meditation (meditation = yoga of mind with higher state of personal consciousness).
1) Scientific power of meditation: Let's start with this cool 3-minute video.
Wisdom: Meditation helps your brain chill as you get wired to be happy!
2) Mindful parenting. "Being" vs. "Doing" with your child: Watch Dr. Dan Seigel's video explaining the benefits of mindful parenting, scientifically. He is a clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA.
Wisdom: Busy parents, slow down your rushed minds. Meditate. As your mind quietens, your mindful awareness will inspire your children to mimic calmness, resilience and compassion reflecting out through you. Try it!
3. Can mindfulness increase our resilience to stress? Dr. Richard Davidson, Neuroscientist from University of Wisconsin, explains the science of mindfulness.
Wisdom: Practicing mindfulness allows you to free yourself from the addiction of thinking. It allows you become aware of 'you are not your thoughts' and helps you expand your observing capability, to detach and act from a place of deeper wisdom. Certain forms of mindfulness meditation practices have proven to provide faster mental health recovery as it trains the brain to increase resilience towards stress.
4. Dr. Richard Davidson further explains how mindfulness practice shapes the brain
Wisdom: Focusing deep inside the centre of your forehead behind your eyes (area deep inside the prefrontal cortex) helps cut brain noise. Focusing internally on your breath awareness (throughout the brain and down to your spine and up to your nose) helps reduce stress as your body secretes tranquillising hormones helping you experience peace. You can literally train your brain to get wired for happiness through regular yoga and meditation practice.
5. Meditation is not just a placebo. In this excerpt from the documentary The Connection, which tells the stories of people adding mind-body medicine to their healing practices, Harvard neuroscientist Dr. Sarah Lazar, a molecular biologist, talks about the connection between the mind and body during meditation.
Wisdom: Meditate for healthy brain, healthy mind, healthy heart, healthy social relationships and a healthier life.