Gyrification and Other Reasons to Try Meditation

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Something that only spiritual and religious people do?

What’s the deal?

I’m too busy?

I don’t know where to start?

That just seems boring!

I have more important things to do, than sit still and pray!

I don’t need to, I’m fine thanks!


These are all statements I’ve said in the past about meditation before I connected with it. I didn’t understand meditation and to be honest I was so sceptical of it, I mean you just sat there still doing nothing, what on earth could that doIt was just ‘woo woo’ for hippies and religious people praying. It gave me no appeal and really what benefits could there possibly be sitting crossed legged! Plus I never like sitting cross legged; it was uncomfortable in my hips.

I’m so happy I finally tried it. I’m so happy now it’s part of my daily routine. It’s expanded my life and after 2 years practice and for the last 6 months twice a day I feel its benefits in my body, mind and life. So what changed for me to praise and advocate for its daily use for all?

I’d been doing physical yoga weekly for about  17 years and then daily for the last 3 years, I think where it shifted when I became more conscious of my body on a daily level, I started to care more about myself and have self-love for my whole being. I was on my 3rd yoga training with Tara Stiles at Strala NYC and we had a guest teacher come in and guide us meditation in the easiest going way... I had never felt so relaxed before during and after meditation and I had to learn more. Her name is Kayleigh Please and she guides and teaches yoga and meditation in NYC too. She gave us the science behind meditation and broke it down so simplistically I am truly converted for life. So much so that I really notice in my body mind and spirit when I don’t do daily, I begin to get agitated, I suffer from anxiety and so this becomes apparent in my mind and body if I don’t meditate, we all know those sweaty palm, itchy feet butterflies in the tummy uncomfortable feelings. Well meditation helps me relax fully to help me manage my daily 1st world life.

 

Here are the benefits and science of a daily meditation practice:

Brain Function – meditation increases whole brain functioning by synchronizing the left and right hemispheres of the brain while increasing balance so amplitude in alpha, theta and delta brainwave patterns.

Gyrification also known as cortical folding – MRI scans have shown that meditation increases gyrification which allows the brain to process information faster. This extent of gyrifictaion is highly implicated as being positively related to intelligence.

Focus – meditation improves focus by causing an increase in cortical thickness in regions of the brain responsible for attention.

Mood – meditation increases both dopamine and serotonin levels by stimulating regions of the brain associated with happiness and positivity.

Stress Reduction – meditation decreases stress and anxiety by downregulating cortisol and adrenalin, creating a state of deep relaxation, in which our breathing, pulse rate, blood pressure and metabolism are decreased.

Cognition – meditation improves cognitive function, mindfulness and the ability to sustain function, by increasing grey matter, brain volume and cerebral blood flow.

 

It truly has helped me manage my life better. A once in a while practice has now turned into a twice daily 20 minute practice that has expanded my life into the stratosphere! I'm calmer and less likely to react with hostility and aggression when I feel challenged. I'm more creative in so many ways, writing, drawing, acting, advocacy, thinking outside the box to solve issues that arise. I’m the coach and cheerleader to all my friends and seem to have so much more space and time to be there for both myself and everyone else.

My connection to other humans is kinder, more aware and empathetic to them and their needs. I have a deep renewed enjoyable spiritual practice, and I don't mean religion, I mean spirit and nature and the universe. I've returned to tarot reading and learning more about the earth and all its inhabitants, plants, minerals and living beings. I feel truly connected pretty much most of the time.

My relationships with people have changed, I'm more patient with people, I care more about people and I praise and encourage people on a whole new holistic level.  It’s a daily practice and some days it feels the best and other times my mind loops and loops, but I continue without judgement on myself.

I’ve made a commitment to myself to live my best life and that includes meditation, with that has come great abundance throughout my whole life. And the best thing is that everyone can tap into this abundance of the universe by connecting with your true nature through meditation, ease and flow state.

I'm building a business on sustainability called English Nature Girl, 3 years ago I could not even imagine being a girl-boss, but now the possibilities seem limitless and endless of what I can achieve and I really believe it stems from the daily meditation practice.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on meditation too. Everyone is welcome to this life of grace, ease abundance and daily bliss through finding presence and full consciousness and awareness.

Happy high vibes to you all

Sam x


Inspiration:

Gabrielle Bernstein's Lightworker Meditation

Deepak Chopra's Living Carefree Meditation

 

About the author

Sam Wells' passion is helping people find their true natural radiant and healthy self. She's an international Strala yoga and meditation guide supporting people from around the world feel their best. Check out her work.

 

Author Q&A:

  • What’s your astro sign?: Pisces Sun, Rising Libra, Moon Capricorn
  • What’s your favourite wellness practice in 3 words or less?: Strala, it's easy!
  • What inspires you right now?: Animals and Nature, how it moves, flows and blooms without struggle
  • What tarot card, crystal, song or animal speaks to you right now: The Star tarot card. I found one on the floor walking my dog just when I needed it.