100 Reasons To Meditate
Still making excuses as to why you don’t have time in your schedule to meditate?
Just as we spend time strengthening and detoxifying the physical body through eating healthy, whole foods and engage in regular and intense physical exercise it is equally critical to develop a strong and detoxified energy body.
Our personal energy bodies consist of the electromagnetic field that surrounds us which communicates with the energies of all living things including people, the food we choose to eat and our environment. The electromagnetic field also communicates with the 72,000 energy channels throughout our body as well as the seven main energy centers, or chakras.
I could blab on about this all day but why do that when we can do this:
1- It lowers oxygen consumption.
2- It decreases respiratory rate.
3- It increases blood flow and slows the heart rate.
4- Increases exercise tolerance.
5- Leads to a deeper level of physical relaxation.
6- Good for people with high blood pressure.
7- Reduces anxiety attacks by lowering the levels of blood lactate.
8- Decreases muscle tension
9- Helps in chronic diseases like allergies, arthritis etc.
10- Reduces Pre-menstrual Syndrome symptoms.
11- Helps in post-operative healing.
12- Enhances the immune system.
13- Reduces activity of viruses and emotional distress
14- Enhances energy, strength and vigour.
15- Helps with weight loss
16- Reduction of free radicals, less tissue damage
17- Higher skin resistance
18- Drop in cholesterol levels, lowers risk of cardiovascular disease.
19- Improved flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing.
20- Decreases the aging process.
21- Higher levels of DHEAS (Dehydroepiandrosterone)
22- prevented, slowed or controlled pain of chronic diseases
23- Makes you sweat less
24- Cure headaches & migraines
25- Greater Orderliness of Brain Functioning
26- Reduced Need for Medical Care
27- Less energy wasted
28- More inclined to sports, activities
29- Significant relief from asthma
30- improved performance in athletic events
31- Normalizes to your ideal weight
32- harmonizes our endocrine system
33- relaxes our nervous system
34- produce lasting beneficial changes in brain electrical activity
35- Cure infertility (the stresses of infertility can interfere with the release of hormones that regulate ovulation).
36- Builds self-confidence.
37- Increases serotonin level, influences mood and behaviour.
38- Resolve phobias & fears
39- Helps control own thoughts
40- Helps with focus & concentration
41- Increase creativity
42- Increased brain wave coherence.
43- Improved learning ability and memory.
44- Increased feelings of vitality and rejuvenation.
45- Increased emotional stability.
46- improved relationships
47- Mind ages at slower rate
48- Easier to remove bad habits
49- Develops intuition
50- Increased Productivity
51- Improved relations at home & at work
52- Able to see the larger picture in a given situation
53- Helps ignore petty issues
54- Increased ability to solve complex problems
55- Purifies your character
56- Develop will power
57- greater communication between the two brain hemispheres
58- react more quickly and more effectively to a stressful event.
59- increases one’s perceptual ability and motor performance
60- higher intelligence growth rate
61- Increased job satisfaction
62- increase in the capacity for intimate contact with loved ones
63- decrease in potential mental illness
64- Better, more sociable behaviour
65- Less aggressiveness
66- Helps in quitting smoking, alcohol addiction
67- Reduces need and dependency on drugs, pills & pharmaceuticals
68- Need less sleep to recover from sleep deprivation
69- Require less time to fall asleep, helps cure insomnia
70- Increases sense of responsibility
71- Reduces road rage
72- Decrease in restless thinking
73- Decreased tendency to worry
74- Increases listening skills and empathy
75- Helps make more accurate judgements
76- Greater tolerance
77- Gives composure to act in considered & constructive ways
78- Grows a stable, more balanced personality
79- Develops emotional maturity
80- Helps keep things in perspective
81- Provides peace of mind, happiness
82- Helps you discover your purpose
83- Increased self-actualization.
84- Increased compassion
85- Growing wisdom
86- Deeper understanding of yourself and others
87- Brings body, mind, spirit in harmony
88- Deeper Level of spiritual relaxation
89- Increased acceptance of oneself
90- helps learn forgiveness
91- Changes attitude toward life
92- Creates a deeper relationship with your God
93- Attain enlightenment
94- greater inner-directedness
95- Helps living in the present moment
96- Creates a widening, deepening capacity for love
97- Discovery of the power and consciousness beyond the ego
98- Experience an inner sense of “Assurance or Knowingness”
99- Experience a sense of “Oneness”
100- Increases the synchronicity in your life
(list source: ineedmotivation.com, image: flickr)
The start to a new week can often be challenging and stressful. We tend to create impossible expectations of ourselves such as starting our clean eating after what could have been a messy weekend or feeling the need to stick to our training schedules with vigor so as to ‘start the week off right.’
This creates a lot of stress and unnecessary pressure and even though we are engaging in ‘healthy’ activities, this way of living and stressing ourselves out is anything but healthy.
For days like this, it is imperative to turn to other forms of de-stressing ourselves and reconnecting. My favourite way to do this is with a deep and connected yoga practice.
Whether you make it to a class or aim to do your own practice at home, connecting to your body through yoga will help you to unburden yourself from stress and the expectations that you are putting on yourself.
Yoga To Heal and Awaken Your Heart
As humans living on this planet, we cannot help but be affected by what is occurring in nature all around us. Spring is in full swing, flowers are blooming, bees are buzzing and mother birds are getting prepared to birth.
There is more light and thus more openness all around us. During the Spring, it is important to harness this energy to support our own inner opening.
We have all experienced immense pain in our lives some of which remains unhealed in our heart. To facilitate healing and flow to our heart chakras we must let go of this pain so that our energy may open once again.
This practice will soothe your heart and help the process of release to take place so that energy, creativity and abundance may flow more naturally to you and within you.
This practice must be done on an empty stomach and preferably during the spring or summer seasons when the body is exposed to more light.
I usually start with my LOVE MEDITATION
With each of these poses, practice consciously bringing your energy and breath to your heart space and envisioning a bright green energy surrounding your heart which gets brighter with each breath.
Advanced practitioners, contract your bandhas and maintain ujaay breath throughout.
warm the body
5-10 Sun Salutations Ashtanga Style
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) - Hold for 10 breaths and repeat 3 times. Broaden your shoulders and use the strength of your back rather than your hands.
Natrajasana (Dancer’s Pose) - Hold for 10 breaths on each side. Stand on your right leg, rooting down, and hold the top of your left foot with your left hand. lengthen from your torso tucking your ribs in and raise your right hand. As you kick into your left hand, tip your body forward stretching your heart space. Balance here and repeat on the left side.
Ustrasana (Camel Pose) - Hold for 10 breaths and repeat 2 times. Come to standing on your knees. Support your lower back with your palms and lengthen your torso. Inhale and as you exhale lift your heart into a back bend. You may reach to grab your heels with your hands or remain with your hands supporting your back.
Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Facing Bow/Wheel Pose) - Hold for 10-15 breaths and repeat 3 times *beginners may practice bridge pose.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) - Repeat this pose but this time, start by simply flowing up and down and then climax with a hold for 10-15 breaths.
Balasana (Child’s Pose) - 10-15 Breaths.
Rest in Savasana for 5-10 minutes
Come to seated after the flow, placing your left hand on your heart and your right hand over top of the left. Envision a pure white energy entering through your crown soothing and healing anything that is left in your heart space. Repeat the mantra YAM the same way you would say OM so inhale deeply then release the mantra Yaaaaaah Mmmmm.
You may repeat this mantra several times before coming to stillness and completing your practice.
Full Moon Releasing Meditation
Yesterday’s LEO Pink Full Moon officially marked true Spring as it was once defined by tribes around the world.
For those of you carrying any heavy burdens from the winter or any energies, emotions, fears or things that are preventing you from moving forward in life, this is your opportunity to release them supported by the energies of the waning Pink Moon.
Zain’s Releasing Full Moon Meditation
*You may practice this for ANY full moon either on the day of the moon or up to two days after
1. Sit tall, spine erect, eyes closed and begin to focus on your breath. *I prefer to do this under the moonlight if possible.
2. As you breathe, experience the cooling energy at the base of your spine. As you breathe, Allow that cool, lunar, feminine energy to rise with each inhale as it begins to spread into all of the energetic regions of your body.
3. Bring to mind something you are working to overcome. This could be anything that you are battling against, a fear, a worry, a circumstance. Place this ‘thing’ upon your third eye chakra (in the center of your forehead between your eyebrows) and notice the light all around it. Now breathe the cool energy up from your spine, through your chakras and allow it to bathe whatever you have placed on your third eye.
4. Feel the power of the moonlight also bathe your third eye and support you in transforming whatever you have placed on your third eye into light energy.
5. Allow the light to circulate through you as you breathe, awakening all of your chakras and core energies. Breathe out everything you wish to release and allow it to be carried away by the light energy out of your body and energetic body.
6. Take a few moments to rest and integrate before opening your eyes.
This is an ideal practice to do before bed and you may repeat if you are trying to release more than one major thing.
Be A Warrior
One of the most valuable lessons that I have learned (finally) is to learn to be a Warrior.
What does that mean? Well for me, being a Warrior is someone who lives with honour, courage and makes choices based on what she believes is in the highest truth.
It also means dawning your armour, daily. My armour is taking care of my health through consuming nutrient rich, bioavailable whole foods, training vigourously several times a week to build my physical strength, my meditation practice and prayer to build my spiritual strength, my yoga practice and energy healing to build my energetic strength and surrounding myself with a battalion of people who love me unconditionally and support my cause.
It’s no secret that life is hard. It’s no secret that maintaining a positive attitude and practicing gratitude can be challenging, especially when you are connected and sense all of the chaos, injustice and suffering around you but worrying about it does nothing to serve yourself or to serve the world.
What are the demons you are battling with right now?
Why are you holding on so tightly to them? Do they define you?
What/who is holding you back from living your highest truth?
Zain’s Find Your Warrior Spirit Practice
1. Sit tall, spine erect, eyes closed.
2. As you breathe, experience the fire in the core of your body or solar plexus (3rd chakra). Allow that fire to burn brighter with each inhale as it begins to spread into all of the energetic regions of your body.
3. Bring to mind something you are working to overcome. This could be anything that you are battling against, a fear, a worry, a circumstance. Place this ‘thing’ upon your third eye chakra (in the center of your forehead between your eyebrows) and notice the light all around it. Now breathe the fire up from your core into your third eye space and watch as this fear, worry, circumstance burns. Experience the strength of your heart.
4. You are no longer captive by this. Feel the freedom.
5. Breathe out any remaining residue of ash.
6. Now in your minds eye, take hold of a peaceful weapon. This could be a word, the image of a friend, a symbol, an image of the Divine etc. Place this into your third eye and allow the image to bring a sense of calm into your body.
7. Take a few moments to rest and integrate before opening your eyes.
Classical Yoga Sequence
5 Rounds Sun Salutation A
Warrior I Virabhadrasana I - Stand with your feet 3 ft distance, back toes point in at 45 degrees, front toes straight, right knee bent and over your ankle, spine straight, hands in prayer above your head, gaze up toward your thumbs. Draw energy from the earth and sky, feel the power in your heart as it opens. BREATH 20-25 BREATHS (repeat opposite side)
Warrior II Virabhadrasana II - Stand with your feet 4ft apart, back toes 45 degrees, front toes pont straight, knee bent over ankle, tuck in your tailbone, spine long arms stretched out at a right angle, gaze is over your middle finger of the front hand. Feel the power of your third chakra and core and you drawn energy from the earth. BREATHE 20-25 BREATHS (repeat opposite side)
Warrior III Virabhadrasana III - Stand on one leg bringing the other to 90 degrees so that you are standing in an L shape balancing on one leg. Your back leg (the one floating) and your spine should be level, ensure that your hips are level by placing your hand on your sacrum. Stretch your arms out in prayer in front of your body, gaze toward the earth. Feel the balance deep within your root chakra and the energy building in your sacral chakra as you breath. Draw balancing energy from the earth. BREATH 10-15 BREATHS (repeat on the opposite side)
Take a moment to stand in Mountain Pose and feel the strength and courage in your heart. Feel the truth in your throat and balance in your feet as they root into the earth. You are a Warrior.
Rest in Child’s Pose then take a 5 minute Savasana
Start to cultivate your inner Warrior with these practices. We need to prepare ourselves and develop true strength not fear based strength so that we can truly guide ourselves to a place of health, balance and then share our gifts and purposes to serve others.
I know this is a deep one. Message, tweet, facebook me if you have any questions.
Connecting With Mother Earth Meditation
Calling all ladies…today, I’m asking for your help.
I have come to the understanding through my healing journey, that we as women are so deeply connected to Earth energy and the dissonance that many of us experience within our spirits that manifest on the physical plane as illness, addiction, pain and so forth, is what we are actually sensing from Mother Earth.
Today, my prayer is for you all to join with me in a simple meditation to connect and honour our Earth Mother to show her all of the love, support, gratitude and devotion that we feel for her?
Earth Mother Meditation:
- Find a peaceful, space either outdoors or one well lit with natural light.
- Sit in an upright position with your spine long, place your right hand upon your heart and your left hand on your belly and begin to breathe deeply into your belly.
- When you have connected to your deep, belly breathing focus on the root chakra energy center or the perineum (space between vagina and anus to put it bluntly) and feel the energetic impact of that chakra.
- Now draw your attention to the part of your body that is connected with the ground. Envision deep roots growing from that place, planting deep within the soil, firmly to the core of the earth and notice the energetic connection of heat, light and vibration drawing into your body with every breath.
- As you inhale, draw in from the energy of Earth Mother, as you exhale, give back your pure love, energy and gratitude to Earth Mother.
- Feel your heart and body fill with healing and loving energy and feel a deep sense of compassion for the Earth and your connection to her…realize that you are one in the same.
- Feel yourself completely connected, breathing as one, realizing that the relationship is give and take and in order to find your balance, you must learn to breathe within her rhythm. Make a promise in your heart to protect her and connect with her in some way every day by taking care of yourself, thus offering your strength and protection to her.
Zain’s Yoga Bowl Breakfast
For those of you who have a morning yoga practice and are unsure of whether to eat before or not, I have the perfect solution.
Yoga is traditionally practiced on an empty stomach and some may prefer to practice this way. I used to do this for years and would often spend the last 40 minutes of practice dreaming about food and unable to really be ‘in’ my body.
This light, nutrient dense breakfast is awesome to have at least 1.5-1h before you begin your practice. It will keep you nourished and energized without making you feel like you’re going to hurl in headstand.
1/4 Cup Zain’s Best Ever Granola
1/2 Cup Zain’s Coconut Yogurt OR Fat-Free Plain Greek Yogurt
1/4 Cup Blueberries
1/2 Tsp Chia Seeds
1 Tbsp Hazelnut Butter OR Almond Butter
1/2 Scoop SUNWARRIOR Vanilla Protein Powder OR Vegan Protein of your choice (optional)
Sweetener of Your Choice (optional, I don’t sweeten mine)
1. Assemble everything into a bowl and serve.