Meditation Comes in Many Forms

Posted on 4 May 2016 @ 7:12pm

I was talking with one of my amazing clients last week about the benefits of meditation and I was reminded of the “Life Pyramid” in Life Nourishing Principles class in Chinese Medicine School (which looks an awful lot like the food pyramid that we all learned about as children). The primary principles behind the Life Pyramid include “daily physical exercise and an awareness practice”. 

I place great importance on this foundation, since exercise and awareness practices are often overlooked as our lifestyles have become increasingly more sedentary. Out of every stress relief technique I’ve tried over the years, I have not found a single greater release than rigorous physical exercise!

Don’t get me wrong … I thoroughly enjoy a good yoga class or some sitting/standing meditation, but nothing puts me more in the zone than pushing myself physically in sports and at the gym. I think the importance of hard physical exercise is often overlooked within the city lifestyle. I see this a lot in my practice.

People these days tend to be very busy and have a lot of demands on their time (like errands that take forever when driving around the city). For these reasons it can be difficult to schedule exercise into our days. That’s why I think it’s more important than ever to do so.

There are so many amazing benefits that come from engaging in regular, strenuous physical exercise. For me personally, it keeps my stress level down, keeps me fit, increases my focus and attention span, increases my energy levels and helps me sleep better. Honestly it helps me in every possible way I can think of!

If you’re already very active, then I applaud you to keep going. If you’re not yet active, then I encourage you to start.

Although you might not be into extreme sports (like I am), that’s perfectly fine. The beauty of sports and exercise are they come in so many forms. Everyone enjoys different forms of exercise and I think it’s important for you to find a type of exercise that excites you while keeping you active.

Along with that, an awareness practice is also essential to our overall health and wellbeing. As the name suggests, a consistent awareness practice brings more awareness and presence into our lives. And having presence brings “presents” into our day-to-day lives (and who doesn’t like presents!). For example, by being in the moment we are able to seize opportunities as they come our way, while handling challenges with poise and grace. Having an awareness practice relieves and focuses the mind, increases intuition, and enhances understanding. An awareness practice allows us to stay centered and focused within the busy world that surrounds us.

There is no “formula” to an awareness practice, as this is unique to everyone (like a blueprint). Some may meditate, some may have a yoga practice, some may like to paint or draw. Others may read or write (or both), run or swim, climb mountains or ride down them! My point is that an awareness practice can come in various forms and may change during different periods of your life to suit you during that time. There is no right or wrong way, no one path to follow. Everyone has a different path in life and it’s up to you to find what works for you!

Spring is a fantastic time to make positive changes in our lives, while transforming old habits and patterns to new, healthier ones. It’s all about growth and new beginnings, so I encourage you to harness the energy of spring and invite more exercise, awareness and presence into your life.