Making Meditation Mainstream
In the Seventies-set movie, “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” main character, Ron Burgundy, takes up the new fad of jogging. His friends thought he was crazy. There was once a time when everyone would ask, “Where’s the fire?” at the sight of someone running past. Decades later, taking a jog is a perfectly acceptable way to exercise. These days, meditation is listed as part of the wellness bandwagon taking over our inbox, but it won’t be truly accepted as mainstream until every yoga studio and gym puts a meditation class on their schedules.
Just like jogging, science has backed up all the health claims for meditation, proving it to be fitness for the brain.
There are over 3,000 scientific studies proving meditation is good for us. There are too many to list here, but the following life enhancing benefits would be more than enticing to any fitness club member who is interested in health, beauty and longevity. Among them: increased vitality, lower blood pressure, increase in the anti-aging enzyme Telomerase, growth in the thickness of the pre-frontal cortex, increased immunity, lower heart rate, strengthening of neural connections, better sleep, and boosts to relaxation and happiness. Meditation is flexing the brain like a muscle that gets stronger with use.
Alan Watts, Western philosopher and author of The Way of Zen wrote, “If you can’t meditate in a boiler room, you can’t meditate.”
Not many are comfortable entering a Zen center or ashram to try meditation. Classes need to be more accessible for the average person. A place where it doesn’t matter what your beliefs are or what you wear. Meditation is for everyone and everyone can do it, even the type-A gym junkie.
All yoga classes give that extra element of inner peace, but clients may need additional stress relief at other times too. According to the American Institute of Stress, numerous emotional and physical ailments are linked to stress. Even the fittest and most flexible amongst us may be suffering from anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, or headaches and skin conditions to name just a few stress-related disorders. Unfortunately, the endorphin high doesn’t last very long for the type-A gym junkie. Stress starts to build as immediately as trying to find the car keys in the bottom of the gym bag while the phone is ringing.