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I decided to take up some form of relaxation (I've tried Qi Gong, Tai Chi, and meditation) to help me sleep. I tend to usually be "tired but wired", so even though I'm tired, I can't fall asleep because my brain is still clicking along at top speed. Generally, lack of sleep affects my memory, my ability to concentrate, my heart rate (higher if I didn't sleep well), and my eating habits.
When I visited the Red Mountain Spa (St George, UT) this summer, I took a class called "Successful Meditation. " In this class, the instructor took is through several different meditation techniques (and provided a CD that included a guided meditation from each technique). I did find it relaxing and practiced these exercises for a couple of weeks.It did help me fall asleep more quickly.
However, I am finding more success with Tai Chi. I'm taking a meditative style of Tai Chi (as opposed to a martial arts style) and learning the Yang-family short form. The owner of the company that provides these classes describes Tai Chi as "meditation in motion" or "moving below the speed of habit.
" I find it difficult to really think about anything else when the entire form concentrates on moving with your breath and you really need to focus on it. It's very similar to the meditation technique that involes concentrating on something within the body, like the breath or the energy flowing between two fingers touching.As far as the benefits I've experienced, I sleep longer on most days (because I fall asleep faster and get up at the same time). I take a lot more notice of my posture and my level of tension/stress all the time, and feel more relaxed overall.
I've also lost 33 pounds. I'm not going to say that's due to the meditation / Tai Chi, but feeling more relaxed does help me avoid sweets (my go-to when I'm feeling pressured). Learning to relax is just one prong of my current plan.
There are so many health benefits to practicing meditation. Through the heart rhythm mediation, you may become more conscious of your heartbeat and your breathing. Regular practice of this meditation can lengthen your life, and heart rhythm meditation is very effective in healing the body and mind.
Meditation is now a trusted treatment for patients of hypertension & widely advised by doctors.
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