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byronsignI’m usually cagey about what I consider ‘new age’ habits but the age old art of meditation has benefits for even such jaded old pessimists as myself. I visited Byron Bay again just recently and I think their welcome sign reminds us all that it’s important to slow down and chill out. Meditation is defined as the practice of concentrated focus upon the breath, visualisation or sound or movement in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance personal and spiritual growth. (See Doesn’t sound that bad right?

Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra is a type of guided meditation that, for those of you embarking on meditation practice for the first time, might find helpful. Unlike other forms of yoga that can be daunting for beginners, Yoga Nidra is practiced in a lying position – shavasana – and is accessible to everyone. This powerful meditation practice takes you through the five layers of self leaving you with a feeling of wholeness.

Reasons to practice Meditation or Yoga Nidra

1. Breath

There are often times during the day where we get caught up and forget to breathe. Stress and anxiety levels increase as our breath shallows. We can all benefit from being reminded how to breathe properly and deeply and how this simple daily activity effects other actions in our life.

2. Think clearly

Many people think that meditation is about emptying your mind of thought but it actually can be about freeing your mind from less important thoughts and creating a space where you can think clearly about important things and let good ideas and positive thoughts float to the surface.

3. Learn about yourself

During meditation practice you are able to experience an emotion and come “face to face” with what you want to overcome, without “diving into it” completely—meaning without feeling the emotion so completely that you become overwhelmed.

4. De-Stress

Most meditation emphasizes time out of your daily schedule as an opportunity to reduce stress. The stages of body scan through Yoga Nidra practice and breath awareness alone can be practiced to calm the nervous system, leading to less stress and better health.

5. Do it any-time and you don’t make mistakes

Anyone can take 15mins out of their day and lie on the couch. You can try an focus on your breath and let thoughts come and go and jsut see what happens!

If you’d like a bit of help to get started, Hiscoes is now offering Yoga Nidra Classes on Wednesdays at 8.30pm. Check out our latest timetable.