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Meditation in Nature
Local
Published Wednesday May 22, 2019 by Lydia Cardona

6 Meditation Myths, Busted

Meditation
Personal Growth

With the stresses and strains of everyday life, finding time to unwind can seem almost impossible. In fact, the Wellness Index from Mindbody found that downtime takes a back seat for many of us— with the UK getting fewer than nine hours of headspace per week and one in five people stating that they are “not content” with the state of their current mental health.

“While we might feel that we don’t have time to meditate (or we’re intimidated because we don’t know how), the reality is that everyone can find some time for mindfulness through meditation,” says Charlotte Newton, Senior Manager EMEA Marketing. “What’s more, it’s not all about mantras, lotus positions and long periods of concentration—it can be super simple and there’s a style that can work for anyone. “
 
We've put together a no-nonsense, myth-busting meditation guide for first-timers!

Meditation comes in many forms.

Any activity that gets you to focus and allows the subconscious to let go can be meditative, like colouring, drawing, or even cooking! Illustrator and keen yogi Kate Phillipson launched Yoga Life Drawing to fuse her two passions: yoga and art.  She explains that drawing, like yoga, is a moving meditation and a great way to unlock creativity. Try tapping into this type of meditation with Kate, who will be hosting Yoga Life Drawing workshops this month!

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Meditation comes in many forms.

Any activity that gets you to focus and allows the subconscious to let go can be meditative, like colouring, drawing, or even cooking! Illustrator and keen yogi Kate Phillipson launched Yoga Life Drawing to fuse her two passions: yoga and art.  She explains that drawing, like yoga, is a moving meditation and a great way to unlock creativity. Try tapping into this type of meditation with Kate, who will be hosting Yoga Life Drawing workshops this month!

You don’t have to sit in a cross-legged position.

Meditation is about being comfortable, so if this means you are most relaxed propped up or sat on a cushion, then so be it. The traditional cross-legged Lotus Position is considered the best pose for meditation, as it places all the primary Chakra energy centres in alignment, making spiritual perception and operation easier. However, it isn’t a necessary meditative position and isn’t accessible to everyone (it requires open hips and a lot of practice). So, instead of battling with this particular pose, find peace in a comfier position and make use of tools, like a yoga block, blanket, or meditation cushion.

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You don’t have to sit in a cross-legged position.

Meditation is about being comfortable, so if this means you are most relaxed propped up or sat on a cushion, then so be it. The traditional cross-legged Lotus Position is considered the best pose for meditation, as it places all the primary Chakra energy centres in alignment, making spiritual perception and operation easier. However, it isn’t a necessary meditative position and isn’t accessible to everyone (it requires open hips and a lot of practice). So, instead of battling with this particular pose, find peace in a comfier position and make use of tools, like a yoga block, blanket, or meditation cushion.

Meditation doesn’t have to take years of dedicated practise.

Meditation isn’t about achieving total perfection. Like anything, regular practise helps you to improve and means you’ll learn more, but the benefits of meditation can be almost immediate. A study led by Harvard University found that as little as eight weeks of meditation helped people experience decreased anxiety and improved stress regulation. With Mindbody’s Wellness Index revealing that 24% of U.K. adults are ‘always’ or ‘regularly’ stressed/anxious daily, research like this is promising.

“At the end of every day take five minutes to reflect, think about the day and what made you happy; whether it was a beautiful sunrise, a great workout, or dinner with your family,” says Catie Miller, founder of Xtend Barre. “ Remember those things and be grateful for them.”

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Meditation doesn’t have to take years of dedicated practise.

Meditation isn’t about achieving total perfection. Like anything, regular practise helps you to improve and means you’ll learn more, but the benefits of meditation can be almost immediate. A study led by Harvard University found that as little as eight weeks of meditation helped people experience decreased anxiety and improved stress regulation. With Mindbody’s Wellness Index revealing that 24% of U.K. adults are ‘always’ or ‘regularly’ stressed/anxious daily, research like this is promising.

“At the end of every day take five minutes to reflect, think about the day and what made you happy; whether it was a beautiful sunrise, a great workout, or dinner with your family,” says Catie Miller, founder of Xtend Barre. “ Remember those things and be grateful for them.”

You can meditate anywhere.

It’s a common misconception that you need to create a sacred and special environment to meditate effectively. Whether it’s at your desk, in the supermarket or on the tube, you can observe and focus on the breath to feel the immediate effects of meditation anywhere. Whilst it’s best to meditate in a clean and clutter-free environment, if you feel your emotions start to get on top of you, pay attention to your breathing for five minutes and focus on it entering and leaving your body.

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You can meditate anywhere.

It’s a common misconception that you need to create a sacred and special environment to meditate effectively. Whether it’s at your desk, in the supermarket or on the tube, you can observe and focus on the breath to feel the immediate effects of meditation anywhere. Whilst it’s best to meditate in a clean and clutter-free environment, if you feel your emotions start to get on top of you, pay attention to your breathing for five minutes and focus on it entering and leaving your body.

You don’t have to ban distractions—including technology—when you practise.

Many apps and online programs have actually helped bring meditation into the mainstream; technology like Muse and apps such as Headspace have guided users through focused meditation and can be a practical way to find your zen. If you find you are distracted by something in the room, don’t rush to block it out. Simply acknowledge the distraction before bringing your attention back to the breath. If you try and eliminate every single thought that pops into your head, you’ll just end up frustrated.

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You don’t have to ban distractions—including technology—when you practise.

Many apps and online programs have actually helped bring meditation into the mainstream; technology like Muse and apps such as Headspace have guided users through focused meditation and can be a practical way to find your zen. If you find you are distracted by something in the room, don’t rush to block it out. Simply acknowledge the distraction before bringing your attention back to the breath. If you try and eliminate every single thought that pops into your head, you’ll just end up frustrated.

If you think you don’t have time to meditate, think again!

With common benefits including improved concentration and decreased blood pressure, meditation is definitely worth your time—as limited as it may be. Even just five minutes in the morning can be enough to set you up for a more productive and positive day. Focusing on the present moment also means that you’re not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, so you can focus on the ‘right now’ and make the most of your day.

“I make time to move and have a daily yoga practise. Even if it’s just five minutes of sun salutations on a hotel room floor at 5 am before a busy day,”  says Leon Taylor, yoga teacher, mentor, and Olympic medallist. “Keeping my morning routine consistent keeps me grounded when things are busy and challenging.”

Want to dive deeper into your practice? Download the Mindbody app to explore meditation classes near you! 

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If you think you don’t have time to meditate, think again!

With common benefits including improved concentration and decreased blood pressure, meditation is definitely worth your time—as limited as it may be. Even just five minutes in the morning can be enough to set you up for a more productive and positive day. Focusing on the present moment also means that you’re not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, so you can focus on the ‘right now’ and make the most of your day.

“I make time to move and have a daily yoga practise. Even if it’s just five minutes of sun salutations on a hotel room floor at 5 am before a busy day,”  says Leon Taylor, yoga teacher, mentor, and Olympic medallist. “Keeping my morning routine consistent keeps me grounded when things are busy and challenging.”

Want to dive deeper into your practice? Download the Mindbody app to explore meditation classes near you! 

Lydia Cardona
Written by
Lydia Cardona
PR and Content Specialist, EMEA Marketing
About the author
A self-confessed exercise and sports junkie, Lydia made the transition from fashion to wellness, handling media relations in the U.K. In her spare time, you'll most likely find her hitting up a MINDBODY studio, shopping for houseplants, or walking the family Pomchi.
surfer catching wave in ocean olympics
Fitness
Published Friday Jul 23, 2021 by Bailey Clark

Why I’m Stoked Surfing Will Debut in the Olympics

Fitness

For the first time ever, the globe will be watching surfing take center stage at the 2020 (postponed to July 2021) Olympics. People from all over the world will be appreciating the sport, many for the first time.

This symbolizes the surfing community breaking through centuries of negative stereotypes. Though conditions play a big part in the sport, the biggest hurdle the athletes will have to overcome to see success is mental. The winner will be the one who chooses their waves wisely with their understanding of the conditions and ability to intimidate and therefore overcome components. Meanwhile, they will be challenging themselves to emerge from crashing barrels, fly into the air, and land on the shifting surface gracefully. No big deal. 

You’ve probably heard the invention of a wave pool, which creates the perfect man-made wave. In 2007, Kelly Slater founded his wave company with a passion to build the perfectly rideable wave at his surf ranch. It was debated whether the Olympics should be held in the ocean or on a manufactured wave, with many differing opinions on what would be right. The decision was made, and the event will take place in the sea, at Tsurigasaki Beach in Japan, about 40 miles east of Tokyo, where the rest of the 2021 games will be hosted.

As you watch, take a moment to reflect on the century of effort for this to happen. This initiative can be traced all the way back to the 1912 summer games that took place in Stockholm. Duke Kahanamoku, known as the father of modern surfing, won three gold medals in swimming, and while accepting his medal, he expressed that it was his dream to see surfing be added. To add fuel to the fire, International Surfing Association, recognized as the surfing world's governing authority by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), began lobbying for the inclusion of surfing in the Olympics in 1955.

The magic of surfing

Surfing is a multidimensional sport unlike any other. Nothing compares to paddling out to the serene silence that awaits beyond the breaking waves. Once you get out there, you immediately escape the many annoyances ingrained in everyday life—the constant notifications on your phone and laptop, your back-to-back schedule, answering to other people. You’re no longer on the time that your watch reads, you’re on mother nature’s time. You’re also no longer in control of your surroundings. Now, all you can do is surrender and wait for the next set to come, while trying to position yourself for when it does.

The high from catching the perfect wave is so addicting that surfers would fail on one hundred in a row just to catch that one. After you catch that perfect one, you replay it in your mind for the rest of the day.

A successful session is reliant on so many factors of mother nature—a force way bigger than us. For ideal conditions to exist, a good-sized swell must approach from the right direction, the wind must be flowing offshore, and you have to time your session right with the ebb and flow of the tide.

The sport is always teaching you life lessons. It is humbling, even if you’ve been practicing it for many years. One reason why it takes so long to master is that the conditions are going to be different every time you get out there. You might have caught a million yesterday, but today makes you feel like a kook because you can’t land one decent wave.

The community of people that you become a part of when you surf is special. A shared obsession with the ocean that brings you to dive into the water at dawn to get a session in bonds you quick. When you’re out there, you’ll find yourself interacting with people of all ages and backgrounds. People enjoy sharing the stoke of the sport. When you see someone out there teaching somebody new, you’ll encounter them cheering at the top of their lungs when they catch a good wave, and as you look around, you’ll see smiles all across the lineup. The other day, I caught a long wave in to be met with a cheering crowd of locals who frequent the spot that I do. When I got to shore, a local showed me their secret stash of hot packs to access in case I, or someone else, gets stung by a stingray when they aren’t around.

Being out in the ocean and abiding by her rules gives surfers a deep love and connection to nature. It’s common to see sea animals out there, like dolphins, stingrays, and fish. When you have an encounter, it’s a reminder that we are invading their territory. It sucks when you see trash floating in the water, or on the sand in its route to the water. It’s a sad reminder of the negative impact that humans can have on natural environments. It inspires you to pick up trash and advocate for sustainability so that we, as a collective, can take care of the beauty that we are lucky to have access to.

Tune in to see surfing break into the biggest international sporting event in the world beginning on Saturday, July 24th. 

Check out these surf classes on the Mindbody App

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About the author
Bailey Clark is a serial optimist whose passion for marketing lies within creating authentic connections to make the world happier and healthier. As a San Diego native, her favorite pastimes are surfing, F45, practicing yoga, meditation, and really any opportunity to soak up the sun.