Today we’re diving deeper into meditation resources, one of the parasympathetic training methods for your body and mind. I’ve included some local resources, but also information and tools you can use anywhere. Best of all, while intimidating for some beginners, meditation can easily be done on your own with a little practice.
Mounting evidence shows the negative effects of living in a constant state of stress. High blood pressure, digestive problems, inflammation, autoimmune disease and cancer have all been linked to sympathetic dominance. That’s why it is vitally important that you set aside time for your body to rest and repair. Here are some ideas to get you started with meditation:
The easiest meditation method for beginners is through a guided session. Just search for guided meditation on YouTube, then choose the session that appeals most to you. There are sessions with a variety of focuses, like deep relaxation, detachment from over-thinking, aura cleansing, and trusting your intuition.
Downloading an app to your phone is an easy way to access meditation on-the-go. Here are some of the top meditation apps right now:
Stop, Breathe & Think
Some people find walking meditation more approachable and less daunting than seated meditation. Walking meditation, or mindful walking, is the practice of bringing more awareness to the everyday activity of walking. A meditative walk is typically done at a slower pace, and usually includes conscious breathing or another tool for focusing attention. This Ultimate Guide to Walking Meditation recommends getting started in your own backyard.
Labyrinths provide a set path for meditative movement. These spiral courses are often found in hospital gardens, parks, churches, and other community areas as a source of calm and relaxation. Labyrinths are created with only one route and no wrong turns. This allows the mind to become still, eliminating any need for decision-making. The labyrinth is an ancient symbol that has been around for over 4,000 years, and shows up in Greek, Roman, and Scandinavian history. Iowa Holistic Resources has a directory of all the labyrinths in the state, or you can use this world-wide labyrinth locator to find the labyrinth closest to you.
There are several groups in the Des Moines area that can serve as a meditation resource. Meditation Around Town provides a monthly guided meditation session in a unique location around the city. Sessions are free and open to the public. The Des Moines Zen Center is another resource meditation, offering an option for sitting meditation twice a week.
Flotation therapy is becoming increasingly popular across the country. Flotation therapy involves a tank filled with skin-temperature water and enough Epsom salt to allow a person to float. The room is sound-proof, the light in the tank can be turned off, and the effects of gravity have been removed, eliminating virtually all physical stimulation. Also known as a sensory deprivation tank or isolation tank, floatation tanks can facilitate meditation, rest, healing and relaxation. According to Fadeaway Flotation Center in West Des Moines, “Our bodies have spent millions of years learning how to take care of themselves, and the float tank simply provides the optimum environment with which to do so.”