Why Meditate?

What do you think of when someone says meditation? Maybe you picture a person sitting crisscross applesauce, with their hands on their knees, chanting OM. Maybe you think of monks or others who have devoted themselves to a life of faithful practice. Or perhaps you think of someone who is completely tuned-out.

Meditation is concentration. In Sanskrit, the word is samadhi (suh-MAH-dee.) To meditate is to be still and think on something. It is the opposite of tuning out; it is a habit of intentionally focusing your mind and awareness. Mindfulness meditation is powerful. It is free, it can be learned by nearly anyone, and it can be practiced anywhere.

Meditation is powerful. Along with other practices, including asanas (or postures), breathing, and ethics, mindfulness meditation is one of the 8 limbs of yoga. Through meditation, many people have treated or reduced the effects of anxiety and stress. It can lower your allostatic and oxidative stress loads, diminish the signs of aging, and give you an overall sense of well-being. Meditation also builds neuroplasticity– or your brain’s ability to learn and adapt.

Meditation is free. Let’s face it: a clean, sustainable lifestyle filled with organic food and clothing generally costs more. Yoga, walking, sunlight, sleep, and mindfulness meditation are free. This makes them viable health benefits to nearly everyone.

Meditation is accessible. You do not need any special clothing, equipment, gear, or a specific environment to practice meditation. You can begin anywhere, any time. Mindfulness practices are safe for people of different ages and abilities. And perhaps the most significant facet of mindfulness meditation is that it gives truly different people a common bond.

Sarah teaches mindfulness meditation for stress reduction and chronic pain.

You Are What You Think

Why have my workouts plateaued?
If the surgery was a success, then why am I still in pain?
I moved on, so why does thinking about my former job still upset me?

Have you ever wondered how individual components of your life fit together?

Professionally, intellectually, emotionally, physically, and spiritually YOU are a complex being made up of trillions of specialized cells that work together to perform intricate and sophisticated processes– all day, every day. Even while you sleep!

When our systems are not balanced, cells are affected — in supply, in form, or in function. Dispropriation at the cellular level can set off a physiological chain reaction affecting our tissues, which can upset our organs, which can disturb our body’s systems until eventually we can even experience dysfunction or disease.

But when our systems are in a state of balance, our brains are better able to build neuroplasticity– growing and adapting appropriately to the stimuli around us. We feel energized to do the things we love and expect that we are able to do those things. We are hopeful and feel confident that we have the tools to prosper.

No longer threatened, we no longer react. Instead, we can aptly respond to everything that comes our way. In full belief that all things are working together for our good, we are released from haywire defense mechanisms.

Crosswork is a conscious, intentional shift in the ordering of our thoughts and habits. Simply put, crosswork is a lifestyle of mindfulness.