Holistic wellness and meditation are not entirely new concepts in India. Mythology talks about Lord Shiva meditating on Mount Kailash. The apsara Menaka trying to distract sage Vishvamitra from his meditation is yet another famous story. Meditation has been practised in the country for centuries, but very few people are aware of its true benefits. Let’s try and understand what holistic wellness is and how meditation forms an integral part of it.
Wellness is defined as the state of being healthy and emotionally balanced. Holistic refers to ‘the whole’ that includes different aspects of wellbeing: emotional, physical, spiritual, occupational, social and intellectual. In short, it means leading a balanced lifestyle. Some of the ways to ensure holistic wellness include:
• Meditating regularly
• Exercising everyday
• Eating healthy and nutritious food
• Leading an active lifestyle
• Reducing stress levels
In an increasingly hectic world, holistic wellness has found many takers for its stress management techniques. Meditation forms a vital cog in holistic wellness. It is the practice of focusing attention on an object, thought or activity, to achieve a state of peace and calm. This stress-relieving technique helps a person relax, which is important in today’s fast-paced world. It facilitates healing on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels, thus helping improve overall health as well. Meditation can be a helpful tool in fighting chronic illnesses, depression, heart diseases, and chronic pain.
One of the reasons why meditation is becoming so popular is because it’s so versatile. There are various types, right from transcendental meditation to vipassana. Each technique has its own unique set of advantages. The style of meditation depends on the individual’s preference and the issue that needs to be addressed.
An interesting aspect of meditation is that it not only helps adults but is amazing for children as well. It is particularly effective in school children who undergo a lot of stress. A study by the University of California showed that students who meditated regularly demonstrated improved behaviour than those who did not. They were more creative, could concentrate better and were less stressed. Their sense of self-awareness was strong, and they also interacted better with their peers. Kids who practice yoga and breathing have also been seen to develop an ability to be mindful and calm.