Why Meditate & Why its good for you
(Let’s Find Out and Learn More about Guided Meditation!)
To heal is to live, to live is to love, to love is to know your true potential…
When you start your meditation journey, you will have lots of questions. Let’s have a look at three popular questions.
• Why meditate? • Why is meditation good for you? • And, why do I yawn when I meditate?
Do You Yawn During Meditation Practice? This is Why
Yawning, whether during meditation practice or in a work meeting, is a natural physiological behaviour that we have all experienced. Just about all animals also yawn. Scientists have made amazing (and surprising) discoveries about yawning. One thing we know for sure is that yawning is a completely normal and common occurrence in our meditation classes – and it isn’t because they are boring!
What Does Yawning do for the body? (In a Nutshell)
• Helps to increase alertness when doing a passive activity (i.e. work meeting, attending a lecture or even driving).
• Reduces cortisol, stress, and fatigue in the body.
• Helps us to regulate brain temperature.
• Assists with healing and diagnosing illness.
1. Brain Fluid and Increasing Alertness
According to Walusinski(*1), yawning is connected to the default-mode-network (DFN) and the attentional network in the brain. The DFN is most active when we are not paying particular attention to anything. The attentional network in the brain activates when we are focusing heavily on a task and the environment around us. Walusinski theorised that when we yawn, we activate cerebrospinal fluid which clears somnogenic purine nucleoside adenosine. We learnt a lot about adenosine when caffeine was studied. It was discovered that caffeine disrupts adenosine which, as we know delays or disrupts sleep(*2).
So, when we yawn, cerebrospinal fluid is activated and delays drowsiness(*1). We yawn before bed and when we wake because during these periods our bodies are producing higher amounts of adenosine.
This research fits with what we have seen in our meditation classes. As we find ourselves feeling more and more relaxed during meditation, our body attempts to keep us awake by yawning. Some people fall asleep during our classes. For these people, yawning has not helped to clear the adenosine in their system, and they fall asleep (which is 100% OK).
1. Why meditate?
Because healing your heart, mind, body, and soul are good for you and you deserve to be at your best.
2. Why is meditation good for you?
Meditation awakens your genetic structure, promotes healing, clears your mind and dissolves fear. P.S. Science 100% backs up the health benefits of meditation.
3. Reduce Cortisol, Stress and Fatigue in the Body
The Thompson Cortisol Hypothesis suggests that high amounts of cortisol can induce yawning(*3). Cortisol is produced in the body when we are under stress – thus why it is called the stress hormone. When we yawn, the stress and fatigue levels in the body reduce(*4). Even animals yawn when under stress. Studies found Siamese fighting fish and macaques yawn when dealing with a threat – usually from another male(*5).
When we meditate, we release stress, tension, and frustration. So, yawning while meditating is great for your health. By releasing all your negative energy, you can start to return balance to your mind and body.
4. Thermoregulation – Managing the Temperature of our Brain and Body
The brain’s temperature sits at around the same as the body temperature – 36.6 degrees (or thereabouts)(*6). When the body and brain get too hot, we are at risk of cerebral damage so, our body automatically starts regulating our temperature(*7). One of the things our brain will start making us do is yawn. As cool air enters the nostrils and mouth, the brain is cooled.
Another interesting fact is that people who herald from cold climates have bigger and longer noses. It is a positive adaptation that allows more time for the air breathed in to warm before reaching the brain(*8).
We have written articles about the health benefits of meditation before. From managing blood pressure, improving sleep, to increasing empathy and memory – and much more. But, even we were surprised that we can reduce our body temperature and the risk of cerebral damage and over-heating through meditation.
5. Yawning for Healing
Ancient philosopher, Hippocrates theorised that as we breathe out after a yawn, we are releasing bad air(*9). Although the air we breathe out is not necessarily bad, Hippocrates was on the right track. Scientists have been researching how yawning can help with diagnosing and possibly treating migraines, psychosis, infectious diseases, Parkinson’s disease and many more(*10).
It is no wonder people feel so relaxed and calm after meditation. As we meditate, we bring in positive energy from the earth, sky, air, and water into our bodies. As the research above states, we are also healing and regulating the body.
Meditation Awakens all of Your Senses to Open Your Eyes to the Beauty & Magic of Nature. Wildlife Teaches Us to Love.
Inspirations from nature meditation. Ringtail possums showing us how to love and care. I am a licensed wildlife carer and rescuer after hours. 30% of the money towards meditation goes to medicine, cages, food and more.
Why Meditate? The #1 Reason People Meditate
Tense shoulders, aching neck, irritable, impatient, easily frustrated, always overwhelmed… Sound familiar?
If you’re not suffering from stress (bravo!), sadly, someone you know probably is. Almost 30% of the population are experiencing severe stress and symptoms of anxiety (*11). The number one reason people turn to meditation is to reduce stress(*12). When life creeps upon us, we are reminded to take a moment, to pause, and look after ourselves.
Meditation as a Stress Management Technique
Many participants of meditation have spoken about the varying benefits they have gained – stress reduction being one of them(*13, 4). All agree that it affects the mind, body and soul via its ability to realign all three parts of the self. Guided meditation is a powerful and effective stress management technique.
Why do I Yawn When I Meditate?
Some of you have asked, “why do I yawn when I meditate?” You yawn during meditation because it is a way of releasing stress and exhaustion from the body. Yawning is a good thing! You know you are releasing quite a lot when it happens during the meditation session. During meditation, let the yawns come and go as your body moves into a deeper state of healing and relaxation.
You may also experience goose-bumps, tingling, sparks or even a tear. For meditators who are just beginning, their body undergoes a massive clearing – akin to a detox. Stress has a substantial negative impact on the body (physically and mentally). So, it is no wonder the feeling of it leaving the body can be a little uncomfortable, as it is negative energy. Whether you find yourself yawning, tingling or another unique experience, the release of low energy and stress from your body will do wonders for your mental and physical health.
Guided Healing and Relaxing Meditation Offers:
• A deep level of muscle relaxation that helps with stress and tension related issues such as headaches and muscle pain.
• A profound level of mindfulness that helps with cleansing the mind of distractions so you can improve your memory, focus and make decisions more quickly.
• A deep-rooted level of self-understanding so that you can see your place in the world and help you discover your purpose.
• The ability to see your world with clarity, and then it enables you to make the choices that are right for you.
Why is Meditation Good for You? Is There Scientific Proof Meditation Works?
Meditation is the gift that keeps on giving. For a period after meditating, the benefits of the meditation on the brain continue(*5). The people who join our weekly classes only commit one hour per week to meditation – and feel the effects all week (and then some). Long-term meditators change their brain structure! (*6)
A wealth of scientific research has been devoted to uncovering how meditation works so well. We have references to scientific studies and research scattered throughout the Meditation in Sydney website and a wealth of articles in that section.
We’re looking forward to reading more of the science behind the brilliance of the ancient medicine of meditation. We will continue sharing the current research and the real-life experiences of first-time and long-term meditators.
To skip straight to those
*1. Walusinski, O. How Yawning Switches the Default-Mode Network to the Attentional Network by Activating the Cerebrospinal Fluid Flow. Clinical Anatomy. Vol 27. No. 2. 201-9(pp). 2014.
*2. Kimura, M. Adenosine Serves a “Good Night Sleep” via the A2A Receptor. Sleep Biology Rhythms. Vol. 18, 161–162(pp). 2020.
*3. Thompson S,B. Yawning, Fatigue, and Cortisol: Expanding the Thompson Cortisol Hypothesis. Medical Hypotheses. Vol. 83. No. 4. 494-6(pp). 2014.
*4. Waldman, MR. The Fastest Way to Hack Stress and Focus. Mindfully Alive. 2016.
*5. Gardiner, B. Big Question: Why Do I Yawn When I'm Nervous or Stressed? 2015.
*6. Wang, H, Wang, B, Normoyle, KP, Jackson, K, Spitler, K, Sharrock MF, Miller, CM, Best, C, Llano, D & Du, R. Brain Temperature and its Fundamental Properties: a Review for Clinical Neuroscientists. Frontiers in Neuroscience. Vol. 8. 307(p). 2014
*7. Massen, JJ, Dusch, K, Eldakar, OT & Gallup AC. A Thermal Window for Yawning in Humans: Yawning as a Brain Cooling Mechanism. Physiology & Behavior. Vol. 130. 145-8(pp). 2014.
*8. Panko, B. How Climate Helped Shape Your Nose. Smithsonian Magazine. 2017.
*9. Konnikova, M. The Surprising Science of Yawning. The New Yorker. 2014.
*10. Daquin, G, Micallef, J & Blin, O. Yawning. Sleep Medicine Reviews. Vol. 5. No. 4. 299-312(pp). 2001.
*11. Roy Morgan. 79 Year Olds Have the Best Mental Health. 2019.
*12. Sedlmeier, P, Theumer, J. Why Do People Begin to Meditate and Why Do They Continue? Mindfulness. 2020; 11(6):[1527-45 pp.].
*13. Carmody, J, Baer, R. Relationships Between Mindfulness Practice and Levelsof Mindfulness, Medical and Psychological
Symptoms and Well-Being in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program. Journal of Behavioral Medicine.
2008; 31:[23-33 pp.].
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