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Taking some time to be still each day is good for us mentally and physically, but for ultimate benefits it seems a technique called Sahaja Meditation is the method to use.
The practice aims to completely empty your mind of all thoughts and in studies it lowered levels of stress hormones as effectively as other meditation methods, but with an extra boost; Sahaja also seems to decrease inflammation in the body in ways mantra meditation didn’t.
That’s important as inflammation is linked to increased aging and potentially diseases of old age like cancer and heart disease.
The results impressed the study’s author Dr Ramesh Manocha at Australia’s University of Sydney so much he calculated that Sahaha Meditation is therefore likely to be three times more beneficial for your health than mantra meditation.
So how do you do it? Well it’s a bit complicated to explain here but instead of focusing on your thoughts you instead try and find, then expand, the moments of stillness between them.
That might sound incredibly advanced, but in Dr Manocha’s trials 10 percent of people are able to do it first time, 20-25 percent get the hang of it after a couple of repeats – and everyone who keeps practising achieves it in the end.
To find out more, see the new book Silence Your Mind by Dr Ramesh Manocha (Orion, £15.99) or follow the guided Sahaja Yoga meditation on YouTube entitled Mental Silence Guided Meditation.
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