Practising mindfulness via meditation has been successfully used for eons in the East and has now become more widely accepted in the West too. Being able to calm oneself down through daily chanting meditation can be extremely beneficial for anyone suffering from high levels of cortisol – the infamous stress hormone.
Mantric chanting, as observed years ago by Dr. Herbert Benson, founder of the Mind/Body Medical Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, helps induce the “relaxation” response, causing reduction of the heartbeat, brain waves and respiration – all functions which help to reduce overall stress. Dr. David Shananoff-Khalsa also believes that mantric recitation enables the tongue to stimulate the acupuncture meridians inside the mouth (particularly on the roof), thus enhancing the overall health benefits for the person chanting.
These self-created chanting sounds will cause the left and right hemispheres of the brain to synchronize more easily, therefore assisting in oxygenation of the brain, reduction of heart rate and blood pressure, and helping to create calm brainwave activity.
These days though, most of us suffer from stress and our bodies naturally create high doses of the stress hormone cortisol. When this process occurs continually, cortisol becomes “THE ALPHA HORMONE”, dominating the delicate balancing act of all the other hormones such as serotonin, progesterone/testosterone and estrogen. This is extremely bad news in the long run with regards to maintaining our optimal health. It also prevents us from being more in the moment and living a consciously stress free life.
However, fear not. It has now been unequivocally demonstrated that by incorporating this simple meditation technique of daily chanting into your life, your cortisol levels can be made to drop drastically and best of all, FAST.
According to Dr. Sara Gottfried, author of “The Hormone Cure”, chanting daily is the perfect tool to help you stay calm. According to her, this particularly simple form of meditation will light up certain regions of your brain, such as the hippocampus, which helps with your memory as well as overall stress reduction. It also deactivates the amygdala, which is your vigilance centre and increases blood flow to your brain. This is wonderfully supportive of all your biological functions – inducing your central nervous system to stay calm and stress free, allowing you to be absolutely in the moment.
In order to help you easily stay centred and relaxed, we have created a beautiful CD with 4 easy to follow Sanskrit chants (10 – 13 mins each), accompanied by a short toning session either before or after each chant. The seven tones that you sing help to vibrate and balance your seven chakras before the chanting starts, and, if you also do it at the end of the chant, it helps to close them up again.
We practise daily usually singing one chant, with toning before and after, and follow this by 20 minutes of silent meditation, depending on our time constraints. Because Tim and I like to get more “bang for our buck,” we sing along continuously to the chant belting out all the verses. We find this helps to get our left-brain out of gear fast and move into the zone, which stops us from getting stressed during the rest of the day. However, if you prefer, and also when starting out, you can do call and repeat, just like they do in the ashrams i.e. listen to the singer and repeat the verse after him.
Don’t worry, you are not required to sit cross-legged in a meditative pose – sitting anywhere you feel comfortable and relaxed is fine. We have many clients, who use the time of driving to and from work to belt out a chant or two in order to reduce their stress levels, and to help start/end their day in a more relaxed frame of mind. They have told us (some with delighted surprise) that it has helped them enormously to combat their high levels of cortisol and stress.
Many functional medical practitioners from the United States now encourage their patients to meditate in order to achieve greater calmness within their daily lives, and thus support attaining their optimal health.
Why not join us in practising this incredibly powerful, yet simple, meditational tool by buying our CD, and start singing/vibrating your body into a better, healthier and sexier state.
Go on, what have you got to loose – it only takes a few minutes each day and you can start reaping the benefits of chanting meditation.