Updated: Sep 20, 2020
Meditation is an ancient and powerful technique that can help heal your mind, body and spirit by transforming your energy and stress levels.
This practice can be as simple as focusing on deep breaths, or it can be far more involved, like sitting in silence for an extended period. Meditation can also include a silent walk in nature while consciously breathing and being completely present.
Meditation techniques can also support us throughout our lives as women. From calming mood swings to easing pain during menstruation, meditation can be key for women's health.
Benefits of meditation for women's health
Studies show that meditation may improve the body's immune function, but there are also a number of specific benefits for women's health including:
Identifying your innermost feelings
Controlling mood swings
Staying calm and relaxed
Pain management (during menstruation or childbirth)
Tips for meditation
Become aware of your breath
Deep diaphragmatic breathing involves focus on your breath to observe its pattern. It eases muscle tension, lowers the heart rate, and helps you relax. Box breathing, sometimes called four-count breathing, can be practiced during pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause. The technique is relatively simple but highly effective.
Sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
Close your lips and breathe slowly and deeply through the nose. Become aware of the rise of your chest and belly as the air goes into the lungs and your diaphragm expands during your inhale. Notice how they gently fall as you exhale.
On your next inhale, silently count to four slowly.
Hold the breath for another count of four.
Exhale while counting to four.
Continue the process. If it feels comfortable, try to extend the count to five, or even six.
Relax your third eye
The space on your forehead between your eyebrows is known as the third eye or the sixth chakra. Directly behind it is the pineal gland, which is sensitive to light and produces serotonin, a hormone that impacts your energy levels.
Whenever you experience stress or pain (for example during labour or menstruation), focus on relaxing the muscles of your forehead, especially the area between your eyebrows. Breathe deeply and slowly through your nose. While you inhale, with your eyes closed, bring your eyes together as if almost cross-eyed, then, as you exhale, relax your eyes.
Meditation for menstruation
Research shows that meditation can help to improve our mood and memory. It stands to reason that it can probably also help with bloating and cramping that can come with menstruation. This is a beautiful meditation to practice during menstruation.
Find a quiet spot free from interruption and sit in a comfortable position. You can also lie down.
Place your right hand on your heart and your left on your lower belly. Close your eyes. Picture a warm and peaceful place where everything feels safe.
Begin to breathe deeply. Each time you breathe, extend your exhale, making it a little longer than your inhale.
If you're experiencing cramps, as you breathe in, confront your pain and give it a colour. As you breathe out, let it leave your mind and body along with any tension.
Visualize your whole body filled with a warm, powerful light. Allow this light to embraces your uterus and gently dissolve your pain and discomfort.
Meditation for pregnancy
The following is a simple yet fantastic meditation technique to practice during pregnancy.
Sit in a comfortable position and place your hands on your belly, gently cradling your baby.
Observe the sensations you feel beneath your hands. (Do you feel warm? Do you feel the baby moving?)
Continue to breathe slowly, in and out through your nostrils.
If a thought arises, acknowledge it and then let it float away like a soap bubble into the sky.
Try doing this technique for five to 10 minutes each day.
Meditation for menopause
Oprah Winfrey says, "So many women I've talked to see menopause as an ending. But I've discovered this is your moment to reinvent yourself after years of focusing on the needs of everyone else. It's your opportunity to get clear about what matters to you and then to pursue that with all of your energy, time and talent."
Menopause can be a time of re-birth. Meditation during menopause can help with hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia, anxiety, and depression. It can also help with body acceptance and gratitude.
Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Begin to focus on your breath. Allow yourself to relax.
With each breath, think of something about yourself that you are grateful for, such as your heartbeat, your healthy lungs, your strong legs, and so on.
Move down through your body, bringing awareness and sending love to each part of your body with every breath.
Meditation, if practiced consistently, can significantly enhance your life. It may seem difficult in the beginning, but as with anything, it gets easier the more you practice.
Set the alarm on your personal calender and then treat that time as an appointment with yourself. Try not to let anyone or anything keep you from focusing on your mind, body, and spirit during that time.
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