Moderation in all things…including meditation

A recent article in the Telegraph newspaper has suggested that meditation can be bad for your mental health. Read the article and then my comments below. I'll be interested in your views. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2019/05/09/meditation-retreats-bad-mental-health-study-suggests/?WT.mc_id=tmg_share_em Today for many everything has to be done to the extreme and done now. Meditation has of late become “trendy” but by its very definition, it takes time to learn; there’s no fast track. Meditation - the process of quietening the mind in order to spend time in thought for relaxation or religious/spiritual purposes (definition from Yogapedia). The simplest way to begin meditating is to stop whatever you’re doing, sit comfortably and concentrate on breathing more slowly and deeply while keeping the breath’s natural rhythm. Building the capacity to quieten the mind has undeniable value at a time when our attention is under siege, and trying to do several things at one time our habitual state. Done even for a few minutes each day, it’s also valuable as a means to relax the body and calm the emotions. Mindfulness...
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What can we do to prevent cancer?

These days cancer prevention is a common topic. Family history is one of the greates risk factors for certain cancers but this does not necessarily have to dictate your future well being. Here are 7 sensible things you can do to ensure optimum health. Get screened - early screening can prevent many cancer diagnoses and even deaths. Stop smoking - tobacco use is one of the main risk factors in the development of cancer in the lungs, head, neck, pancreas and urinary tract. It is in fact one of the leading causes of cancer diagnosis and death. Stay active - according to the International Agency for Research on cancer, about 25 percent of cancer cases worldwide could be due to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. Eat a health-promoting diet - we should do what we can to reduce cancer risk by eating a diet full of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and beans. Start consuming more sweet potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, blueberries, garlic...
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9 (health related) things you may not know about me

My dentist recommended Pilates to me to improve my posture after remedial work on my teeth. I’ve been a Weight Watchers Gold Member for 25 years. I’ve practiced yoga for 42 years. My teacher training was at the Sivinanda Centre in Orléans. I’ve run the London Marathon twice, both times in 5 and a half hours. I once taught a yoga class (in French) on a squash court when I was living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I had an overweight foster cat whom I gradually slimmed. I've swum a mile only once and that was in a small, hexagonal pool. I passed the Cordon Vert Diploma for the Vegetarian Society in 1992. I’m a Tour de France fan but my own cycling is done on my stationery bike. at home Finishing my second marathon ...
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Mindful walking

I’m often asked how to begin meditating (and, no, you don’t have to sit crossed legged on a cushion with your eyes closed, chanting). My answer is simple - stop whatever you’re doing, be aware of any tension you’re holding and take 5 long, slow, deep breaths before resuming the day. Meditation and mindfulness go hand in hand. What’s mindfulness? For me it’s doing something with your whole heart. Let’s look at how it combines with walking. Spending time outside in the fresh air and sunlight helps regulate circadian rhythms (your body clock) and increases serotonin levels. This in turn raises energy levels and may make you feel happier with life. Walking raises your heart rate, depending on your speed. It also balances the left and right sides of the brain making you more aware of what’s going on inside and around you. Moving with your whole concentration is a wonderful way to notice your surroundings and the changing of the seasons. Many of us spend a lot of time in cars,...
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First thoughts

I read this as part of an article by Mark Rice-Oxley in the Guardian Weekly.  It’s about how overthinking is spoiling our ability to simply be.   “Instead of obsessing about things we don’t have, we need to accept and celebrate what we do. Instead of worrying about things we can’t control – people’s opinion of us for example- we need to direct our attentions to things we can influence and leave the rest be. Instead of judging each other, and – worse – ourselves, let us simply take as we find. Instead of ruining our short time alive by setting expectations of how we think everything should be, from our jobs to our love lives, our children to our prospects, let us accept that some things will not always go as we wish.  You’re not who you think you are. You’re so much more than that.”  ...
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