Can meditation help combat the signs of ageing? Asks Ashleigh Sharman.
When was the last time you focused on your breath? Or even gave a second thought to the process of inhaling and exhaling? It could hold the key to perhaps the least invasive of all anti-ageing treatments: meditation.
Among the wellness community, the concept of meditation is not a revolutionary one. Renowned for its many health benefits, including reduced blood pressure, a boost in immune function, a calmer mind and a reduction in stress, anxiety and depression, Yoga Australia’s Claire Nettley says it can also help promote emotional resilience.
Best of all, you can get started immediately and in any posture that feels most comfortable to you.
“Simply focusing on the breath, without trying to change anything, for a few minutes a day will kick-start your practice,” she says.”You might choose to watch the rise and fall of the belly or the sensation at the nostrils as you inhale.”
“The mind will naturally start to wander so just keep bringing it back to the practice. Build up slowly and try not to give yourself a hard time when the mind wanders off. It’s normal!”
The Golden Health Retreat and Spa, Elysia’s Brigid Walsh, whose own practise averages three times a week, not only noticed a change in her state of mind along with a host of other benefits but that her skin, and that of Elysia guests, took on a noticeable glow.
“While there are exceptions to every rule, there’s no denying that, on the whole, people who take time out to mediate look great for their age and it’s so common for our guests to develop a healthy, radiant, refreshed appearance,” she says.
“One of our recent guests returned home to her children who thought Mum had gone away and had Botox as the lines on her forehead had completely disappeared in just a five-day program with us!”
Brigid’s own extended practice now includes a 10-minute focused meditation on the face, aptly named ‘Botox Meditation’.
With focus and energy placed on the face, particularly around the eyes, cheeks and forehead, Brigid instructs we imagine the skin glowing, every cell ballooning with vitality and joy; also paying attention to the breath in creating a place of inner stillness.
“The only side effects you’ll get are increased energy, better focus, improved sleep, increased empathy and a total rejuvenation of the mind, body and spirit.”
Loaded with intention, from inner peace to slowing down the ageing process, this year, whether taking time out from a busy day or beginning a treatment immersed in calm energy, consider a meditation practice for yourself and for your clients. The worst that could happen is bliss.