5 Reasons to Give Group Meditation a Try
by Yvette Costa RYT 200 & Yoga Therapy 500
Meditation. Seems to be the new buzz word in the world today and a badge of honor to say when we are most stressed we “Meditate”. While meditation has a lot of benefits, we don’t really talk about what it is intended to do. Did you ever think that meditation is a form of connection? To yourself and to others? Too often we think we have to meditate for hours on our own…but have you ever thought that maybe group meditation for a few minutes might be as beneficial as on your own? Let’s explore why…
In our busy, internet and tech connected society, it may seem like we’re always with or around other people. But if you actually look at how much time you spend alone, you may be surprised. Science has shown that relationships with others are a big predictor of longevity, and our pseudo-connections today (Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat!) don’t count.
We all crave connection, to self and to others. It is a part of our human nature. In the Indian spiritual tradition this connection is called ‘satsang’:
Satsang: Communing with others and sharing knowledge. You want to belong in the community of peace and wisdom, a desire that can be shared with others who are like-minded.
A group meditation class offers the opportunity to experience satsang. Group meditation offers a new way of establishing critical relationships with others.
Often the word meditation can conjure up feelings and thoughts…even fear of what you might find in yourself if you start to meditate. You may crave the relaxation and clarity that it’s supposed to bring but fear sitting still for so long. Perhaps the idea of ‘clearing your mind’ sounds fabulous but you believe there’s no way that you can actually do that. Or maybe you think your friends and family will think you’ve turned into a hippie.
Whatever the conflict is in your mind, you owe it to yourself to give group meditation a try.
Here are 5 reasons why:
1. Sharing Makes Everything Better
Even though meditation is an individual practice at heart, the resonance effect of doing it in groups makes the meditation more profound personally and socially. By resonance, I mean the actual energetic connection that forms when like minds are in sink. Studies (1) have shown that brainwaves (EEGs) actually synchronize while meditating in groups.
2. Group Meditation Holds You Accountable
Knowing that someone else is waiting on you makes it easier to show up. And knowing that you are not in it alone makes it feel less burdensome. Just like a gym or dieting partner can make getting fit or losing weight easier, a group meditation class can help ease your way into creating a new habit.
3. Support Is Right There
If you are new to meditation having more experienced meditators at your fingertips can help address questions, offer support and clear up any confusion you may have. Meditation is a practice. Like anything you practice you get better at it the more you do it.
4. Connection Can Extend Your Lifespan
Studies have shown that relationships are the single biggest predictor of longevity. Dan Buettner’s book ‘Blue Zones’ teased out ‘social engagement’ as one of the 6 common elements in the most long lived groups he identified. Coming together with others that have a common interest is a great way to begin to establish connection.
5. Give Back in a Powerful Way
You want to do something to help society, to make the world a better place. Group meditation has been shown to impact the world around us in a positive way. A study conducted in Washington DC showed that consistent meditation by a group of monks lowered the crime rate (2) by 23% during the study.
You have everything to gain and nothing to lose by joining our group meditation practices at Buka Yoga! Find out when our classes are held at http://www.bukayoga.com (3).