Meditation, longevity and physical wellbeing
We exercise so that we can enjoy a long, healthy and happy life. We also practice sports to bring us closer to others and help us learn more about ourselves. Ground breaking research over the last few years indicates that in addition to exercise and a healthy diet meditation has a profound positive impact on the aging process.
In 2009, Elizabeth Blackburn won the Nobel Prize for her discovery of the protective caps on chromosomes called, “telomeres.” Every time a cell divides, these protective caps wear down, and over time, the telomeres shorten. As the telomeres shorten, the cells start to malfunction and lose their ability to divide. Today, based on Blackburn’s research, scientists use the measure of telomere length as a metric for aging and disease risk.
She also discovered an enzyme called “telomerase,” which protects the chromosomal caps from the wear and tear of cellular division, or aging. Therefore, the more telomerase you have, the longer your telomeres will be; the less telomerase you have, the shorter your telomeres will be. The shorter your telomeres, the more exposed to aging, degeneration and disease you become. In follow up studies by Blackburn a meditation group was seen to have up to a 30% increase in telomerase activity. In another study conducted at UCLA, showed a 43% increase in telomerase activity.
Three pillars of wellbeing
Over the next few years there will be a revolution in health and wellbeing. The three cornerstones of health will be exercise, diet and meditation. As the old saying goes you are what you eat but you are what you think as well. As we clear our head of thoughts and learn to focus, we reduce stress levels and re build our bodies at the cellular level.
Our next one day mindfulness course is in Sydney on the 23rd July at the Yoga Institute in Cammeray. Booking details for our Mindfulness course
Mindfulness at home and work
If you cant come along here are a few simple exercises:
- Take a few long breaths in through the nose and breathe out through the mouth. As you breathe in silently count to 4 and as you breathe out count to 8
- Imagine there is a balloon beneath your tummy button. As you breathe in the balloon inflates and as you breathe out it deflates. Focus on getting the balloon to rise slowly and fall slowly breathing in through the nose and out through the nose as you do
- Download one of the great apps out there including Headspace and many others. Also do a search in the app store for Binaural beats
- Get into the habit of slowing down. Eat when you eat, drink when you drink and give your friends and colleagues your full attention