Understanding Meditation: An Introduction
Meditation can be a true solace for anyone who finds themselves stressed or anxious, yet still, many are unaware of the impact it has on people.
Meditation is far from new; in fact, it has been carried out for thousands of years. What was once a practice used exclusively in religious contexts has since become a renowned way of reducing stress levels and controlling one’s emotional state in order to obtain a clear and stable condition.
In order to meditate efficiently, one would attempt to rid themselves of the muddled up thoughts that cloud their mind and train their attention by focusing on their own breath as they inhale and exhale. This truly can be carried out anywhere, but it is advised that a quiet, calming spot is chosen. Undoubtedly, your mind will wander at times, but meditation involves calmly controlling those thoughts and refocusing on your breath.
We spoke with Yasmin de Giorgio, co-founder of Sanya, to learn about her journey and the benefits of meditation.
Q: We really admire what you have created and would love to share some information about Sanya with our readers. Could you tell us a little bit about what inspired you to launch your spa and yoga hub?
A: Sanya is a product of my own life journey. When I was growing up, I was not health conscious whatsoever, I took my own health and wellbeing for granted. Luckily at some point I started to realise that caring about your wellbeing doesn’t need to only be inspired by sickness and disease. In fact even if you are perfectly healthy, the more attention you put to your own wellbeing the happier and more beautiful life is.
And that is how I started this journey, experimenting on myself. Learning more about how food affects my body and how practices like yoga and meditation affect my body. I got so much out of these things that I wanted to share them with others and have a space where people can come and experience going into a more conscious relationship with their bodies and minds.
Q: Why do you believe in the importance of yoga and meditation?
A: I believe in them because I have experienced significant changes in myself due to practicing them. I really cannot emphasise enough just how much damage physical, mental and emotional stress causes us. Most of us live under the pressure of a variety of stressors, many of which we don’t even realise. The impact that this has on our state of mind and on the long term functionality of our bodies is extremely important. I believe yoga and meditation, but also other practices in this vein, are no longer luxuries but necessities to help us cope with stress and actually thrive.
Q: What would you say that meditation has helped you most with?
A: Meditation has helped me most by helping me to become much more self aware. Many people become interested in meditation because they feel they want to manage the mind. In fact, controlling the mind is practically impossible, but we can learn to witness the mind and direct the mind. Learning to direct the mind is a discipline which gives you a lot of personal power which can then be applied to various parts of your life. Learning how to witness the mind is also a power, as it creates space between our thoughts and our actions. Instead of reacting to every thought or feeling that we experience, we learn to become calmer, less reactive and very importantly to actually question which of those thoughts are even reasonable.
Q: Do you have any tips for those who would like to meditate but don’t know where to start?
A: I think the most helpful thing when starting meditation is to join classes. Meditating alone is very challenging at the beginning as you would not have had enough practice to be able to stick with it. When you practice with others, your mind will naturally be more disciplined and you can also get guidance from those with more experience, which is extremely helpful.
Q: Do you have any retreats coming up?
A: We hold retreats 2-3 times a year. The next one will be held around October/November however we haven’t released the exact dates yet. We encourage people to sign up to our mailing list to be kept informed of these. [You can sign up by visiting out website, www.sanyamalta.com.]