According to Psychology Today, 10 million Americans practice some form of meditation. The way yoga used to be exclusive and now there's a yoga studio on every corner, the same thing is happening with meditation. Once a ritual associated with Buddhists and Kabbalists it has become a universal practice adopted by highly successful types like Oprah Winfrey, Arianna Huffington, even Aziz Ansari swears by it.
Much like yoga, juicing, and other alternative health trends that became mainstream, simplified meditation practices have evolved to cater to the general public. And it's no surprise this holistic exercise is finally catching on with the masses. Among meditation's reported benefits are increased blood flow, decreased muscle tension and enhanced creativity.
Though scientists are now pushing for further research, hundreds of studies have been conducted to trace its effect on areas like heart rate and blood pressure. Earlier this year, researchers at John Hopkins found that eight weeks of meditation was just as effective as medication in the treatment of anxiety and depression.
Fundamentally, meditation is very simple, but many find it can be very complicated which is why guided meditations are great for beginners.
Here's some great websites to get started:
Gabrielle Bernstein, a New York-based life coach and meditation instructor who has authored several self-help books and noted that her most recent was tailored specifically to readers interested in "meditation light."
Founded in 1996 by Deepak Chopra, M.D. and David Simon M.D., the Chopra Center provides education, experiences and products for all things health and wellness. The three pillars of wisdom for the center are meditation, Ayurveda and yoga.
Susan is a meditation teacher and writer famous for her Open Heart Project. OHP is the largest online meditation community in the world and Susan provides practical even funny introductions to mediation practice.
With Michael it's all about his voice! Also an actor, Michael has one of the most soothing voices in online meditation. His positive suggestions truly seep into your subconscious programming especially his guided sleep talk-down meditations.