By Ben Turshen.
With the Fall season arriving, we look for better ways to manage our stress. Before learning Vedic Meditation, I did a number of things to help manage my stress--some healthier than others. One of my healthier pursuits was exercise. I train in a grappling sport called Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a martial art developed by the Gracie family for self-defense. On the mat, I experienced my mind and body at the same place at the same time. Off the mat, I continued to struggle. My anxiety, depression and insomnia were ever present.
Although exercise might be a welcome diversion, a nice escape or distraction from the demands we face outside of the gym or yoga studio, a way to get out of our heads; the truth is that the legacy of stress we've accumulated in our physiology is still there. And depending on the type and intensity of exercise, we may be loading our bodies with even more stress through our sweaty endeavors. Vedic Meditation provides the mind and body with deep profound rest (exponentially deeper than the rest that can be obtained through sleep). By systematically exposing our mind and body to this deep rest, stress is naturally and efficiently released from our physiology.
Last week, Well + Good published a story, "5 things you need to know about vedic meditation", featuring myself and two of my students, Courtney Kollmer and Lauren Plate. Like me, before learning Vedic Meditation, Courtney and Lauren used exercise as their way to relieve stress. The three of us still work out regularly, but no longer have the desperate need to escape from our stress-filled lives, we do it simply because we enjoy it.