A Gallup poll from a few years ago indicates that over 40% of Americans get less than the minimum recommended seven hours of sleep (I suspect this number has increased since this poll was published in December 2013). Insufficient sleep has been linked to the development of a number of chronic diseases and conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. Sleep impacts the quality of our lives every day--our energy, our focus and productivity and our mood.
One of the more immediate benefits of Vedic Meditation is improved sleep. It is not uncommon for brand new Vedic meditators to report falling asleep easier, staying asleep longer and sleeping more soundly within a few days of learning and practicing the Vedic Meditation technique. Click here to read a few stories from my students who started sleeping much better once they learned Vedic Meditation.
This was my experience as well. I had been an insomniac my whole life. Even as a young boy I had trouble sleeping. In college, I began to self-medicate with alcohol, NyQuil or Benadryl. In law school, my sleep got even worse and I went to see a doctor who diagnosed me with anxiety-induced insomnia. I was prescribed Ambien (in addition to a number of other prescription medications I was taking for anxiety, depression and ADD). Through law school and during the beginning of my legal career, every single night I would either need to drink to fall asleep or take an Ambien (I was smart enough to never mix the two). Some nights, my anxiety was so intense that I would stay awake on Ambien and hallucinate, which was terrifying. Eventually I would fall asleep, but the quality of my sleep was awful and every morning I would wake up groggy and exhausted with a hangover from either the alcohol or the Ambien. It would sometimes take me a hour to get out of bed.
Within three days of learning Vedic Meditation, I feel asleep without drinking or taking a pill for the first time in years and slept through the night. I remember waking up the next morning without a hangover, actually feeling rested and clear. It was that moment that I knew that Vedic Meditation would help change my life for good.
I want to share a personal story with you about my path of finding Vedic Meditation.
I had been battling anxiety, depression, and insomnia for most of my life. When I started my career as a corporate attorney at a large New York law firm, the burden became unbearable. That's when I found Vedic Meditation and it made the most immediate and profoundly positive impact on my physical, mental, and emotional health.
A few years later, I decided to do something that could help the people in my life -- and that’s why I became a teacher of Vedic Meditation.
For most of us, the holiday season is a joy-filled time of year, yet it can also be very challenging. We are faced with high levels of demands and expectations as the days continue to grow shorter and colder, our schedules fill up with holiday parties, even trips to visit family, or a vacation somewhere warm to escape the cold of winter. The choice is often to "power through" and we end up missing a very special time of year being over-stressed. Vedic Meditation gives us a way to find balance, inner peace and a profoundly deep level of rest that allows us to enjoy the holiday season and begin the new year grounded, with clarity and grace.
Many of us view the new year as a clean slate, a time to re-prioritize our choices and dedicate ourselves to improving our lives and our relationships with our best intentions at hand.
The challenge is not in the choosing itself--for the most part, we know what we should be doing. Spending time with family and friends, exercising regularly, eating healthy nutritious food, finding time to relax, being patient, kind and compassionate to others. The list goes on. The problem we face is that regardless of our intention, we are destined behave and act according to the baseline level of stress that we've accumulated in our minds and bodies...
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