That Om might do more to whittle your waist then you think. Scientists from the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind/Body Medicine unveiled a new study on meditation and revealed what looks like permanent increases in your metabolism from having a regular meditation practice.
So go grab those mala beads!
The researchers rounded up a couple dozen participants with no prior meditative experience and another couple dozen participants with a minimum of four years practicing meditation then tested them at the genetic level (via blood tests) both before and after an eight-week program. They found a suppression of stress, inflammation, cancer, and trauma, all things we’ve got other studies to reinforce this one. They also found a positive response for insulin production and — this one is the kicker for me — an increase in mitochondria, which are the energy centers of our cells. In layman’s terms, metabolism increased for people who meditated regularly and it was more pronounced in the more experienced group.
So if you were looking for yet one more reason to start meditation, you’ve got it. Meditation helps keep you in your skinny jeans!
What Type of Meditation Boosts Metabolism?
Knowing all the good things that meditation can do for you is one thing. It’s another entirely to actually figure out what works for you and then do it. The practice can get quite elaborate as Zen meditation is, for instance, an entire system that you build up to that ends in shaving your head, wearing specific clothing, and sitting on specific seats in a specific position. Or it can be as simple as being aware of your breathing in a quiet place for a few minutes a day.
The advanced meditators used several different approaches, from yoga to Zen to simple awareness, and all of them had positive results. While different forms of meditation do seem to stimulate the brain in different ways, the overall benefit of less stress and more energy cuts across all options. Besides, at the end of the day, you want to do the type of meditation that you’ll stick with … that’s the most important part!
Try different kinds of meditation, see what appeals to you, and give it a go. If it doesn’t work after a few tries then pick another option. I have been using a Sanskrit chant for the past few months that has worked very well for me and I never would have guessed that this would have been my ticket when I began trying to meditate four years ago. This, for some reason, works for me when simple awareness, counting breaths, and using various chants in English didn’t. Just keep trying ’til you get something.
How about you? Do you meditate? Have you noticed a difference in your waistline? Do you think this is another great reason to try? Find out more about how meditation works here.