Vedic meditation nurtures a healthy nervous system. It activates your parasympathetic nervous system, the part of your body that governs relaxation and rejuvenation. Additionally, it helps to reduce stress chemicals that accumulate in your body, and allows a deeper, more restful sleep. Vedic meditation is an ancient mantra meditation, which is derived from ancient Hindu Sanskrit phrases that have been around for thousands of years. This form of meditation is a valuable therapeutic resource based on Ayurvedic medicine and Hindu principles that is used in daily sadhna practice by yogis around the world.

Here are some of the basic principles of VM and a few ways this accessible technique can help you become more peaceful, clear, and insightful.

Basic Steps

  • This practice isn’t something you can learn on your own, on YouTube—or even in the pages of this magazine. If you’re interested in learning VM, start by taking a four-day foundational course that includes lectures, meditation, and discussion, led by a VM teacher who has been studying and meditating for hundreds or even thousands of hours.
  • VM mantras are wordless sounds that redirect the mind from thoughts and chatter. Your teacher will give you your mantra. VM training enables teachers to discern each practitioner’s individualized sound upon meeting them, much like an Ayurvedic expert can read doshas. Your mantra belongs to you.
  • It’s more difficult to get into that deep relaxation if your body isn’t in a restful position, so get comfortable. Sit up without crossing your legs, and maintain good posture in your back. Try sitting on a pillow for adjustment and perhaps something to support your back in good posture. Make sure your head and neck remain free and relaxed. Next, pick a spot that is most peaceful to you. You might enjoy being outside in your yard, or maybe your bedroom is where you find your zen.
  • When thoughts arise, instead of acknowledging them and letting them go like we do in mindfulness meditation, gently return to your mantra. Over time, the practice will help you shift into a purely awake state of inner contentment.
  • VM is specifically designed for everyday people with full lives. Practitioners typically meditate for 40 minutes each day: 20 minutes in the morning and 20 more in the evening. You can do it almost anywhere. Simply sit comfortably with your back supported in an upright position. Close your eyes and use your mantra until you get lost, let go, and relax.

Vedic meditation is an ancient practice that originates in the Vedas. The Vedas are a group of ancient texts from India that are over 5,000 years old. This practice calms the body and mind through two 20-minute sessions where practitioners sit quietly and recite a mantra in their head.

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