Open your mind to the benefits of meditation.

I happily find myself writing a blog for Singita Wellness on the benefits of meditation as my weekly guided meditations receive a regular place on the Online Club schedule.

I didn’t have teaching or guiding in mind when I committed to a daily meditation practice, I had my health in mind. I needed to maintain balance and happiness within a life that had memories of traumas and despair. I already knew that energy based practices were the most likely way I would achieve this due to my decade long experience as a Reiki practitioner. The difference this time was that I was committed to continuity and focus; I was going to make sure that every day began sitting in stillness, calming my breath, connecting to myself as an energetic being on the most fundamental level, and making sure that I gave blockages and imbalances fair chance to alert me before life became out of control.

Meditation restored my health and balance, gave me relief from PTSD, gave me a tool to let go of the past and exist in the present, which truly is a much happier place; meditation made me a better friend, daughter, sister and eventually, partner. It has given me a wellness practice for my own benefit and as a business for the benefit of others. Through meditation I live in abundance and even when things go awry, I am never far away from centre. As with all things that give so much, we must take the first step; the first step is a commitment to come to your practice, your silent seat, every day. We commit to holding our health with the highest regard and prioritising that which serves us. With this commitment other healthy choices fall into place with ease, once the system is in balance it would be mania to damage it and meditation enables us to confidently stride away from mania.

Meditation is an ancient practice, its use can be found in writings from all the religions and philosophies throughout time, the practice of meditation is often assimilated to worship and its nature is most often thought of as spiritual.

As I cultivated a teaching style for meditation that I felt would appeal to the majority of my students, I weaved in emphasis on the scientifically proven benefits of meditation and mindfulness practices. I wanted to show that meditation, if committed to, would change the lives of all and any people, regardless of belief. I will turn some lines to that same emphasis in this blog post but as my own reading, learning, experience and practice has continued to develop so has my understanding of what I am actually attempting to convey.

In the most obvious of realisations, it’s all about unifying the spiritual and the scientific, not holding them separately, they are two sides of the same coin, not a gold piece and crypto currency.

It has been said that the practice of meditation began when people first gazed into the flames of the fire they had newly created and, mesmerised, found a stillness and calm take over their beings. A flame focused meditation, or Trataka Sadhana, is a meditation practice that indeed still exists today; the benefits of which include improved mental focus and memory, improvements to eye health, relief from anxiety and depression and balancing of the nervous system and cerebral cortex. All that is needed for this practice is a candle and the decision to sit quietly and gaze with soft focus into the flame. The light stimulates the pineal gland, regulating our biorhythms which gives us the gift of ideal sleep and waking patterns. The pineal gland is associated with the third eye and if we now cross over into discussion with a more energetic or spiritual emphasis, we learn that the third eye is connected to our intuition, our ability to see beyond the physical realm, to an openness of mind which helps us to accept ourselves as connected to the natural world, the spiritual world, that which is not easily recognised by our five readily accepted senses.

The third eye is the place of imagination and in imagination we can find the key to acceptance of that which we are generally encouraged to turn away from; a child playing out a game of imagination has no concept that the place of their imagining is not real, it is as real as anything in that moment and just as valid and as adults we can allow ourselves to return to that understanding. If we imagine we are sat on a deserted beach with the warm air brushing our skin and the blue sky above us, cloudless and vast, our system begins to naturally calm in the same way as if we were ‘actually’ there. If we then imagine that a loved one begins to walk towards us across the sand we look forward to them being close in the same way as when we ‘actually’ see a loved one coming to be with us, in our mind as they reach us and we look into their smiling face our body releases the same chemicals and we receive the same benefit, we can speak to them and say the things we wish to say, we can express love or forgiveness and as if by magic we feel love and peace. This isn’t really magic, it’s so obvious, so simple that we overlook it.

The ability to imagine is one of the things that makes us intrinsically human.

We come up against a problem, we imagine a solution and then we manifest the solution in the physical world by using our memory of experiences to choose the elements needed. We use our memory of sensory experience to create, we know how things feel and combine, we know how they smell or taste, we understand their solidity or fluidity. The sense that begins this process is imagining, third eye sense. In meditation we learn to be with our third eye sense so much that we learn to stop discounting it. Which leads to more acceptance of every part of ourselves, which leads to more equilibrium, more balance within our system and we feel more at peace.

In extensive peer reviewed scientific studies researchers have consistently found that regular meditators experience:

  • Improved sleep
  • Relief from anxiety and depression
  • Improved cognitive function in areas such as memory, attention span and problem solving
  • Lowered risk of serious disease including heart disease, diabetes, blood pressure disorders and cancer
  • Improved relationships and interactions
  • Increased immune system functioning
  • Improvements in digestion
  • Relief from conditions such as ADHD
  • Hormone balance
  • Lowered levels of stress
  • Pain reduction
  • Increases in energy and vitality
  • Reduction in medical intervention
  • Reduction in detrimental addiction behaviour

There is also much written on more experiential benefits such as the ability to cope with challenging situations and a reduction in reactionary outbursts under stress or imagined stressors.

Further analysis finds that regular mediators exhibit more ideal levels of the chemicals we understand to affect the above list of benefits. Regular meditators experience:

  • Lower levels of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline
  • Higher levels of chemicals including DHEA, Oxytocin, Dopamine, Serotonin, Melatonin and Endorphins.

I have said in mediation classes that if you don’t wish to align with the spiritual aspect of meditation that you can read the above and have more than enough reasons to factor meditation into your daily routine.

With the weight of scientific findings there is available to us, meditation is as valid as any other healthy lifestyle choice for improving our wellbeing and extending our life and enjoyment of life.

However, as I mentioned in my opening, I have now, with the most obvious epiphany of my journey so far, recognised that there is no need to separate the scientific reasons from the spiritual reasons for meditation. It’s excruciatingly obvious because unity, inclusion, oneness is at the very centre of meditation and mindful teachings; I can’t believe it took me this long to see.

In meditation we begin to drop the veil between what we experience in the ‘real world’ and the truth of our entire selves, intricately entwined with all things.

We experience ourselves as energy and we go to places far away from our physical seat. We become so at rest that our brain waves alter and we enter incredibly creative states, we realise things that no amount of intellectual thought has realised. We enter flow, we enter ease. Imagine how you feel when you meet someone who fully accepts you and understands you just as you are, the relief. Now imagine that that person is you. How obvious is it that in that acceptance of all parts of yourself; physical, energetic, spiritual, vast and minute, your system relaxes into bliss, into equilibrium and everything that you are on every level just works.

The spiritual and scientific benefits of meditation are two sides of the same coin, in full acceptance of yourself as an energetic, conscious being as well as a physical being, you find balance and your system does exactly what your human self was always made to do; it manifests the solutions you need and brings them into creation. Health.

Join me on Wednesday mornings at 10:30am for Guided Meditations and On Demand on the Online Club, log on or join today. In the coming weeks we hope to welcome you back in Studio at Singita Barbados, follow us on our social media for updates!

With Loving Kindness, from Sarah xo

Spring brings hope for change.

The innocence and beauty of youth with my precious Grandaughter Orla.

May flowers in Barbados are in all their glory. Wherever you look the bougainvillea is a spectacular array of vibrant colours and the cassia trees and flamboyants are so vivid against the backdrop of arid grass during this dry season. Spring has Sprung in the rest of the world and I am sure you are all enjoying the brighter days, stunning scenery and the wonderful opportunity to walk, run and bike outside. Our beach hours in Barbados are extended and so many people are taking the morning and afternoons to swim and walk our beautiful coastline, our tropical paradise never disappoints.

Yet here we still remain in an uncertain and forever changed world. This last week I struggled, I have to admit. I had a couple of days of doom & gloom, missing my old life, the hugs from family and friends. Walking into Singita doors everyday with beautiful smiles to greet me and seeing the lovely faces of participants in my classes, not always smiling at me, often a grimace or an expletive, I love the feedback and energy whichever way.

We have now created a new online community and it’s wonderful to see their bright smiling faces every morning. I’m sure we’ve all had our days struggling to come to terms with this new way of being. After some extra meditation and prayers and thankfully some more healing work offered through our Spiritual Online course that started last week with Patti Wilson, I finally felt a shift to a deeper acceptance and a renewed energy and felt my optimism and excitement for the future return.

So that lovely saying “Bloom where you are planted’ came to mind, find the beauty in the moment, acceptance for what is, as life unfolds perfectly for you.  Nature never rushes or yearns to be something or somewhere else, an acorn becomes an oak tree, a flower unfolds and blooms in its own glorious divine timing, with a grace and beauty unto itself. And here we are, as we unite in thought and consciousness I am forever grateful for our Singita community and look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Michelle x

When are leaves more than just leaves?

During a recent family gathering over Zoom (during Coronovirus lockdown), we were discussing how the slowed down pace has meant we can all get a little more adventurous with our cooking (stocks permitting).

My sister then recounted a story from a couple of days prior, when I had called her up, giddy with excitement about a fresh food delivery I had just received. I promised a photo. She was expecting to see a gourmet dish, and was amused by the picture of a bowl of leaves I sent over (see pic). We all had a good giggle at how a bowl of leaves was my gourmet delight, but in my moment of solitude and with a media backdrop of restriction and lack, this delivery felt to me like the most exquisite treat and life affirming nourishment! It was much more than just a bowl of leaves, it was especially prepared for me and it was a thing of beauty.

During this time of slowed down pace (for most of us anyway), we have the privilege to adjust our perspective, and to value the small things that bring us joy. To focus on the simplicity of what we really need to survive and thrive.

There are many people posting on social media how we will all come out of this in some way changed, and hopefully with lessons learned about how to live a more mindful life. For me, this picture of a bowl of leaves will always bring me back to this feeling that I had on that day, when this for me represented a gift from heaven.

Singita spirit lives on – going virtual to keep you healthy

In line with our recent government announcement, Singita is now temporarily closed to the public. I’d like to thank each and everyone of you for your continued patronage & support over this last year.

We have been honoured to have worked with the most amazing team at Singita, and met so many wonderful people from around the globe.  Our hearts are now with you all during this global crisis, we are praying this does not linger and life will return to a new normal soon. Hopefully we will have evolved, grown closer to family & friends, connected more meaningfully.

I am so thankful we can stay connected via email and social media.  I had been planning to expand Singita Barbados to an online global platform, so this has motivated me to embark on this more rapidly. The first step is to bring our studio classes to you LIVE (via Zoom) and  further videos will be shared through our other IG, Facebook & Youtube channels. Instructions and schedule to follow.

I am wishing you all time well spent in meditation, prayer and self reflection, and hopefully we will be opening our doors again soon to you all.

Stay safe and well.
Love, Michelle xo

We are pleased to offer our online classes – FREE to all for the next two weeks (until 11th April 2020).

Our online class schedule is as follows.  These classes will be free to everyone for the next two weeks, please email me back if you’d be interested in participating in any of these classes so I can email you the link ahead of time.

Online classes will run for 45 minutes.

Starting Monday March 30th, our weekly schedule will be as follows. (Atlantic Standard Time).

Monday 9.30am Ballet Barre
Tuesday 9.30am Core Conditioning
Wednesday 9.30am Ballet Barre
Wednesday 10.30am Super Stretch
Thursday 9.30am Full body with HIIT
Friday 9.30am Yoga/Pilates Fusion
Saturday 10.30am Ballet Barre

Zoom.us instructions to follow once I recieve your request email, for linking to the class. Please email Michellejamieson@me.com  to be sent the class links.

Private training for individuals and small groups also available by appointment. Please email Michellejamieson@me.com

 

💖Beginning of my Blog💖

This Singita Wellness journey manifested in physical form just 15 short months ago & is now a beautiful haven of activity here on the West coast of Barbados.

My vision was to create a wellness community where anyone walking in our doors could find their needs met in health & wellness, physically & spiritually.

Now into our second year I am humbled & so grateful for the growth of our wellness community, we continue to have so many amazing people walk through our doors.

I am sharing the news that I will now share more of my journey (this not being easy for me). As we all know the more we expose ourselves the more we open ourselves up for criticism. But as another wise woman reminded me if I am committed to helping others I need to put ego & fear aside & choose LOVE. 💖

Blessings to you all.

Michelle x .