I am very excited to introduce Ashley, a new contributor to The Food Medic Blog! Ashley is a qualified personal trainer, wellness coach, and meditation teacher focusing on mindful movement and practical wellbeing.
What if there was one easy thing you could do to reduce stress and anxiety, treat or prevent depression, benefit your cardiovascular health and immunity, while also encouraging a healthy lifestyle, increasing self awareness, and improve focus, concentration and productivity? Wouldn’t you want to know about it?
Well, you probably already do, but it’s something that maybe you’ve thought would never work for you, or perhaps you just didn’t know where to begin. Meditation is extremely beneficial for every single one of us, and in this series I’m going to break it down for you to show you how simple it can be to incorporate this life changing habit into your everyday routine.
I discovered meditation a long time ago now, but it was earlier this year that I realised the extent of its importance. As a personal trainer and aerialist, I was an extremely active person, so it was a huge blow for me to develop Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of 26.
Not only was the pain so extreme that it made it nearly impossible for me to perform regular everyday activities, such as walking, dressing myself or tying my shoelaces, it was also the realisation that my body was changing and it was completely outside of my control, that was just as difficult to come to terms with. All of a sudden, my whole life had changed. I was no longer able to do the things I wanted to and used to be able to do, such as train my clients, hang around on some gymnastics rings for fun or be self sufficient.
My recovery was slow, although I’m so happy to report it is steady and I am in a much better place physically now. Key to my recovery process was my meditation practice.
There was no way I would have been able to accept the changes that had occurred in my life without it.
It helps me stay focused, it helps me regulate my moods, it helps me change the way I think about my pain, and it helps me reduce my stress and anxiety, which can lead to further inflammation (RA is an autoimmune disease resulting in inflammation of the joints).
It’s hugely important for me to help others discover the importance of meditation, and how simple it can be to add to your routine. Meditation has a huge impact on your overall wellbeing, and it’s important to learn these tools at any stage in your life, so that when challenges come along we are in the right headspace to deal with them.