November 14, 2021
(TORONTO, Canada)- Meditation is the centuries-old practice that is finding new grounds during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meditation has been studied to benefit sleep, reduce stress and anxiety, alleviate pain, improve reaction time, among other benefits. During lockdown and the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been used as an aid during tough times to tackle pandemic anxiety.
Art-therapist Anand Jaggernauth said, “it’s a practice that really facilitates bringing us here in the present moment and the here and now to experience that present moment, and without judgement and with self-compassion.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, meditation has been one form of relief for those feeling isolation, uncertainty, and confinement. The pandemic not only affected those wishing to practice, but it also impacted those who teach. A registered yoga and reiki teacher, Alyssa Enns, said much of the meaning and connection was lost as she could not teach face-to-face.
“Connection, like connection to other people, like looking at someone’s face and seeing their reactions is so powerful when you’re in person, but when you’re on the computer, which is generally what I did when COVID started, it just didn’t feel the same. It just took all of the tradition and, like the the meaning out of why I was doing what I was doing,” said Enns.
Meditation is a collection of techniques such as yoga and guided visualizations used to ground the breath and quiet the mind and can be done for a variety of durations. Enns spoke to the power of her journey meditating.
“Yoga and meditation have literally changed my life. It saved my life. I don’t want to go too into detail about that, but it’s very powerful. So if you find something like that, that can just positively impact you. I totally just go all in and trust yourself. That’s the biggest thing,” she said.
For those wishing to start meditating, Jaggernauth suggests a ‘54321 exercise’ to become more present and grounded in the current circumstance.
“So something just like, what are five things that you can see when you’re on the walk? What are four things that you might be able to feel a touch, three things that you might be able to hear, two things you might be able to smell, and one thing that you might be able to taste?”