As we enter 2022, one thing is certain: life isn’t slowing down.
The 24-hour news cycle will keep churning out stories, the world around us will remain noisy and bustling, and daily task lists will keep growing. We are a populace that seldom slows down to smell the proverbial roses, and sometimes that non-stop pace can begin to take its toll.
Many people’s New Year resolutions include attempts to slow down, relax, or focus on some form of self-care. The Art of Living Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to a stress-free society, is no stranger to the call of people clamoring for peace in their day-to-day lives. For over 40 years, they’ve served people in 156 countries, teaching meditation techniques and self-development programs designed to “foster deep and profound inner peace.”
Their proprietary program, SKY (Sudarshan Kriya Yoga) Breath Meditation, would be an excellent addition to any New Year resolution list. Here are three great reasons why:
1. SKY Breath Meditation Significantly Lowers Stress and Anxiety
“SKY Breath Meditation uses natural rhythms in one’s own breath,” explains Art of Living teacher Andrew Keaveney, “It stimulates the vagus nerve, which in turn yields numerous autonomic benefits, including activation of one’s relaxation response and allowing the nervous system to slide into “rest and digest” mode.”
Studies show that SKY Breath Meditation reduces stress hormone serum cortisol production by 56% within two weeks of starting the program.
“In deeper restful states, the body feels safe to let go of the stresses it has been holding onto,” says Keaveney.
After the past few years of political pandemonium and pandemic-related turbulence, kicking off 2022 with half the amount of stress sounds pretty good.
2. SKY Breath Meditation Promotes a Healthy Immune System
Over eight weeks, Dr. Richard Davidson at the University of Wisconsin- Madison conducted a study on whether meditation could positively affect immunity. The study involved an injection of the flu, however with the Omicron variant of Coronavirus accompanying us into the new year, promoting a healthy immune system could be wildly advantageous.
Within Dr. Davidson’s study, the group that was taught meditation techniques over the eight weeks showed an increase in the level of antibodies, helpful in reacting to and preventing illness.
3. SKY Breath Meditation Promotes Good Sleep
According to the Sleep Foundation, 35.2% of all adults in the U.S. report sleeping less than seven hours of sleep per night. This lack of rest leads to millions walking around tired during the day, leading to depression, illness, injuries, and decreased mental acuity.
Meditation promotes sounder sleep and better sleep quality.
“SKY has demonstrated a 218% increase in time spent in the deepest restful stages of sleep,” says Keaveney.
SKY Meditation has also been shown to treat sleep disorders such as insomnia effectively. Focusing on getting a better night’s sleep in the new year could lead to a whole host of positive effects, from better mood to reduced blood pressure.
No matter your goals for 2022, adding SKY Breath meditation to your list of resolutions allows you to go into the year calmer, healthier, and better rested. The overall benefits of meditation can bolster other items on your resolutions list, working in tandem with them to help you have the healthiest and happiest year ever.