According to the famous Indian doctor and Ayurvedic physician Deepak Chopra, “The guiding principle of Ayurveda is that the mind exerts the deepest influence on the body, and freedom from sickness depends upon contacting our own awarness, bringing it into balance and extending that balance to the body.”
Daily meditation practice can also help clear mental and emotional Ama (toxins) and prevent the build-up of more. When we feel anxious, fearful, upset or angry, a chain of physiological events is sparked off; hormones and biochemicals flood our bodie from the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands and have far reaching effects throughout the body. In accute stress, our heart rate increases, blood flow to our muscles is increased, our pupils dilate and more oxygen flows through our lungs. In chronic stress, our bodies are in a state of hyper-arousal for long periods of time, and hormones that are meant to protect us are oversecreted, and eventually depleted. This has the effect of depleting our Ojas, our vital energy and immunity. Research on meditation shows that it can increase Ojas, enhance our resilience to stress, reduce cortisol levels, lower blood pressure and negative emotions such as fear, aggression and anger. Even diseases caused by deep-seated Ama, such as heart disease, hypertension and stroke, are found to significantly improve with meditation.
There are many different forms of meditation, but common to all is the use of concentration techniques to help us witness our thoughts. Mantras – sounds, syllables, words or phrases (usually drawn from scripture and endowed with special power) can be chanted to stablish a force fiel. They can also be reapeted softly or mentally, and their subtle tones will have the effect of quietening the mind, harmonizing the inner bodies and stimulating our latent spiritual qualities.