If you haven't already heard of Amira Osman, she's the yogi who launched a 4 week meditation program to start your journey in Ramadan. So what does the program entail exactly? It's 4 weeks of meditations, breath work, yin yoga, and journal prompts. Basically, all the things you can do to better your lifestyle. We all know the meditation craze that everyone seems to be talking about, but it's a craze for a reason. The benefits of meditation are numerous, from building skills to manage stress, reducing negative emotions, to increasing self-awareness. So, we decided to talk to the expert, Amira Osman, all about meditation. We asked all the questions everyone seems to be asking, and more importantly she shared the extra benefits that come with meditation in Ramadan.
Amira Osman talks to us about the benefits of meditation in Ramadan:
1. What made you decide to do a meditation program during Ramadan?
While every day is a great day to practice being more present, in Ramadan, many people are more inclined to cultivate new habits, especially with how there's a pretty set routine considering the meal times, which is something many people don't have all year round!
2. We know meditation has a lot of benefits, what we're curious to know is are there more benefits to meditation during Ramadan, while fasting?
There are so many scientific benefits to meditating on an empty stomach; most notably would be the alertness that comes with slight hunger, as our most primitive self is on the outlook for food, and the one I resonate with so much is that as we tap into our parasympathetic nervous system aka the rest and digest response, we want to be "resting" rather than "digesting." This basically means that our energy wouldn't be going to processing food and instead activating the natural healing functions of the body!
3. What can one expect from practicing mindful meditation throughout the month of Ramadan?
Are you familiar with that common anger that comes with fasting? The goal is to transform all that energy into so much love and to acting from a place of love.
4. What would you say to the people who say, 'Meditation isn't for me' or 'I just can't do it'
I would say "you've been told so many inaccurate things about meditation!"
The thing is: we're not sages in the himalayas. We are urban residents living in highly stimulating environments. We need techniques that work for us, and basically help make us the best versions of ourselves, as we carry on with our lives. A very common meditation myth is "but I can't empty my mind!" or "I just can't stop my thoughts!"
Well, I say great! Because you actually can't! As one of my teachers says, "The mind thinks involuntarily, just like the heart beats involuntarily." So, let's not try to stop the mind from thinking. Let us try to cultivate presence instead!
5. How has meditation affected your life?
The real question should be: how has it not affected my life! I am a whole other person since I started meditating, but I can't credit that solely to meditation as I had done so many changes in my life around the time I started meditating. I will say though, that I'm much calmer, a lot more tolerant and I live more from a place of love and compassion than I ever used to.
6. Most people find that it is hard to meditate in general. Does this process become easier during Ramdan?
Honestly, not necessarily. I generally recommend meditating on an empty stomach so it doesn't make that much of a difference in Ramadan or not. However, the thing I find interesting about Ramadan, as I mentioned earlier is the routine, and that is one thing that can make meditation move from being something someone is trying to pick up to becoming a habit.
7. After how many days does the effects of meditation become effective, and one feels that his/her mind becomes clearer?
It's VERY different from one person to another and it depends on many factors including the techniques or approaches used. It is also important to note that it's not a linear journey for most people. This means that there is no time frame. What I know for sure is: it can become a habit for anyone within 3 months or less!
Main Image Credits: Instagram: @amiraaymans