As the fitness industry continues to evolve at a blinding pace, innovative individuals and industries are continuously cooking up ideas to make your life more enjoyable and less stress-free. Just about every person you come across today is involved in some kind of fitness regimen or active stress management protocol.

If you’re among those “motivated” to get conquer stress, attain more out of life, and generally want your lifetime experiences to be full and rich, this read applies to you.

Some common forms of relaxation and meditation are of course yoga, as well as static and dynamic stretching. Transcendental Meditation (TM) furthers that by promoting a state of relaxed awareness and avoiding distracting thoughts. More precisely, TM came into being from the ancient Vedic tradition practiced in India. This technique was bought to the US in the 1960s.

Here’s how it works: you find yourself a comfortable position to sit in, with your eyes closed. You’re going to silently repeat a mantra while in this position; this is actually a rather meaningless sound from the Vedic tradition that’s going to be recommended to you by a qualified instructor. Much like yoga, the essence here is to achieve a pure state of consciousness; the person practicing it attempts to achieve perfect stillness, stability, order and a sense of having no “mental boundaries” whatsoever. Mastering this technique provides the mind and body a host of benefits:[list type=”icon-arrow”]

  • A clear train of thought
  • Attempts to significantly slow down breathing, thereby cutting back on cardiovascular risk factors
  • Increased longevity
  • A reduction in chronic inflammation, anxiety, high blood pressure and cholesterol[/list]

TM is currently in use by certain health care services and experts are tapping into more research to understand the full spectrum of benefits. However, TM has also been shrouded in controversy; some researchers blame the quality of meditation studies and go as far as to say it is not any more effective than health education at tackling every day ailments.

The interesting thing is TM is not considered a philosophy. Unlike exercise, it does not require lifestyle changes. Though, it must be noted, as is the case with most types of meditations, TM cannot be learned or mastered by reading books or watching tutorials. It is in fact a technique that requires instructions from a certified trainer or teacher.

As a general guideline, TM is practiced twice a day, 15 to 20 minutes at a stretch. Ideally, you’d want to engage in it once in the morning on an empty stomach and again in the afternoon or early evening before dinner.