When 5 Days Can Give You 10 Months of Peace
When I first started teaching Yoga and Meditation my parents thought I was crazy. Well, they never said that, but I knew they didn’t really get it and thought it was pretty weird!
Fast forward several years later and they still may not totally “get it”, but they are my biggest supporters! I guess that’s a sign of a great parent. We may not have chosen something for our children and we may not even understand it completely, but we support them if it makes them happy! I am lucky enough to have those kind of parents!
My dad, who is now 82 years young! And, when I say young, I mean looks, acts and moves young! He’s as sharp as a tack and I’d still put money on him in an intellectual competition with anyone half his age.
Recently he was working with his Personal Trainer and all around Body/Mind Guru Adrienne, telling him about how me and my sister Deb are doing a Yoga and Meditation Retreat together in Arizona this coming March. Of course Adrienne practices Meditation himself and shared with my dad a recent study done comparing the effects of a 5 day Retreat verses a 5 day Vacation. Now I truly believe in the positive effects of Meditation and Yoga, but these results floored even me!
Of course my dad called me right away to share this with me! The study out of University of California San Francisco found that just 5 days focusing on the practice of Meditation and Yoga in a Retreat setting slows cellular aging and increases well being in several different ways, including producing a positive change in our genes! I hesitate to throw that “reduces aging” statement out there because it is probably way over used in our society to “sell” everything from lotions to potions. Plus changing our genes?
I know we all used to think that we were born with certain genes and that they were permanent. The new science of Epigenetics proves that genes can be “down regulated” or turned off and “up regulated” or turned on.
A Lot of Bang For Your Buck
The Retreat and Relaxation Study, compared the effects of a 5 day Vacation at a resort to a 5 day Meditation/Yoga Retreat at the same resort (La Costa Resort and Spa). Healthy women aged 30–60 were recruited mostly from the greater San Diego area and San Francisco and randomized to the “Vacation Group” or the “Novice Meditator Group”. The vacation group was hosted at the same resort, but they did not participate in any retreat activities. They reported on well-being immediately after (on day 5), 1 month later, and 10 months later to assess maintenance of benefits.
The Vacation That Keeps On Giving!
After 1 week at a resort, participants felt greater vitality and decreased distress, regardless of whether they were in the resort group or in the meditation/yoga retreat!
The group immersed in meditation and yoga exhibited more sustained well-being up to 1 month later, compared with the vacation group.
Ten months later depressive symptoms and perceived stress were measured again and compared with their pre-study baseline scores. The novice meditators showed significantly greater maintenance of improvements compared with those in the “Vacation Group”, with greater decreases in depressive symptoms and stress levels at 10 months! Ten months later; the novices maintained a clinically meaningful improvement in depressive symptoms and improved mood compared with the vacation group.
The explanation of the specific ways in which the body is healed are detailed in the following study.
If you’re interested in more info on a Yoga and Meditation Retreat this winter where the positive effects will last long after the retreat is over click below: