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Nico Sarani x Vegan Good Life - Yoga - Dominik Cee Photo - Berlin, 2019
With publishing a magazine, running a website and putting together events, we sure can do with a bit of relaxation and help finding focus here at Vegan Good Life. Which is why this column of yogini and friend of the family Nico Sarani is a much welcome inspiration for the new year. The topic: The perks of meditation. We could use us some of that for sure! Let's get it.

Words: Nico Sarani
Photos: Dominik Cee
The perks of meditation - they sound too good to be true. According to several studies, countless yoga-based websites, and pretty much every meditation- and yoga teacher on planet Earth, contemplative practices help you gain better focus, stress less, be a little (or a lot) happier and boost your immune system.

Sounds pretty dope, right? And as if that wasn’t awesome enough already, meditation may, when practiced regularly, reward you with “orgasmic states of bliss”. Plus, as shown by Nobel prize winner and author Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, contemplative practices may even slow down aging – hey there, fountain of youth! Byebye, Botox!

“Wow”, you say,  “...Spiritual orgasms? Better productivity, looks, and health? I’ll have what they’re having”.

Fact of the matter is, practices like meditation and yoga can literally shoot your personal performance and wellbeing to the next level. Tim Ferriss (author of “The 4-hour Workweek”), who regularly interviews entrepreneurs and key players at the top of their fields for his podcast, states that 90% of his guests practice some type of mindfulness or meditation technique.

Ancient mind-body practices have entered self-development and performance-culture.

It seems like ancient mind-body practices have finally taken their place in the realms of self-development and performance-culture, their beneficial impact proven by countless researchers. But is this what the ancient yogis had in mind when they came up with these both physical and mental disciplines?

Well, yes and no. Some yogic lineages (yes, there are different yogic traditions) see the alluring dipping into “higher” states of consciousness, sometimes called samadhi, or the attainment of “liberation” (think reaching Enlightenment) as the ultimate purpose of yoga & meditation practice. Those states, they say, offer fundamental insight about the energetic nature of reality and freedom from the “illusion of the material world”.

Some of these practices and routines are specifically designed to maximize human potential.

Other lineages, however, have a bit of a different approach to the various methods. They speak of an intensely transformative character of certain practices and routines, specifically designed to maximize human potential. Practices that guide you into a process of self-reflection, help you deal with whatever shit life throws at you a little more elegantly, and help you accomplish your earthly goals more quickly.

Funnily enough, one definition of “self-development” describes this particular relentless human urge in a similar fashion as “a way for people to assess their skills and qualities, consider their aims in life and set goals in order to realize and maximize their potential.” Starting to see some parallels here, Sherlock?

Occasionally, one may advise to better practice or “self-develop” responsively, though: A few weeks ago I read about a meditation practitioner who apparently got addicted to meditation. The poor guy got so hooked on his encounters with “Miss Universe”, he started compromising his social relationships on his determined, but increasingly very lonely, search for deep mystical states and spiritual orgasms.

It is advised to practice responsibly, though – or you may get lost.

Instead of enjoying the beneficial perks of his practice in everyday life he used his contemplative trips as a never-ending escape from the “ordinary world” (aka our earthly neighborhood). You sure you want “what he’s having”…?

Similarly, some supposedly goal-oriented self-development strategies can backfire if we use them as tools to reinforce our personal control issues or balance out our inferiority complexes. As one high performer put it the other day: “Some people have so many daily routines, they don’t have time for anything else anymore.”

If you get caught up in obsessively performing mindbody practices instead of having them support your everyday performance, relationships, and overall ability to kick ass, you may be missing out on a whole lot of fun. Because with laser sharp focus, invincible health, and your new shiny meditative facelift, there surely are all kinds of orgasms waiting for you out there, somewhere.
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