Carolyne Gowen Mediation Interview
For years women have been taught that topical creams and expensive salon treatments are the key to youthful skin, but what if our state of mind is the key to unlocking a more radiant complexion?
Meditation expert, Carolyne Gowen says: "Meditation is one of the best practices in the world that can really rejuvenate your skin and transform your cells and tissues; best of all - it doesn't have to cost a thing".
So how does meditation work with making us more beautiful?
Studies have shown that the effect of meditation when done properly and consistently is like an anti-ageing pill that cleanses your skin and rejuvenates the complexion. Meditation has been proven to dramatically affect production of three important age-affecting hormones: DHEA, melatonin, and cortisol.
Meditation essentially teaches people how to rest their minds, thereby causing the vital energies within the body to become unleashed and work to their full potential. Known as 'chi' energies, this then travels to the cells and tissues of the skin and slowly floods them with vitality, bathing them with life essence. Meditation has been used for centuries to heal disease, defeat ageing and rejuvenate the skin.
Gowen says: "If you do meditation properly twenty minutes a day, you will soon take years off your looks and achieve longer term results than simply applying products to your outer body. Beauty starts from the inside out, so along with a nutritious diet and plenty of water your results will be truly effective.
Elizabeth Blackburn, who won the Nobel Prize in 2009 for discovering an enzyme called telomerase credits meditation for slowing down the ageing process and the shortening of these enzymes; a syndrome called telomeres which is associated with premature ageing within 4-6 months of practicing meditation.
Chronic stress and negative thoughts are two big factors in speeding up the ageing process. With ongoing use, meditation helps to assist on not only de-stressing, which will ultimately develop a complexion that exudes a fresh vitality, but also assists to lose weight as it helps lower metabolic rate and boosts quality of sleep.
And the following findings are astonishing:
Meditation can increase the production of DHEA by 44-90%.
DHEA is the only hormone that reduces as we grow older. It is described as a powerful anti-ageing hormone and is a key determinant of our physiological age. It guards against disease, increases sexual libido, and increases the feeling of wellbeing and youthful vitality.
Meditation can increase melatonin by 98-300%.
Melatonin, besides being a sleep hormone, is a very powerful antioxidant, anti-ageing agent, immunoregulator and anti-depressant. It slows cell damage, improves energy and may even inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
Meditation can decrease cortisol by 47%.
Cortisol on the other hand is a toxin that causes thinning in the skin. This hormone can cause chronic inflammation in the body and produce symptoms that come with advanced age.
Meditation teacher Carolyn Gowen firmly believes meditation is the perfect youth serum. "It is the true anti-ageing medicine because it activates our body's own natural anti-ageing healing force," she says. For maximum benefits, Carolyne says it's best to meditate twice a day for 20 minutes. "However, as we live in a busy world, meditating once a day for 20 minutes will still bring many benefits. Here's how to easily work meditation into your daily routine:In the office
"Sit quietly at your desk or in a meeting room in a comfortable position with good back support. Close your eyes. Gently start repeating to yourself the mantra OM or So-Hum (whichever one feels most comfortable). "When you notice your focus beginning to drift, gently go back to your mantra. Repeat this process for 10-20 minutes. Exercise
"Go outside where there is plenty of space to be able to walk for 20 minutes without encountering traffic. Place your attention on a spot in the distance (a tree or the horizon). "Keep looking at this spot and walk gently towards it, focusing on your breath. Be aware of the rise and fall of the breath in your chest. Be aware of your thoughts. Let them come and go but don't judge them. Before bed
"Listen to a beautiful guided meditation CD with relaxing music that will allow you to relax your body so that you can fall into a deep sleep. There are hundreds of CD's available from book and gift stores or online. "While you are doing this, just say thank you and be grateful to the universe for all the wonderful things that have happened to you that day. By having gratitude, you wake up the next day feeling positive and energised." Carolyne Gowen trained at the Chopra Centre in San Diego and runs meditation classes in Sydney.
If you mention 'Femail' when booking a course with Carolyne Gowen you will receive 20% off.www.stillyourmind.com.au
Interview with Carolyne GowenQuestion:
What is mediation?Carolyne Gowen
: There are many different forms of mediation and there is no right or wrong. The type of mediation depends on the type of meditation that suits an individual similar to exercise as you can choose to do Yoga or Pilates or Swimming or Running - you choose which is right for you.
I teach the Primordial Sound Meditation which is mantra; mantra is a sound of vibration that you repeat to yourself, internally, and it stops the voice within your head. When you are able to stop the voice in your head, even for a couple of moments, you have absolute stillness and quietness. When you have the stillness and quietness you are open to infinite possibilities and when you come out of mediation you have a lot more clarity, focus, motivated and concentration and you are a lot more calm, relaxed and happier. Mediation can quieten down your heart and blood pressure and many other wonderful things. Question:
Is it possible to defy age through daily mediation?Carolyne Gowen
: Yes, Primordial Sound Meditation helps with the hormones within your body including increasing Melatonin which is a hormone released from the pineal gland; Melatonin is famous for anti-ageing and helps you sleep better, at night and improves your immune system. Meditation also provides Cortisol which is a hormone released from your adrenal glands which sit just above the kidneys and Cortisol is the stress hormone and when you have increased Cortisol you have increased ageing. Meditation also increases the hormone DHEA which is also produced in the adrenal glands and it's very good for anti-aging. Meditation lowers the Cortisol levels in your adrenal glands and increases the DHEA. Question:
How does mediation unlock a more radiant complexion?Carolyne Gowen
: Yes, releasing these hormones unlocks a more radiant complexion and helps with anti-ageing. Telomerase is an enzyme that can rebuild and lengthen the telomeres which is a secret DNA at the end of chromosomes and they tend to get shorter.
Elizabeth Blackburn is a Professor of Biology and Physiology at the USCF in America and she won a Nobel Prize in 2009 when she discovered that the telomerase activity was about one-third higher in the white blood cells of participants who had completed a meditation retreat than in a matched group of controlled participants.
There are so many good things that your body can do with mediation. Question:
To see results how long do you need to meditate daily?Carolyne Gowen
: Two feel benefits straight away you will need to mediate twice a day. Meditation releases all of the great hormones such as Melatonin, Serotonin (which is responsible for happiness and self-esteem), Oxytocin (the pleasure hormone) Opiate (the body's natural pain killer) and Dopamine (the body's natural anti-depressant).
Dr Craig Hazard, a Professor at Monash University showed that long term mediating (every day for six weeks) releases the hormones mentioned above, all at once. Question:
Is meditating for shorter periods of time, still helpful?Carolyne Gowen
: Absolutely! Mediating for shorter periods of time will make you feel less stressed, quieten your breathing, reduce your heart rate and blood pressure and give you more energy and motivation. Question:
How does mediation overcome stress and anxiety?Carolyne Gowen
: Mediation can aid in helping stress disappear and what mediation is most famous for. 99% of people come to mediation because they're stress and anxious. As a result of meditation they reduce their stress and anxiety and get all of these other health benefits. Question:
Does meditation help with managing weight?Carolyne Gowen
: Not directly. With mediation you naturally begin to feel better about yourself, more energised and motivated and as a natural result of that you want to be healthier so you make better decisions food and exercise wise. Question:
How can we meditate?Carolyne Gowen
: It's best to mediate at a time of day that suits you best. Textbook says meditate when you first wake up (after you've had breakfast, cleaned your teeth and been to the toilet) but I always get up then exercise and have a shower before meditating because that's how it suits me, personally. I meditate for 20 minutes, twice a day; if you can only meditate 20 minutes once a day you are still doing a very good thing.
You can mediate sitting up in bed with lots of cushions for back support, sitting on your favourite chair or sofa. I've always mediated sitting on the floor, on a cushion, up against the wall where I've created my own place with beautiful cushions, candles, crystals and angel cards. You can mediate in the board room at work, at the beach, on the plane or in a park! You can mediate anywhere you want, you just need to be able to sit down and close your eyes.
To mediate you sit down and close your eyes and repeat your mantras, to yourself. Repeating your mantra will help to stop the voice, inside your head and still your mind. When you can still your mind you will go into a state of absolute stillness and nothingness where you can open to infinite creativity, imagination and potentiality. Question:
How can someone who has never mediated before, begin?Carolyne Gowen
: It's very, very easy. You can be shown and lead through it for Primordial Sound Meditation. You only have to do something for 21 days and it becomes a habit, mediation will fit into your day.
I also sell a range of mediation products. I produce beautiful mediation pillows which are natural and sustainable as on the inside its recycled plastic bottles which look and feel like foam and every cushion saves 85 plastic bottles from landfill. I also have a range of mediation and yoga blankets and candles at www.stillyourmind.com.au
Are there different types of meditation?Carolyne Gowen
: Yes, other mediations focus on your breath and you become aware of the rise and the fall of the breath in your chest. Other meditations are about being aware and mindful of everything you do throughout the day. There are walking mediations, open-eye mediations, candle mediations; there are many different types.
With Mantra Meditation you just say a sound over and over in your head. Deepak Chopra mantras are based on the sound of the universe at the time you were born. In a consultation I send your birth details through and receive your mantra. Deepak Chopra was a meditation master in India and they realised that the sound of the Universe changed four times a day and they look at where the moon is in your chart on the time that you were born which determines your mantra. Question:
Do you feel meditation could aid in changing negative thoughts into positive?Carolyne Gowen
: In a day we have 60-80,000 thoughts and it's genuinely the same tape, running through out head. When you begin meditating and stopping the thoughts in your head, you become very aware of the thoughts whether they're negative, positive or a combination of both. In my course I teach participants to become very aware of your thoughts and how to dismiss those negative thoughts and how to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts.
I also teach positive affirmations which are short positive statements to self. I teach you how to write your own positive affirmations in the I Am Present because if you write an affirmation in 'I want to' or 'I'm going to' that is in the future and the universe can only give you the feeling that you're going to get it. You need to write your affirmation beginning in 'I am' because that is in the present moment such as 'I am beautiful', 'I am on a wonderful holiday' and 'I am abundant and prosperous'. What is more important than saying the affirmations is actually feeling it in your body because if you say and feel it the universe thinks that you have it so it gives it to you.
Interview by Brooke Hunter