10 Mental Health Benefits of a consistent Meditation Practice

10 Mental Health Benefits of a consistent Meditation Practice

There are many benefits having a regular meditation practice can have in supporting mental health and wellness. 

Have you heard  about  how incredible meditation can be for your mental health? Want to know more?

I have been practicing meditation full time now for almost 6 years. Before that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I have taught my signature style fusion classes to students all over the world, and watched like a proud parent, as each one has grown and transformed through their own journey with their mental health, supported by their meditation practice.

There are just too many mental health benefits for me to list in one go, so I have chosen ten, for now. Take a look.

Here are ten mental health benefits:

  1. Reduces stress and anxiety: Meditation can help to regulate the body’s stress response, leading to a decrease in anxiety and stress levels.
  2. Improves focus and concentration: Meditation can help to improve focus and concentration by training the mind to be more present and aware of the present moment. 
  3. Increases self-awareness: Meditation can help to increase self-awareness by encouraging the practitioner to be more present and aware of their thoughts, feelings, and sensations.
  4. Enhances emotional well-being: Meditation can help to regulate emotions, leading to increased emotional well-being and a sense of overall happiness and contentment.
  5. Increases compassion and empathy: Regular meditation can help to cultivate a more compassionate and empathetic attitude towards oneself and others.
  6. Improves sleep: Meditation can help to improve sleep by calming the mind and relaxing the body, leading to a better quality of sleep.
  7. Reduces chronic pain: Meditation can help to reduce chronic pain by decreasing the body’s perception of pain and increasing the production of pain-relieving hormones.
  8. Improves cardiovascular health: Meditation can help to improve cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease.
  9. Boosts the immune system: Regular meditation can help to boost the immune system by increasing the production of antibodies and white blood cells.
  10. Increases feelings of gratitude: Meditation can help to increase feelings of gratitude and appreciation for the present moment, leading to a greater sense of overall well-being.

The health benefits meditation can have on the health of our body and mind is endless. So much more than the ten incredible examples listed above. If you would like to start your own regular practice or discover tools to help you better support not only your mental wellness but your physical health too, you can take a look at the website and book in a free consultation for some bespoke support.


Laura Rowe founder of Align Lifestyle

Benefits of listening to music during meditation

Benefits of listening to music during meditation

Music is such an important part of my teachings. Think laid back Ibizan tracks and chilled out chart music – I cant get enough!

Music lifts our spirits, it can literally sing to our soul! It can induce memories, feelings and emotions – a connection. You all know I’m about that connection!!

For many years I was under the impression that it was ‘better’ to meditate in silence and I know I wasn’t the only one. No wonder I found it so difficult for so long.

Whilst listening to music you recognise and enjoy, creates a sense of familiarity, a calmer, more relaxed environment, which makes the process of mediation more effective.

However, music is so much more than something you find enjoyable to listen to. Music has a direct effect on the parasympathetic nervous system, the system in the body responsible for our ‘rest and digest’ response. It’s the part of the nervous system that slows down our heart rate, helping take us out of a ‘fight or flight’ response.

I often put ‘unexpected’ music with my sessions as I feel it is important to know, we don’t need to listen to pan pipes or whale music during our practice for it to work, and if you do that’s amazing, but you won’t find much of it around here.

The tracks I use aren’t just some of my favourite, they are chosen specifically for each of my sessions and added to my playlists with intention. 

A faster pace of music can make us feel more alert, with increased concentration. Upbeat music can make us feel more optimistic and positive. A slower pace of music can quiet the mind and  relax your body, making you feel soothed while releasing any physical tension. 

5 reasons for music over silence when meditating

1.  Improved quality of sleep

Sleep is very important for a healthy and balanced life. 

More often than not, due to external expectations and daily stresses , we can’t get a good night’s sleep. Meditation, as I have said before in my article on expectations, is what that comes to the rescue here. Meditating while listening to some calming modern music can help reduce your stress levels. You can start to feel more relaxed and will sleep better. 

2. Improved concentration

Music with an increased beat can help improve concentration levels whilst you meditate. It can increase focus and bring you more of those ‘light bulb’ moments of clarity by activating those alpha brainwaves. Those times when you are having difficulty finding a solution or working through a problem, throw on some tunes and breathe.

3. Reduces stress

Another great benefit of listening to music while meditating is a reduction in the levels of stress and anxiety. Stress is one of the most common issues in today’s world. Some might argue it’s a pandemic of it’s own. 

If your workload is very demanding, if you don’t have a healthy work / life balance, if external factors continue to steal your peace, it can be more natural for you to feel stressed-out often. When you listen to pleasant and soft music during meditation, you can feel calmer and more able to eliminate stress from your life. The more you practice, the more you can train your brain to recognise that certain tracks mean its time to relax.

4. Heals your body

Did you know that meditation can also heal? It not only heals mental wounds, but physical wounds as well. That’s the power of your mind. Don’t even get me started on how it can help the brain physically repair holes caused by stress… I’ll save that for next time.

Incorporating music in the background during meditation allows your body to heal naturally. There are a number of studies that show a whole load of benefits including reduced blood pressure, improved breathing efficiency, lower heart rate, improved cardiovascular function and so so many more.

5. Deeper connection to self

Music can take us on a journey and when we are meditating during that journey, it can simply be next level. It can also improve your cognitive abilities and help you meditate more efficiently. With practice, when meditating while listening to music, you can find greater inner peace, inner acceptance and happiness within yourself. 

As part of my Wellness Membership it has always been a non negotiable of mine that there would be a monthly playlist included. 

If you know me, you will know I literally live to create playlists that spark joy and connections for people. It may seem like such a small FREE extra that comes along with your package, but for me, it completes your practice. 

Even taking the music on a mindful walk with you or while enjoying a bubble bath is an equally important part of your self care routine.

Love Laura x

Everyone thought I could meditate

Everyone thought I could meditate

I’ve practised Yoga for over 20 years. People always assumed this meant I could Meditate. But I couldn’t.

No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t sit still for long enough. I couldn’t bear the silence!

I couldn’t even keep my eyes closed – always peeking around the room to check people hadn’t played a trick on me, got up and left the room. No matter what, I couldn’t stop thinking of random crap. So I’d quit. I’d get up off the floor, defeated. Resigned to the fact that meditation just wasn’t my thing. Maybe next time? And in a couple of months I’d put myself through it all over again. Same actions, same results.

How were other people doing it? Why was it so bloody hard? What was I doing wrong? And how the hell do I stop myself from thinking? All those benefits, unreachable to me.

YouTube video after YouTube video, class after class – they made it look effortless! I couldn’t fit in, I couldn’t relate. Frustration was an understatement!

Then one day I discovered you don’t have to sit in silence. Huh? You don’t even have to sit still. Whaaa? Best of all, it was actually easy! Wow! Just wow! I was hooked!

All those years frustrated & it was so simple all along?

Why couldn’t someone have shown me this YEARS ago?


How to meditate ‘properly’

The first thing I learnt is that thinking is a normal part of meditation (mind blown) We can’t stop our brains from thinking anymore than we can stop our hearts from beating. This actually makes so much sense when you think about it, right?

This was the beginning of my eyes opening wide and my mind switching over to a new way of looking at meditation. The first thong I discovered was how it’s more about being kind to yourself. Not getting pissed off with the way you think things ‘should be’. How you are enough just the way you are. No force, no effort – compassion. Massive life lessons right there!

I discovered how every meditation experience is different. That it doesn’t make it right or wrong. It doesn’t mean one time worked better than the other. It gives you exactly what you need at that moment in time.

The power is in you, it’s always been there. It’s just about settling that busy mind enough to hear it.

If you’re uncomfortable the way you’re sitting you can move, if you get an itch you can scratch it. Otherwise let’s be honest, you’re just going to sit there distracted, waiting for it to be over.

For years I was convinced there were strict rules on how to ‘meditate properly’ and that’s just not true. Maybe I was just watching the wrong videos & going to the wrong classes for me?

Now I’m all about spreading the word about just how EASY this practice really is. Meditation is magic!

The health benefits are endless!

Check some of these out:

  • Reduces stress
  • Controls anxiety
  • Improves relationships
  • Encourages mindfulness
  • Promotes emotional health
  • Enhances self awareness
  • Lengthens attention span
  • Can generate kindness
  • Helps fight addictions
  • Improves sleep
  • Pain management
  • Decrease blood pressure
  • Lower heart rate

You can literally practice meditation anywhere, anytime. My meditation classes are for everyone and offer a unique fusion of breath-work, mindful movement, meditation and relaxation. Take a look here for more details.

Love Laura x

What’s so important about mornings?

What’s so important about mornings?

I want to talk about cultivating a positive mindset through a morning routine.

For years I hated mornings! I did not want to get up EVER! Bed is the best! I would always lay in until the last possible moment and even then I was rushing around, still with my eyes closed, Stubborn!

I’m almost certain I’m harbouring a childhood trauma from when my poor mother would be hanging by a thread trying to get me up for school. As a last resort she would pull the covers off me and drag them out the room. Noooo! Equally as traumatising every morning! To this day I have irrational reactions to anyone trying to take my bed covers off me. Actually hilarious when I read this back!

I digress…

Now, I love a lay in as much as the next person – so don’t get me wrong. These days I’m looking for more of a balance. Overtime I have come to realise that the more I’ve implemented these small changes into my morning the more positive and uplifted I have become.

Morning routines really are so important!

They set the tone for the whole day and really do improve your mood and mindset!

Remember, energy goes where intention flows!

Starting out positive creates a ripple effect. We are turning slow and sluggish into energised and focused – no drastic life changes required!

Below are my 6 top tips for manifesting the highest of vibrations!

1. An attitude of gratitude

Mindset is everything!

It’s about appreciating the fresh start of a new day. Excited for the adventures this new day is going to bring.

Let’s face it, hitting the snooze button over and over is creating a negative mindset. It’s reinforcing cant’s before we even start the day. What we are looking for here is to be swapping “I cant” for “I can”. And that gentle flip in mindset really makes all the difference. Let’s start the way we mean to go on!

2. Smile

Super simple this one, and it takes no time out of your day!

Smiling is infectious!

It releases ALL of those feel good happy hormones – Serotonin, Endorphins, Dopamine – the lot! Smiling even sends in the big guns – Neuropeptides, those are the big stress busters. Win win!

And the best bit? You can literally share a smile with everyone you meet and ripple those feel good vibes all through the day. Yes!

3. Yoga

Stretch your body.

Moving helps to prevent negative energy becoming stagnant in the body and manifesting into disease or illness and increased immunity.

Practicing Yoga for as little as 10 – 15 minutes per day, regularly, can result in higher levels of serotonin being released into the body (our happy hormone). The brain’s gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) levels can also increase. High GABA levels are associated with lower levels of anxiety and depression.

Yoga really is suitable for everyone. If you are a beginner I recommend little and often, slow and steady. If you have a body you can do Yoga!

4. Meditation

Meditation lets you clear the mind and focus your intentions. How do you want to spend your day?

Meditation can literally alter our brain chemistry! It can release us of negative thought patterns and beliefs. The increase in production of Alpha and Delta brain waves created during meditation is not only responsible for rest and relaxation but for those lightbulb moments of clarity and confidence.

A short practice of 5 10 minutes a day can be enough to create a steady self care routine.

5. Affirmations

One of my favourites!

Affirmations are positive words, phrases or statements you repeat to yourself as a goal in its already completed state eg. 

I am worthy of love.

I am brave enough to achieve my dreams.

I am perfect as I am.

I am grateful for what I have.

Repeating positive affirmations can be incredibly powerful in helping you challenge and overcome self-sabotage and negative thinking. You can say them to yourself in your mind’s eye or out loud if you wish. Either way, the high frequency of your intention is out there!

Law of Attraction – If you believe it then you will receive it.

6. Boiled water

First thing of a morning, on an empty stomach, drink a cup of cooled boiled water.

In Ayurvedic tradition this is how we kickstart our Agni (digestive fire). It’s seen to be the best way to clean out the digestive system of all the impurities and stagnant waste from the day before.

Digestive health plays a huge role in our mental health. They call the gut our second brain, and with good reason! 

Poor gut health has been scientifically linked to anxiety, depression and other psychological conditions.


Take time for you. Breathe. Align your thoughts. Reset. 

Love Laura x