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Young business team exercising Yoga in Lotus position on the floor at casual office. The view is through glass wall. Image Credit: Getty Images

Dubai: As Dubai gets set to host a massive, free-to-attend Wellness Festival or Dhyanotsav as part of the ongoing Dubai Fitness Challenge on November 16, wellness experts have emphasised the importance of meditation to de-stress and achieve better health in our fast-paced times.

Dismissing cynicism that mediation is a mere fad, or that it is an elusive concept, they said the challenges associated with the simple practice, which has many benefits, can be overcome if it is done the right way.

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Luke Coutinho, holistic lifestyle coach Image Credit: Supplied

Luke Coutinho, holistic lifestyle coach who will be delivering the keynote address at the festival, said, “Meditation allows us to ground ourselves and connect…it gives us peace and calm, and helps us to find out why certain things affect us.”

He said not having time for meditation is the lamest excuse. “Everyone has time, people use it the wrong way. Also, too many people enter meditation thinking that no thoughts should come into play. That is not true, everyone has thoughts. The actual way is to watch the thoughts and gently come back to the breath and heart. Let the thoughts keep coming, after a while they will stop.”

He said the easiest way to overcome the challenge of distraction is to practise regularly and meditate with the right intention.

Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique to train attention and awareness of the mind and achieve a calm and stable state.

Christian Williams of Heartfulness, a free meditation centre in Dubai, said, “By zoning out, we learn to zone in, which is so important in this fast paced, material world. Every little time helps. To get started, we need commitment but to keep going, we need consistency.”

Those practising meditation regularly vouch for the benefits.

Dr Rex Bacarra, Dean of General Education at the American College of Dubai, said, “Our life can be a very long journey, collecting experiences that are stressful, toxic, problem-laden, made worse by unmet social expectations and most often impossible demands. Meditation serves as a punctuation to our everyday struggle. It is a decisional tool that impacts one’s way of living … with a promise that with constancy, your life will be better, and the self, calmer.”

A former monk, he said, “We were taught to practice meditation every morning for 30 minutes and another in the evening. When I left the monastery and decided to immerse myself in Dubai’s modernity, I reserved 10 minutes for meditation right after I woke up in the morning. It kickstarts my day. It makes my dealing with people and work better. Without you knowing it, people notice the difference in the way you handle issues and the way you look at life’s impermanence.”

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Julian Williams, Principal of Springdales School Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

Julian Williams, Principal, Springdales School, Dubai, said, “Meditation does not just happen because you give yourself a slot, have your yoga mat and wear comfortable but perhaps slightly fashionable clothing. Focus on yourself, not on your emotions, desires, anxieties and time itself. Let time flow. Breathe by inhaling slowly and deeply and then letting go by exhaling slowly and allowing your body to relax. Be open to good and restful thoughts and new ideas that emerge not from outside stimulus but from within.”

What: Wellness Festival

When: Date: November 16, 6-9pm

Where: Hall #8, Dubai World Trade Centre

How:: Register for free at 800tickets.com