“Meditation sculpts the brain for better attention span, emotional stability and mental flexibility,” explains Eric Berliner, who lives in Glencoe and founded Generations Yoga at in Wilmette.
Following his arduous recovery from a serious accident, Berliner took his first yoga class at the suggestion of a friend. Having found a new passion and life path in yoga, he left his 30-year banking career to be a yoga instructor. He and his staff give back generously, including offering a donation-based community yoga class on Sundays—all the money collected goes to charity.
Here’s how Berliner recommends meditating. It’s called Yoga Nidra:
Prepare by giving yourself permission to meditate for 20 minutes. Setting a daily time or scheduling an appointment enhances consistency of practice. Set a timer to sound in 20 minutes. The optimal body position is to lie on your back in a place where you will not be disturbed or distracted. If that isn’t possible, rest easy—Yoga Nidra can be done sitting upright and anywhere, anytime.
Breathe through the nose, slightly constricting the throat, from the belly up through the sternum, and exhale in reverse, at an even pace. Rest the tip of the tongue on the hard palate behind the teeth, but not quite touching them.
Scan slowly, moving down from the crown of the head to the tips of the toes. Think of your mind as fingers sensing your body, noticing areas of tension or gripping, and then let go. Don’t struggle with stray thoughts; just let them come and go. If you finish the body scan before the timer sounds, focus on your breathing.
Editor’s note: Make It Better was sad to hear of Eric Berliner’s passing on Nov. 4. Generations Yoga released this statement:
“Yoga transformed Eric physically and mentally, and enabled him to grow beyond imagined possibilities in his body and life. His vision created this studio as a safe place for other’s transformation and its vibrant community stands as a testament to Eric’s devotion.
During this difficult time, our hope is that the members of our community will continue to support each other and walk in the path of Eric’s spirit with breath, great strength, and integrity.”