Many of us know we could benefit from meditation, but that knowledge doesn’t always translate into action. Why meditate when you can sleep for 10 more minutes or spend a few extra moments sweating out that double fudge mocha latte? We feel you, but the truth is, there’s a long list of reasons to meditate.

“We’ve noticed that one of the biggest obstacles that stand in the way of optimal health is chronic stress and most people underestimate the amount of wear and tear that happens physically, mentally and spiritually when they perpetually live in ‘fight or flight’ mode rather than ‘rest and digest’ mode,” says May Tom, MPH, RDN at Cal-a-Vie Health Spa in California. “Meditation brings us back to living the way nature intended; it’s a powerful vehicle that can move us out of stewing in toxic stress hormones into a space that allows the body to rest, rebuild and…

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