Emily Fletcher peacefully meditating amongst trees.

MINDSET – My Mantra

Emily Fletcher: Healing Yourself Helps Your Group

By Lashaun Dale

“I love you when you’re tired and stressed,” said no one’s partner or children ever. And no boss wants you to be stupid at work, either. That’s why, Emily Fletcher points out, “meditation is the least selfish thing you can do.”

In fact, group meditation has benefits that extend beyond the practitioner, according to Fletcher, creator of the Ziva meditation technique and author of “Stress Less, Accomplish More” (William Morrow, February 2019).

We typically picture meditation happening in a quiet, empty space with no distractions. We expect to reach a state where we can control—and stop—our thoughts. (“The brain thinks, and trying to stop it is like trying to stop your heart from beating,” Fletcher says.) But Fletcher recommends practicing meditation with a group because it activates mirror neurons that fire when we experience meditation (or any action) performed by another person, as if we were taking that action ourselves.

Fletcher compares the group meditation experience to the energy and motivation you get from a group class or workout that inspires you to continue to do the work on your own. “It’s like the group’s practice boomerangs and comes back so it can charge up your practice at home,” she explains.

Emily Fletcher ready for a casual bike ride.

Taking meditation to work

It pays to take your practice to work—even if that group (your co-workers) isn’t practicing with you. Meditation can give you the pause you need to be able to choose how to react to a situation (if at all). Fletcher’s Z technique takes just 15 minutes, but at times when you don’t have the option to disrupt a negative conversation or conflict with a few minutes of practice, she explains that you can create the space for some of the energy to diffuse by redirecting your attention.

Instead of getting on “the complain train,” Fletcher suggests noticing the most beautiful thing about the other person in a moment of conflict or heated discussion. “You might think to yourself, Wow, she really took care with her hair, or Wow, she’s really passionate about this topic, even if the person is screaming at you,” Fletcher says. “If you see people through this lens, they often will step up into that view and perform at the level you see them.”

Emily Fletcher stands with hands on hips while wearing a shortsleeve blue jumpsuit
Emily Fletcher poses with arms outstretched while wearing a shortsleeve blue jumpsuit
Emily Fletcher stands with her ands above her head and laughs while wearing a shortsleeve blue jumpsuit

Tapping into creativity

Fletcher also observes that meditation allows our brain to commune and tap into something bigger inside ourselves. She compares “left brain” function to working on a really great laptop. Meditation helps strengthen the corpus callosum, a band of nerve fibers connecting the left and right hemispheres of the brain and the parts of the brain responsible for motor, speech, sensory and cognitive function.

With better communication between the hemispheres of the brain, Fletcher says, comes greater creativity. She compares the connection to the right brain to a Wi-Fi router connecting that laptop (left brain) to creativity. “Meditating lets you be a vessel for nature to download creative ideas,” she says.

Ultimately, Fletcher concludes that meditation adds up to something more than a better individual: “The cool thing is as you heal yourself, you help heal the collective. There’s only one thing—energy—and we are all [energy]. As you improve your energy, you improve the energy of everyone around you.”

Start Healing

It’s nice to talk about the value of Ziva Meditation, but it is far better to experience its transformative power.  

Get started with Emily Fletcher’s Come To Your Senses visualization, a powerful mindfulness exercise to help you transition from your 100mph day to getting present in your body and in the right now.  

Ready for more? Download the Stress Less Guided Meditation, a super powerful tool Fletcher created for you to use anytime, anywhere to melt stress and boost your confidence in minutes.

The audio includes:

  • Full body scan
  • Muscle-melting visualization
  • Energizing pep talk

The Stress Less Guided Meditation does what wine, baths and exercise can’t do: relax your breathing, lower your blood pressure and give you clarity in minutes. Download the audio and use it on the go: before a high-pressure meeting, after a difficult day with the kids, anytime you want to melt stress so you can perform at the top of your game.

You’re also invited to join the 10,000-strong zivaTRIBE on Facebook for more meditation and performance-optimizing goodness. You’ll hear directly from Fletcher and the zivaTEAM for tips, answers to your meditation questions and frequent livestreams.

Photo credit: Tom Casey, box24studio.com
Hair and makeup: Chanel

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Author

Lashaun Dale

Lashaun Dale loves yoga and fitness and finds magic in movement, music and mobs of people. She holds degrees in International Relations, Philosophy and Applied Anthropology, as well as an MPH from the School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York. With two decades of group fitness programming experience, Dale currently serves as vice president of content & programming for 24 Hour Fitness and editor-in-chief of 24Life magazine. A regular contributor to SELF and Women’s Health and Fitness, as well as popular blogs and podcasts, she’ll teach yoga anytime she is given an opportunity to get her om on.

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