Monday, December 6, 2010

Knitting as Mantra

I cannot get enough knitting time. It's my favorite meditation and I love the product. It's therapeutically and aesthetically rocking my world right now.

Why? I think Herb Benson, MD, a mentor of mine from the Harvard Mind-Body Institute articulated it best.

"Working with yarn provides stress relief. Like meditation or prayer, knitting allows for the passive release of stray thoughts. The rhythmic and repetitive quality of the stitching, along with the needles clicking resembles a calming mantra. The mind can wander while still focusing on one task." 

Those of you who knit know the pleasures and meditative aspect of which I write. If you're looking to learn to knit or advance your training, here's a glorious story of a local young woman, Allison Reilly, who taught herself online (!) and is a knitting prodigy. Awesometown.

There is something interesting happening in the brain when you knit, a knitting together, if you will, of right and left brain. For those of us just too damn cool for Sudoku, this is your game to slow down the aging process! For more data on slowing down aging - check out Dean Ornish's blog on HuffPo where he describes the incredible news that meditation lengthens telomeres and slows down biological aging. Even Sudoku has not been shown to do that (or any prescription drug, for that matter!).


Stephanie West Allen said...

Could you tell me the citation for the comment by Dr. Benson about knitting, please? I cannot locate it. Thanks.

Dr. Sara Gottfried, MD said...

There are several citations for Herb Benson's comments. My mom sent me this post.

Here's another.

And another, which includes an ABC interview with Herbie.

yours in knitting,

Gottfried Center for Integrative Medicine's Fan Box

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I'm an organic gynecologist, yoga teacher + writer. I earn a living partnering with women to get them vital and self-realized again. We're born that way, but often fall off the path. Let's take your lousy mood and fatigue, and transform it into something sacred and useful.