At the end of yoga class, you might hear your yoga teacher inquire after students' daily meditation practice. At this point, half of the room is usually smiling and nodding while the other half is wondering how daily meditation can really make a difference. These top 5 benefits of daily meditation can effect powerful, lasting change in your life: 

Reduce stress - When you're stressed, slowing down to meditate can seem like the last thing you need to do. However, just like getting mat time refreshes your perspective, spending time meditating can put your stressors into perspective and make you feel better. It can also alleviate confusion and empower you to make better choices. 

Boost compassion - As you meditate, you become more comfortable with your inner feelings and more compassionate toward your inner critic. That has huge implications for your relationships, as it can help you be more mindful toward others and gentler toward yourself. 

Better sleep - Just 3 months of daily meditation can help you fall asleep and stay asleep so you feel refreshed and ready to make the most of each day.  

Improve problem-solving - By putting you in touch with your core self and helping you see through distracting thoughts, meditation makes decision-making easier. It can help you uncover creative solutions to problems, and generate lasting change in your life. 

Stay in the present longer - If you relish the present, connected feeling that you experience in yoga, you'll really like meditation as it extends your ability to stay in the present moment. 

It can be challenging for beginners to make time for daily meditation, but one of its central tenets is accepting yourself where you are, in the present moment. So don't let your limiting beliefs prevent you from giving it a try! With just 10 to 15 minutes of meditation each day, you will begin to realize these and many more benefits. 

By: Alice Jennings (G+)