A number of people practice yoga in order to achieve harmony and balance, and perhaps relax for even just a few moments in their busy lives. But aside from going to classes, following the instructors’ advices, and doing all the positions, is there a way to make our yoga practice more successful and meaningful?
No matter which kind of yoga you prefer and practice, it is quite normal that you would want to be sure that your training is both strengthening and regenerative. It is easy to get stuck in a comfortable and easy practice, but doing so is missing the true potential of yoga, which is to grant you a half-hour or more of serenity.
Alternatively, if your yoga practice is too boring or challenging, you will not make time for it. To better take advantage of your allotted time for meditation, it may be helpful to comprehend what “spiritual muscles” you are reinforcing as you practice.
A worthwhile meditation practice develops three basic skills. Although these may not be clearly emphasized in classes and a number of teachers do not acknowledge these, you can assimilate these in your own personal practice. Doing so may well be worth your time and effort, and make your meditation practice more productive and successful.
There are two kinds of meditation you can choose from. You will be able to practice both or either of these because each achieve related goals.
Concentration or Focus Meditation
Concentration or focus meditation is the first kind. This kind of meditation has four fundamental attributes, which are: (1) a silent area, (2) a comfortable position, (3) an item to settle on, and (4) a passive attitude. You should focus on just one factor when practicing yoga to better ease and calm your mind. At the same time, you should not mix different forms of yoga. During practice, you should not exert too much effort to reach any target, although you should also pay attention to the directions given. There is no need to project or think of any image or do anything in order to feel any sensation during practice, nor is there any need to put too much effort. All you need to do is live in the moment, in a posture that is comfortable, stay conscious, and simply release all your thoughts and distractions until the time is up.
How to do it:
Just like in other relaxation practices, make use of an area that is silent. Then, assume a comfortable position and calm your mind – do not worry about any ideas that may arise, although there is no need to stop or redirect the flow of ideas, just simply acknowledge them and return your focus to the item you are dwelling on. The difference between a normal practice and employing this is that all throughout the meditation, you choose on thing to concentrate on continuously. You could select terms like “calm,” “love,” or “serenity,” or spiritual terms such as “Let go and allow God,” a quick expression like “aah,” or “omm,” or even a breath or thought. You then softly repeat this expression or word quietly at an effortless rate. For example, if you chose a one-syllable expression, you could state it as soon as you inhale and until you exhale. At the same time, you can use your breathing routine as the focus of your interest.
Awareness or Comprehension Meditation
The second approach to meditation is awareness meditation. In concentration meditation, you dwell on a single item while all other awareness is considered as distractions. On the other hand, in awareness meditation, each new event that appears – including ideas, dreams, and feelings becomes the meditative item. All these that arise out of your focus are not a diversion. However, your opinions on what you see, feel or hear are considered as interruptions.
How to do it:
Find a quiet place wherein you can comfortably sit for about twenty minutes. Begin by concentrating on your normal breathing pattern. Emotionally follow each breathe without opinion nor view – those who may become anxious while attending to their own breathing may focus on one word or audio instead. After a short while, allow your awareness to readily shift through your perceptions that may arise. As each new idea or sensation registers in your mind, discover each in a manner that is detached. As you notice each one, offer that notion a name.
For example, on every breath you take, you are focusing your awareness on the initial couple of minutes of meditation. Soon after, you can observe the strain in your forehead muscles as you release your focus. Without much effort or conflict, think of a name for the experience and continue observing. Ultimately, your perception may change. You then see a mental image of a man’s face with his mouth corners curling down, as your unaffected observing mind follows your awareness. Do not engage yourself with the image: do not think of its meaning or marvel at its appearance. Just see it and name it, such as “sad face,” or “frown,” and continue your unsuspecting outlook.
When you do become concerned in emotions, lost in your thoughts, or centered on a choice, return your full concentration to your breathing routine until you remain your indifference. Everyone sometimes gets caught up in his or her practice from time to time while meditating. Do not be self-deprecating if you frequently drift off and do not succeed in banishing those perceptions. Here in concentration meditation, you just relax, let go, and concentrate on your meditative word. On the other hand, in awareness meditation, you relax, let go, and go with your perceptions stream from a distance. What you see is unimportant. How you see is what’s important: devoid of neither assessment nor implicated judgments.
You do not have to be an accomplished meditator in order to gain benefits from meditative practice. Actually, the two relaxation techniques would be easier to follow for extremely anxious people, and will most likely pick one as a longstanding method to loosened their muscles and calm their mind.
Ultimately, it is the practice of meditation that offers the essential understanding, which you can immediately use to control panic, even if you have only been practicing the technique for a few weeks.
Whichever you choose, both these meditation practices are guaranteed to improve your yoga – allowing you to better relax your mind and body.