Pranayama + Meditation = A Happy Mind
Early days of Yoga and Meditation
When I first learned meditation during the yoga and meditation Course, things were not easy in the beginning. Each time I sat down to meditate, I was disturbed by thoughts about my “things-to-do” during the day. My mind kept wandering around, “chattering” all the time. This was three years back. Today, as I meditate everyday for 10-15 minutes (it has very much become a part of my daily routine now), I can feel that my mind has started to “shut up” and is much more happier than it ever was. This became possible after I started incorporating ten minutes of simple pranayama into my total meditation experience.
Pranayama Prepares the Mind to Meditate
It is like a complete yoga package for me every morning that charges me up to carry through a long day. I start with a few body stretches – some simple yoga sanas that help me warm up. I then sit down in a comfortable posture to do Nadi Shodhan Pranayama (a simple yet effective breathing techniquethat helps relax the mind) for about ten minutes. The feeling after doing this pranayama is amazing. I feel so relaxed, and for a change, my mind is not thinking anything! It seems like it is empty of all thoughts. In that magical moment, I meditate (which is nothing but letting go of all effort and enjoying that present moment). As they put it, “Meditation is the delicate art of doing nothing.”
Breathing and meditating come easy to a comfortable body
Even our ancient Patanjali yoga sutras explain the relationship between pranayama and meditation quite beautifully. The sutra “sthirasukhamasanam” talks of a posture that is both steady as well as comfortable. Once you are comfortable and sitting steady (it could be on the floor, on a chair or sofa), pranayama comes easy. You sit and observe your breath, and then in that state, when the mind is focusing on the flow of breath, meditation triggers off!
Let go and experience bliss
The second sutra of Patanjali yoga states: “Prayatna Shaithalyath Anantha Samapathi.” This simply means ‘letting go of the effort and uniting with the infinite.’ This sutra proved quite useful to me as I often found myself stuck in thoughts while meditating – my mind busy making plans for the day. I slowly started letting go of all that. It wasn’t easy at the onset though (there can be no control over thoughts, right? They come and go at their free will). With pranayama, my mind was getting more peaceful and quiet, focusing only on the breath I was taking. With this empty mind, meditation became an enjoyable, blissful experience.
The fun continues…
The experience that started three years back has just been getting better since then. I have a brief tryst with myself each morning during a small yoga and meditation session. The time I assign only to myself in my daily planner, and all other tasks come later. A few minutes of yoga and pranayama enriches my meditation experience. As I gear myself up to start a long day at work, I find my mind is much more clear and focused, and my energy to work unimaginable!
This article is written by Pritika Nair
YES BREATHING MAKE LIFE HAPPY