Introducing Meditation Into Your Yoga Exercises
Yoga And Meditation
Are you a big fan of yoga? If yes, you might want to try introducing meditation into your yoga exercises so that not only will your body be the only one to be relaxed, your mind and soul will also be rejuvenated.
In Science Daily August 2009 issue, they featured the results of a pilot study that worked with yoga and meditation. A group of persons were given twenty minutes of guided meditation and yoga combined with six weekly group sessions. The results showed that the combined yoga and meditation can significantly lower the feelings of stress by more than 10%. It also improved the quality of sleep in office employees who led sedentary lifestyles. That just goes to show how powerful and beneficial the effects of combined yoga and meditation can be.
Meditations From the Mat
Benefits of Introducing Meditation in Yoga Exercises
When meditation is properly integrated into yoga exercises, it can actually help you move from lethargy to lightness, agitation to relaxation, fragmentation to integration. All the negative energy, thoughts and emotions can be changed to positive ones.
Ready to Meditate?
We all know that meditation can be quite challenging especially for those who live in a very noisy environment. Children screaming, cars honking, TVs blasting on high volumes, the list just seems to go on. So how can one find time to meditate amidst all the noise out there?
People who have already tried meditation at least once in their life must have really enjoyed the moment of clarity, inner calm, and deep connection. However, there will always be times when it can be really hard to sit still for a moment, without getting distracted from one’s own thoughts and concerns.
Resting with ease and finding the right moment to meditate does not instantly or magically happen. But there is a “path” to get you to the right meditative mood. Through breathing, you can tap into the life force or prana to decrease, increase or focus your energy, bringing you into a balanced state and making it easier for you to just sit with relaxed attention.
How Does Prana Move?
Prana moves with mind and breath (these include your emotions, thoughts, and mental images). It works in a domino-like effect; a change in one partially or greatly affects the other. For example, if you begin to relax your mood and emotions, your thoughts will also become relaxed.
Through breathing, you can open, direct, and regulate the flow of prana which will greatly aid in stabilizing the body and mind for meditation.
Slow, Mindful Movements
In each of the said practices, the emphasis is on linking the slow, mindful movements of yoga with proper breathing to create dynamic, flowing transitions to integrate the body and mind. Each sets or series are repeated several times, and for that duration, the pauses in between as well as the length of inhalation and exhalation change progressively.
Waking Up and Calming Down
Some use yoga and meditation to calm themselves down, especially when they feel like they are already drowning in the sea of stress. Some also practice yoga and meditation to make them feel alive and awake because they either feel like they are going nowhere, they are missing something in life, or they simply need to find their "center" or inner self.
The good thing about yoga and meditation is that when they work together, they can be used for different purposes. It can either make the person feel energized and awake at the end of the session, or it can also make an individual feel calm, relaxed and rested.
A Combination of Both
You might be wondering: what if I want to experience a sense of waking up AND calming down? How can I use yoga and meditation to be awakened, calmed, yet focused on my energies? Well, there’s really no need to worry because yoga and meditation can also give you that sense of feeling being calm yet energized at the same time.
You just have to understand your own needs. Spending time discovering what state of energy you are in before practicing yoga and meditation will greatly help you or your instructor plan future routines ahead of time.
Speeding Things Up Slows Them Down
You might have heard of the classical saying “hast makes waste”. Aside from rhyming together and sounding catchy, those three words actually make a lot of sense. Have you tried running around the house because you are already late only to realize that you break or mess up a lot of things in the process? What’s worse, you might even end up forgetting something really important, like documents, car keys, etc.
The point here is, speeding things up will not necessarily guarantee that everything else will follow according to plan. There are times when you have to slow down to speed things up. In this caffeinated and hyped-up culture, everyone just wants to have instant results.
But did you know that taking a break will give you a calmer, more intuitive and active state of mind? You might be saying “oh no, I can’t really practice yoga and meditation while I’m working in my office” thinking that it really is impossible to relax and find your center in the workplace. Well, that mind set is wrong because there are actually yoga and meditation practices that do not necessarily require a yoga mat.
Trying simple breathing exercises as well as using the hands to receive positive energy is a great way to slow things down and clear your mind.
Meditation For the Love Of It
Using an Object of Concentration
It can either be sensations, mantra, thoughts of love, or simple awareness that can bring you to the doorway of concentration. Slow-motion movements may also aid in getting strong sensations to the body, making things more tangible and satisfying from a focal point of view.
The process of gradually shifting one’s attention from large movements to small ones the core of raja yoga. The postures are simple and easy to perform, and they can release deep-seated tensions blocking the life force.
Introducing meditation into your yoga exercises will greatly help you in relaxing and finding your center. This will aid not only in ridding your body of stress and other toxins, but it will also help you be more calm and at peace amidst all the stressful stimuli that surrounds you.