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Meditating Through Zen Yoga

Updated on December 27, 2015

What is Zen Yoga?

Zen yoga is a style of yoga that is closely linked to Oriental system of exercises and medicine. Unlike other types of yoga with a fitness focus, Zen yoga is more about relaxing your body and mind while relieving it off any stress. Therefore, it relies heavily on meditation and coupled with breathing and stretching exercises.

Many people even confuse Zen Yoga with Tai Chi because the methods are quite similar and both also produce the same effect on mind and body. However, Zen Yoga is best known for its meditation approach which is both adaptable and very effective.

Zen Yoga foundation - 12 Pieces of Brocade

Zen Yoga Straddle Splits : Standing From a Butterfly Stretch

Zen Yoga Meditation

Meditation is a vital component in Zen yoga. In fact, it has been widely recognized that it has been dubbed as Zazen. This form of meditation operate in a central manner and is done as a form of studying one's self. As the name implies, Zen yoga meditation find its roots in Japan and uses a technique that focuses on an object or thought – as would most types of meditation.

When it comes to the duration at which one must perform Zen meditation, it greatly varies from person to person. For starters, experts believe that 5 minutes of Zen meditation on a daily basis is enough. And yet, the effects are quite outstanding that it can improve your ability to perform daily tasks and other activities. But if you want to experience substantial results, daily or regular practice is recommended. The results of meditating a few minutes each day is indeed greater as compared to spending an hour of meditation once a week.

Importance of Meditation

The value of meditation in Zen Yoga has certainly resulted in it playing a more complex role in this style of yoga. This boom can be credited to the fact that modern world and lifestyle has introduced a lot of stress in the lives of regular people. Try meditating for a few minutes, even at your own office. Simply close your eyes and imagine a serene place, thought, or object. Focus on that thought for a few minutes without paying attention to any source of noise or movement in your surroundings.

You will noticeably decrease your heart rate and breathing takes on a normal pace. Indeed, the role of meditation in the practice of yoga, not just for Zen Yoga, has allowed an individual to reconnect with its physical, spiritual, and mental aspects of the body. That heightened awareness of the present is what brings about the energy needed to awake the “Buddha” inside you, as most practitioners of Zen yoga meditation would put it.

Using Music for Zen Meditation

A specific type of musical device known as Blowing Zen, which is a flute-like instrument that produces music specifically suited for Zen meditation. Although it is still currently used by practitioners of Zen yoga, it has a long history dating as far back as during the Buddhist times.

Different kinds of music produce a different effect on both body and mind. Hence, it is advised to pay close consideration on your choice of music to find exactly what you need. At its main premise, music affects the mood and that is where all other physiological and mental effects take its root from.

Zen Yoga Qigong : Zen Yoga Qigong Dynamic Full Form Demonstration

Choosing Zen Meditation Music

Zen meditation is more elevated in form than any other type of meditation practiced in various yoga styles. If you are to use music to facilitate in the thought processes, it has to be the right kind of music that will successfully create the atmosphere and produce the emotion you wish to evoke. If you are able to do this, then you will produce a soothing effect on mind, body, and spirit.

For tips on how to make your choice in music for Zen meditation, read below:

  • Choose calming and relaxing music in your Zen meditation for obvious reasons. Preferably, find something with flute music and soft tones. In fact, these types of music are specifically designed to assist in meditation.
  • Regardless of the genre of music you choose to play in the background during Zen meditation, the melodies need to be instrumental. Words from the music tend to distract the practitioner, which is exactly the thing that you would want to prevent from happening.
  • Choose music based on the style of meditation you are aiming for. If you want to improve self esteem, choose uplifting melodies. Meanwhile, tranquil music is ideal for attaining serenity.

Finding Zen Meditation Music

If you are new to Zen yoga, using music to facilitate in your meditation practice might be a good idea. However, this type of music is not something that you can hear on the radio or played in mainstream media.

Not too many are aware though that it is possible to find Zen meditation music online. Once you have found a specific type of music that you want, you can download it on your computer so you can play it whenever you partake in a Zen meditation session. If you cannot find one, then you can head on out to the nearest CD shop and ask for meditation music.

Techniques For Zen Meditation

While there are great benefits offered by meditation, it takes a bit of effort on your part to enjoy those benefits. A common obstacle in performing meditation is the tendency to look at breath and mind as separate entity. But Zen yoga and other styles of yoga require you to look at them in a holistic manner such that they are in union with each other.

Another important technique to consider in Zen meditation is the position of the practitioner. The sitting position is most ideal for meditation as it prevents any form of discomfort and enables one to assume that position for prolonged periods of time. Having been able to establish that position, it should be easier to move onto the next procedures.

Zen Yoga Straddle Splits : Stretching and Doing the Splits

Zen Yoga Straddle Splits : Zen Yoga Straddle Splits

For guidelines on performing meditation for Zen yoga, take note of the following steps:

  • Take a pillow and place it underneath you such that your back is slightly elevated.
  • As you start your beathing exercises, try to name them. For example, say inhale when you inhale, or say exhale when you do. This will enable you to become more conscious of your breathing.
  • As you breathe in or out, allow every part of your body to relax, more especially when you breathe out.
  • As you breathe in, think of happy thoughts and ideas.
  • After your breathing, take time to relax while on position.

Benefits of Zen Yoga To The Mind and Body

Below is a list of benefits that an individual can gain from practicing Zen meditation:

  • Meditation allows you to fight or prevent stress.
  • Coupled with breathing exercises, Zen meditation helps to boost your mind's ability for will power.
  • It is ideal for relaxation after a stress-filled day.
  • The execution of stretching exercises in Zen yoga help in muscle toning.
  • It helps you arrive at a deeper state of awareness about the Self.

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