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Yoga and Meditation For Beginners

Updated on December 27, 2015

Yoga and Meditation For Beginners

Yoga is an ancient technique currently practiced by individuals who want to attain full body revitalization. It has been recognized as a healthy way to attain physical and mental well-being. meditation plays a key role in yoga practice. It helps you achieve the most suitable state of mind needed to perform yoga.

Beginners to yoga and meditation are often intimidated by these techniques though, believing that they are difficult to adapt. Read on to learn how you can learn proper meditation skills and be able to attain a healthy physical and inner body through yoga.

Yoga for Beginners

The Basics of Yoga

Yoga is the oldest physical discipline that is currently observed by people. It has existed for such a long time that no one can accurately pinpoint its origin. However, the benefits of practicing yoga is widely understood that it has been used to improve one's posture, breathing ability, and relieve one from stress.

The basic concept of yoga hinges on the close association of body and mind. It also explains why yoga is tied together with meditation practices and require one to attain a particular state of mind before you can begin successfully. In accordance with your breathing is establishing a steady pose, which brings you further into harmony of body and mind. According to the beliefs of yoga, it is only upon reaching this level of harmony can you find peace within.

For practitioners of yoga, control is the key aspect. Its objective is for one to gain control over the body, mind, and spirit.

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Stages of Yoga

Yoga is such a comprehensive philosophy that it encloses several different stages to attain a complete and total control over your physical and mental health. According to the teachings of yogic philosophy, yoga practices follow an eight-fold path. Since it expands beyond the physical to include the moral and ethical aspects of one's life, an individual has to go through various stages.

These stages are divided into two parts. The first part focuses on the physical body, while the second part deals with the inner body and the senses.

*Yama

This stage concerns your interpersonal experience and effort to avoid pain and disharmony, to yourself and others. Within the yama stage are five concepts that you need to live by: non-violence, non-stealing, non-lying, non-greed, and non-sensuality.

*Niyama

After you have created awareness on what aspects of your life can dispel your effort of attaining harmony, you need to develop your level of self-discipline. The basic concepts of niyama include the following: contentment, purity, self-study, self-control, and devotion.

*Asana

In this third step, you will learn about the proper postures required in yoga. Yogic philosophy looks at the human body as the temple of the spirit. Hence, taking care of your body is one of the vital steps needed to attain spiritual growth.

*Pranayama

Following posture is your ability to control breathing mechanisms. As you learn how to master your breathing patterns, eventually you will also develop control over your mind and emotions.

*Pratyahara

In this stage, a person aims to withdraw from the external world and focus on his/her internal stimuli. All practices from here on out, such as breathing exercises, yoga postures, meditation, and other related activities, are directed to your inner body.

*Dharana

Now that you have learned how to block out all external factors, you now have the proper setting to gain enough concentration towards a deeper yoga experience. This process always comes before meditation wherein you fix your attention on a single object to eliminate any useless thought.

*Dhyana

Meditation is the second to last step in yoga practice wherein your level of concentration has reached enough depth as to become uninterrupted. Although concentration is the ability to eliminate outside factors to focus on one object, meditation is attainment of that state without having to focus. Indeed, the outside world has disappeared in a person's thought and all that s/he is aware of is the inner self.

*Samadhi

After all the previous stages have been completed, here is where you attain ecstasy with your inner self. This is the final path in yoga where you achieve a deeper sense of joy, peace and fulfillment.

Basic Yoga Positions

There are four basic positions that beginners to yoga can follow:

*Standing Posture: In this position, a person stands erect with both feet close enough that the big toes and heels touch each other. The object of this position is to enable you to achieve a stable pulse. There are more standing position varieties such as triangle pose, tree pose, and warrior pose.

*Seated Posture: While seated, an individual must keep both legs next to each other while stretched. Then, maintain an erect position on your spine and toes as your palms rest on the floor.

*Reclining Posture: As you are lied down, keep your legs close together and extended. While in this position, straighten out your legs and arms as your palms rest against the floor.

*Supine Posture: Still lying down, this time you are facing down with your chest against the floor. Rest your chin on the floor and so do your thighs and palms.

Meditation and Concentration

As with yoga, meditation requires tremendous amount of concentration. Focus is important in order to achieve a deeper sense of awareness and attentiveness. Whether you've tried meditating or not, attaining focus is difficult, especially when streams of activity invade your thought. Your ability to block out external thoughts and objects is then crucial to obtaining proper meditation.

In its simplest definition, meditation is your maintenance of mental thoughts and images. When you reach this stage, your mind is at its peak of efficiency since it becomes more sensitive to details in its surroundings. It is also paradoxical in a sense since you are able to divert those external thoughts, despite awareness of its existence.

How Can You Meditate Effectively?

To make it easier, you can focus your attain on a variety of subject. Sound, for instance, is an effective train of thought towards proper meditation. By listening to calm music or sounds, you are able to transcend into a calmer state of mind that elicits for a more successful meditative effort. Focusing on images, especially serene ones, is also quite effective. It transports you into a new dimension that enables you to dismiss any physical and external factors that blocks your progress toward proper meditation. Lastly, you can effectively meditate through the aid of breathing to increase your capacity for observing minute details and stay calm.

Best Places and Time For Meditation

If you want to meditate, you can do it anytime of the day; whichever is most convenient for you. However, yoga experts suggest to pick a time intended for meditation practices and stick with it. You can attain higher success from meditation by following a routine. It typically begins with remaining still for 5 to 10 minutes until you have prepared your physical and internal body for the yoga practice ahead.

As for the venue of meditation, you can perform it at any part of your house where there is minimum amount of distraction. If possible, it must be a dedicated space that exudes simplicity and serenity to make it easier for you to be freed off any distraction, whether visual or audio. Keeping your body relaxed is always vital in yoga and meditation.

Videos On Yoga and Meditation

Comments

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  • bizarrett81 profile image

    bizarrett81 

    5 years ago from Maine

    Great Hub, very informative. I love yoga. I wish more people would seek this information out.

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