Recently we have been covering different yoga poses, but I want to switch gears for this month’s blog. In my second blog, I noted that yoga was developed over 5,000 years ago for the purpose of exploring your inner awareness through poses and meditation. We have taken the time to look at just a few of the poses, so now I would like to take a look at the meditation piece.
Have you ever seen the bilateral picture of an iceberg? If not, take a look to your right. We know that icebergs have just a fraction of its ice showing on the surface, while the majority of the ice is unseen underwater. I am going to touch on the tip of the meditation iceberg this month.
What comes to your mind when you hear the word “meditation?” When I first started practicing yoga, I wanted nothing to do with meditation. At the beginning, yoga was all about the poses and the movement for me. However, yoga is a never-ending journey. There is always something to learn as you become more aware of your body, mind, and soul.
Meditation actually means “to spend time in quiet thought for religious purposes or relaxation.” However, meditation is not equated with a particular religion. You do not have to believe in a deity or God to practice meditation. Meditation is a simple, but life changing, tool that can help you relax, improve your understanding of yourself and expand your natural potential. Meditation requires you to quiet your mind.
It is important to note that there is no “right” way to meditate. It is also important to be patient with yourself when beginning meditation. Meditation is much like tending to a plant. The growing process does not happen overnight. It is a slow process, but it is, no doubt, happening. You can never waste the minutes you put into quieting your body, mind, and soul.
How to meditate:
When you have the time and are ready to begin, find a comfortable seat. You can be on the floor seated upright or in a chair with both feet planted firmly on the floor. Whatever you decide, it’s important that you are comfortable and are not slouching. Breathe naturally, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Allow for more air to fill your lungs each time you inhale. This gradually allows your breath to become deeper and fuller. Try to make your exhales as long as, if not longer than, your inhales. Exhale more “used” air so that you can make more room for fresh air to fill your lungs on your next inhale. To begin, repeat this process for 5 minutes. As you become more comfortable, move to 10 minutes then maybe 15 minutes. There is no “right” time frame.