Find Your Inner Joy and Peace Through Yoga Practice
Yoga is a discipline which involves both your mind and your body.
Yoga practice starts with your physical aspect, through postures and stretches, then shifts inward using a variety of deep breathing practices, relaxation techniques or survey, and meditation.
How much time you have to spend on each yoga practice relies on the amount of training that you have and your predisposition. No matter how much time you devote for each of the practices, adapting a systematic approach will assist you in achieving a richer and more meaningful meditation.
Getting Ready For Meditation
Essential to every yoga practice is preparing yourself physically. You have to wash your feet, hands and face, and ensure that your bladder and bowels are empty. It is equally important to establish a routine – when and where you should do your yoga. You can pray, contemplate or do mantra prior to your meditation. This will give you the opportunity to reflect about your life in general: how your day went, your achievements, your failures, and your goals.
1. After the preliminaries, there are three more steps before you can proceed with the meditation.
First, you have to practice hatha yoga postures, stretches, or even any movement or exercise which helps you relax your body. Key to this step is to know your limits; do not push yourself too hard.
2. The second step is what we call as pranayama or breathing.
This is done by regulating one’s breathing, begin by staying aware of your breathing, then move on to diaphragmatic, spinal, and alternate nostril breathing. You can do this while you are seated and doing the corpse pose. Your breathing must be silent and steady; there should be no jerks and pauses.
3. Finally it is time for meditation.
Start by meditating on how you feel as your breath travels in and out of your nostrils. Allow your thoughts to flow as you do this. Then consciously make your thoughts come to focus on something. At this point, it is useful to say a sacred word or a mantra. As you do more yoga practice, you will be able to scrutinize you unconscious even if you are detached and objective. There are many other meditation techniques you can practice according to how you feel at the moment.
As you focus your attention towards your inner self, there are three steps that you have to follow.
1. Concentration (Dharana)
What you need to do is to focus your attention on one point without getting distracted by the activities around you, what your body is feeling, and other thoughts that might flow through your mind.
2. Meditation (Dhyana)
As you direct your attention on one focal point for a long period, while you disregard other thoughts that might distract you, then you are already meditating.
3. Absorption (Samadhi)
There are three factors when you concentrate and meditate: 1) the observer, 2) the method of observation, and 3) the object of the observation. As you enter the phase of samadhi (deep absorption), these factors seemingly collapse and merge together into one – the object.
Yoga meditation, when doing properly can open up the path to greater self-realization and inner peace. In fact, I have also written an article on how yoga meditation can help in enhancing mind focus and promoting yoga for weight loss, among others.
One way of laying a great foundation for your yoga practice is to gain a better understanding on the difference between the ego and self-esteem.