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Yoga; A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

What if we everyone knew how to achieve inner peace and mental clarity? Then the world would definitely be a better place, right?  Yoga is one such tool that can help us to achieve this universal aim. Being an ancient practice that aims to unify the mind and body, yoga is practiced by over 300 million people all over the world. However, it is estimated that there are about 7.8 billion people on Earth. If more people could discover the benefits of this divine practice, it would be very beneficial in achieving world peace. Let’s get into the historical background to understand yoga a bit more. 

The word yoga stems from the Sanskrit word “yuji” which means yoke or union. And that’s what it really is: an equally yoked relationship between the mind and the body. Historically, it started out as a spiritual practice but eventually became known for fostering physical and mental well-being. Yoga has become expansive and so has many different forms. However, they all consist of physical poses, meditation and breathing exercises. This art is practiced by individuals to reduce stress and aid relaxation.

Other benefits of yoga include building physical strength, improving flexibility, improving breathing, fostering mental calmness, preventing back pain, and supporting joint health. The benefits of yoga are interminable but it really “speaks of getting at something deep inside us- the true self” (Leslie Kaminoff, Amy Matthews, 2012). In essence, you will never know how much your life can change unless you take a leap of faith into new things. Join us in discovering how to revolutionize your mind, body, and life with yoga!

Meditation involves training your mind and there are many techniques that exist to this craft. Let’s learn how to meditate so you can achieve inner peace and mental clarity. Normally, the easiest and best way to start meditating is by focusing on your breathing. Concentration is an example of a popular approach to meditation.

Concentration Meditation

Concentration meditation focuses on one thing. This includes putting all your attention on your breath, repeating a mantra or word, staring at an object, among many other things. Yes, focusing on the mind will be challenging at first but after practicing it over and over, you will transition to meditating for a few minutes to hours. All you need to do in this type of meditation is to refocus on the object of attention whenever you find your mind wandering. By doing this, you become better at concentrating.

Mindfulness Meditation

This type of meditation urges you to watch wandering thoughts as they move through your mind. The sole intention is to be aware of each thought as it arises but not get too involved in it. 

Mindfulness meditation will allow you to see how your feelings and thoughts move in a particular pattern. With continuous practice, you will develop inner balance by understanding your human tendency to quickly add a feeling to a particular scenario. 

Benefits of Meditation

The goal of meditation is relaxation. Researcher and MD at Harvard University Medical School Herbert Benson formulated the term “relaxation response” after orchestrating research on meditation practitioners. Since then, studies on the response to relaxation have documented the following benefits to the nervous system: 

  • Less stress
  • Lower heart rate
  • Less perspiration
  • Deeper relaxation
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Slower respiratory rate
  • Improved blood circulation
  • Lower blood cortisol levels
  • Increased feelings of well-being

How to Meditate

The following meditation exercise is an excellent introduction to meditation techniques:

  1. Sit or lie comfortably
  2. Close your eyes
  3. Do not control your breath. Breathe naturally
  4. Focus your attention on your breathing and how your body reacts with each inhalation and exhalation. 
  5. If your mind wanders, bring back focus to your breathing. 
  6. Continue this practice of meditation for two to three minutes and then after a while, try doing it for longer periods.

The greatest benefit of meditation is freedom of our mind from the bond to things it cannot control such as our emotions and external conditions. After practicing yoga for some time, you will become liberated or let’s say, enlightened. You will no longer follow unnecessary desires or hold on to experiences but instead keep a calm mind and foster inner harmony. If you would like assistance in learning how to meditate, sign up for our beginner’s yoga class by visiting our website https://yogaangels.com

We can’t wait to meditate with you!