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How to do yoga meditation

According to Wikipedia, "Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India and aim to control (yoke) and still the mind, recognizing a detached witness-consciousness untouched by the mind (Chitta) and mundane suffering (Duḥkha)."

Yoga is the "Union of Body, Mind and Soul", and is more spiritual than physical. For better understanding about Yoga, you may read the following article:

Here we quote the best way to do yoga meditation provided by wikiHow, a wiki that is building the world's largest and highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Do Yoga Meditation. Content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons License.

The Sanskrit word "yoga" actually means "union with the divine". The stretching exercises that we in the west associate with yoga were originally designed, thousands of years ago, to help the practitioner gain control of their own life force, a spiritual energy known as Kundalini. The stretches, however, are not the only aspect of yoga. Meditation is also a key facet of yoga. Ensure you choose the right location and prepare yourself adequately, your yoga meditation will be a very beneficial experience.

Part 1: Creating a Meditative Environment.

  1. Select a quiet environment. The location you select should not be cluttered or loud. You should feel at ease before starting yoga meditation. If the location is noisy, an advanced yoga practitioner may be able to deal with external influences, but beginners will find it distracting.

  2. Choose a spot with natural heat, cooling, and fresh air. Aside from the sounds they produce being a distraction, the machines that produce our heating and cooling are not as naturally pleasing to the body as a cool breeze or the warm sun. If yoga meditation in the outdoors is not a viable option, choose somewhere with radiant heat like a wood fire or hydronic heat. Create a cross-flow by opening a door or a window, so fresh oxygen is pumped into the location.

  3. Time your meditation sessions around meals. If you have a full stomach, you could relax so much you’ll feel drowsy. And if you time it too close to meal time, the hunger pains could be too distracting. Attempt to schedule your meditation when you are comfortable, perhaps a few hours after a meal.

  4. Do some light stretching or exercising. With a brief warm-up, your body will be more limber, relaxed, and able to better focus on meditation. You’ll also likely be able to sit for longer periods of time if you’re more limber. Focus on your core and back for just a few minutes, with various, light twists and bends. A few of the following Sukshma Yoga exercises can also be very beneficial: Use two fingers to lightly squeeze the eyebrow several times; roll your eyes in circles several times; rub your temples and jawline; grab your ears and pull downward softly.

Part 2: Performing Poses Suited to Meditation

  1. Sit upright. You can sit anywhere that allows good posture, like the floor or a chair. Try not to be too rigid. Crossing legs like you see in many pictures about yoga meditation is not necessary, but if you sit that way, alternate which leg is on top each time you meditate. Being comfortable is critical when trying to focus on meditation. Pull your chin slightly back to aid in the spine alignment.

  2. Practice deep breathing techniques. Breathing deeply is a great way to prepare for a meditation session. Focusing on breathing helps ease the body and mind, as well as improve focus. One particular breathing method called the Nadi Shodhan Pranayama – a subtle breathing technique – involves alternating nostrils in the manner below: Place the index and middle finger of your right hand between your eyes, and the remaining fingers around your nose. The thumb will be on your right nostril. Breathe deeply into the left nostril while closing the right nostril. Alternate pressure, and exhale out of the right nostril.

  3. Practice the Samasthiti. The Samasthiti is a pose that is similar to the traditionally military standing at attention. It's about being attentive to your own balance and our own steadiness. From there, place your palms together - also called Anjali Mudra - in what many recognize as praying. Breathe in while raising your hands over your head, and exhale as you return them back to your chest. Perform this step for a minute or two in order to really settle yourself.

  4. Try the cow pose. Get on your hands and knees, with your palms under your shoulders for weight support. Inhale deeply as you raise your head and upper body. Simultaneously lower your spine towards the floor. It should feel like your spine is getting closer to your stomach as this pose is being done. Complete the pose by returning back to an aligned back while exhaling.

  5. Perform the vajrasana. In a sitting position, place your hands on your sides and bring your left foot up to contact your left buttock. Repeat the process with your right foot. At this point you'll be in a squatting position, and you'll be easily able to lean forward and shift your weight to your knees. Sit back on the space between your heels. Breathe normally for a few minutes in this position. At the end of this position, your toes should be touching. Be sure to keep your core tightened to promote good posture. An upright posture is easier with the vajrasana because the pose promotes straightness with minimal effort.

  6. Try Ujjayi breathing. The Ujjayi breath is long and smooth. It is good for both giving you energy and making you feel calm. Sit cross-legged on the floor. Try to relax. Imagine that you are taking long, slow breaths inward through a straw. Exhale slowly, as though through the same straw. Make the breath as long and as smooth as possible.

Part 3: Focusing On the Body, Mind, and Beyond

  1. Dissolve away distractions. Your everyday life has several distractions and worries. For the first part of your yoga meditation, allow yourself to embrace the various things going on in your life. Acknowledge your own personal chaos. By recognizing the many distractions in your life, it allows you to more easily remove yourself of exterior distractions when you begin to focus. Let yourself feel and hear distractions, and don't judge them as good or bad. Try to just let them be.

  2. Reflect on your body. Direct your attention inside, to the base of your spine. Slowly, pull your attention up through the center of your body along the spinal column, and move through each part of your body. Take inventory of each body part as you move along. Be aware of your various senses (i.e. taste, smell, sight). Acknowledge thoughts, emotions, and your progression towards acceptance. Think about how your various body parts are functioning with one another. Notice if you have any tension or pain.

  3. Discipline your mind to focus. In order to attain a higher level of concentration while meditating, the mind must gradually become silenced during reflection. The ability to set your mind at ease is not possible if your body and breath are not focused. To help become aware of your mind, follow what is called the "Four Functions of Mind": Observe your mind and its impressions, ego, judgments, and discriminations; accept the various observations for what they are, whether positive or negative; understand how your train of thought flows from one thing to the next; train your mind to choose the object of focus, rather than allowing consciousness to flow between items.

  4. Concentrate on a singular object. The point is to embrace the current moment. If you’re just beginning yoga meditation, your attention may falter. Redirect your attention as best you can back to the object, and you’ll be able to ignore more distractions as you get better at meditating. Try focusing on something like one of the following items: A dot on a sheet of paper; the center point of tile; the design in a floorboard.

  5. Open your eyes slowly. At the end of your meditation, bring your attention back to your body by making a small movement while opening your eyes. Become aware of any change you may feel inside your body, or any shift in your attention. Try one of the following techniques to help end the yoga meditation sessions: Lightly ball your fists a few times; flex your calf muscles; smiling is a good way to focus muscles, and it has the added benefit of enhancing meditation.

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