How to Meditate
Yoga Meditation is one of the oldest forms of meditation, with roots stretching back thousands of years. It has been practiced by people of all ages exploring their inner world to gain insight, clarity, and joy. Yoga meditation can have many benefits, from reducing stress to promoting physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Yoga meditation consists of a few steps, starting with settling into the body and mind. Find a comfortable seated position on the floor or in a chair, and take a few moments to close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Relax any areas in the body that feel tight or tense, particularly the muscles of the face, neck, and shoulders.
Once your body is settled, open your eyes and gaze softly at an object in the room. This object can be anything, from a flower to a candle to a picture of your favorite spiritual teacher. Soften your focus in this gaze and bring your awareness to the breath.
At any time, you can bring your awareness to the sensation of the breath. Feel the rising and falling of the belly as you inhale and exhale, and pay attention to how the breath feels in your body. Stay connected to the breath, letting any thoughts pass by like clouds in the sky.
Release any desire to control the breath or try to make it "perfect". Just stay with the breath, as it would be in nature: sometimes deep, sometimes shallow, sometimes long, sometimes short. Keep bringing your awareness back to the breath and reconnecting with the sensation in your body when your mind wanders.
If your mind wishes to explore a certain topic, you can bring an intention to your meditation. This intention could be to explore a certain emotion or to leave a stagnant pattern of behavior behind. You can even practice guided yoga meditation, which involves using an affirmation such as “I am peace” or “I am enough.” Repeating these affirmations out loud or in your mind can help connect with a feeling of inner peace and strength.
After 10 - 15 minutes of yoga meditation, take a few moments to slowly open your eyes and take in your surroundings. Gently return to your day feeling relaxed and connected to your body and mind.
Yoga meditation is a powerful practice that can help cultivate the ability to be present and aware of the body. Practicing just 10 minutes of yoga meditation each day can be immensely beneficial in our chaotic world, nurturing strength, insight, and inner peace.