What is meditation? Meditation is a practice that has been associated with almost all religions and civilizations across the word. Since it is so closely associated with religion, many people take meditation to be the same thing as praying.
Yes, prayer is a form of meditation, but meditation is also so much more. The practice of emptying the mind of all extraneous thoughts to increase awareness of one's self and surroundings is called meditation. It is a common practice to concentrate on one particular thing in order to aid the process of meditation.
This could range from focusing on an imaginary point of light, a particular object, or by chanting the word 'om'.
The importance of meditation in yoga life. Yoga puts a lot of emphasis on the practice of meditation. Some of the popular meditation techniques that are a part of yoga are raja yoga meditation and Kriya yoga meditation. Many yoga poses such as the Shava Asana (Corpse Pose), Padma Asana (Louts Pose), and Sukha Asana (Easy Pose) are used to facilitate the process of meditation.
Yoga meditation is usually carried out by focusing on one's breathing or by the chanting of the Om mantra. This practice is carried out in tandem with yogic breathing techniques known as Pranayama. The process of meditation in yoga works to improve a person's understanding of his (or her) body and mind. The regular practice of yoga meditation helps you to reconnect your physical, mental, and spiritual selves.
How to perform yoga meditation. The first step when preparing to enter a state of meditation is to ensure that you will not be disturbed. Switch off your cell phone, tell family and friends not to disturb you, and pick a spot that is free of noise and other disturbances. Assume any of the three meditative yoga poses-the Shava Asana, Sukha Asana, or Padma Asana. Close your eyes and start to inhale and exhale deeply through your nostrils. You can even play some yoga meditation music to facilitate your entering a meditative state. Drive out all external thoughts from your mind and concentrate only on your breath. Very soon you will enter a meditative state.
This is such a relaxing state that many newcomers often fall off to sleep while performing yogic meditation. However, this should be avoided. If you have any difficulties or doubts, consult a trained yoga instructor to learn the proper yoga meditation techniques.