Meditation is ultimately the goal of any yoga practice to bring about greater mental focus and “thought-power”, support your immune system, increase physical vitality, greater emotional balance and better sleep – in other words, “brain training”. Confusion gives way to clarity, discovering a creative positive solution to daily issues. As practice deepens, you will gain glimpses of greater inner peace, well-being, positivity and a deep trust with insights for your path in life.
Is Mindfulness the same as Meditation?
During meditation you focus on the present to still the mind and experience your inner self, preventing the mind from dwelling on the past or worrying about the future (Awareness of Inner Life). Similarly mindfulness is the practice of present moment awareness, but also applied to waking situations. It’s a way of active awareness of what’s happening in the present moment in your mind, body and surroundings, without judgement (Awareness of Outer Life). Combining the informal wakeful awareness of daily mindfulness with a formal meditation practice is a potent combination to increase happiness with each enhancing practice of the other.
We spoke with coaches Rohini and Karl Emanuelsson about the power of mindfulness and meditation and its potential impact on our lives:
“Your mind is a muscle – you have to train it. You are the master of your mind and by using teachniques of mindfulness and meditation practices you are building this muscle, so that you can channel this incredible powerful tool to serve you, to manifest this life of abundance that you deserve.”
“Mindfulness is about being truly present in each moment – every moment is prescious. Being fully present with your loved ones, yourself, with nature is mindfulness. Meditation is an awareness of your inner self that’s also helping you build the muscle so you can hone in this tool and focus it where you need”.
How to meditate
1) Find a comfortable position to sit in, preferably with your legs crossed however you should sit in a position that is most comfortable for you. Make sure the environment in which you are seated in peaceful and quiet, with minimal distractions.
2) Set your time limit. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes or 60 minutes, you should decide on a time frame and stick to it. Practice is a crucial element of meditation – although it may seem like a simple task, I assure you it’s not as easy as it looks (having to completely clear your thoughts isn’t as easy as you might think). So if you’re just starting out, set a time of 5 or 10 minutes and increase the time as you progress.
3) Pay attention to your breathing. Whether you are playing gentle meditation music or you are meditating in silence, take a second to take some deep breaths and become fully aware of your breathing. This will help you drown out other thoughts about what you might be having for dinner or a task that you needed to complete. Don’t make a conscious effort to regulate your breathing – simply breathe normally and be aware.
4) Become aware when your mind starts to wonder. It’s extremely easy to let your mind wonder about that person you need to text back or those groceries you need to buy. And this is completely normal. Like I said before, it’s definitely not easy to dissolve your thoughts for even a minute straight – this is why it takes practice. It’s also easy to become frustrated that your mind keeps wondering, but notice it, become aware of it, and return your focus to your breathing.
5) Repeat a mantra to keep focused. This is another popular form of meditation that can help you focus until you can meditate for longer periods of time in complete silence. “Om” is a common word to chant as you meditate, but find one that works for you. Your mind may still wonder, but as you become aware of it, return to your mantra.
6) Close the practice with kindness and respect for your body. As you come to the end of your meditation, slowly open your eyes and notice your surroundings and the way your body is feeling. Also notice your thoughts and feelings in the moment – this is the inner awareness that meditation brings you.
Incorporating mediation and mindfulness into your daily routine will do wonders for your life – 10 minutes a day will significantly change your life for the better and you will notice your surroundings change to make your life easier. Don’t forget though, meditation isn’t a goal or target; it’s a journey which is sacred and unique to you. It may seem difficult at the beginning, but embrace the journey and the experiences of meditation and watch your life unfold into the beautiful gift it is.
Find out more about how to incorporate these scared practices in your life by visiting www.y-42.com
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