Yoga meditation is one of the five principles of Yoga and is an essential ingredient of the Yoga experience. Much has been written about Yoga meditation and its long evolution from the early Vedic period to the more modern Hatha and Tantric styles widely practised today. Despite the varying methods and techniques of Yoga meditation, it can be seen that certain basic principles apply to all the major Yoga disciplines and which most yogis implement in their meditation exercises.
Yoga Meditation Principles
Generally speaking there are 12 principles of Yoga meditation which originate from a second century A.D. Sanskrit text by Pantanjali, one of the earliest writers on Yoga meditation. Yoga meditation principles include:
- A distraction-free place for your yoga meditations at the same time every day, preferably early morning or early evening
- Face either North or East
- Sit cross-legged in an upright position
Yoga meditation is built on rythmic breathing patterns. It is better to let the mind wander at first before fixing on a focal point which aids concentration as well as helping to empty the mind of cares and clutter. Some yogis utter mantras as a means to remain focused and mindful as they practice Yoga meditation. Usually, 10 or 15 minutes of Yoga meditation is sufficient to start, although it may increase as you get more comfortable and confident having meditation as part of your daily routine.
Yoga Meditation Postures
An important aspect of yoga meditation technique is using the correct poised posture when you meditate. Most Yoga enthusiasts strive to adopt either a full lotus position (Padmasana) or the half lotus position (Ardha Padmasana). These positions are thought to “ground” you better and directly enhance the yoga meditation experience. A full lotus position requires physical flexibility since it involves crossing the legs with each foot resting on the opposite thigh with the soles of the feet turned up. The half lotus requires only one crossed leg and foot on the opposite thigh leaving the other leg and foot to rest comfortably on the floor.As these lotus positions can be quite difficult, care should be taken not to strain the joints until these postures become a natural and easy part of your yoga meditation.
Benefits of Yoga Meditation
In keeping with the underlying precepts of yoga, mediation is a way to nourish the soul and unite the mind and body in peaceful harmony.Yoga meditation is not a one-size-fits-all brand of therapy. It is a uniquely personal and deeply satisfying channel to your inner self. As such, results of Yoga meditation vary, depending on the methods used and the person meditating.
Yoga meditations actively encourage taking time-outs on a regular basis, which often leads to overall well being and a feeling of calm and serenity. Daily yoga meditations help with stress management thus freeing the mind of debilitating and often harmful negativity. Yoga meditation also increases serotonin levels which directly affect mood and behaviour resulting in a happier healthier you. By relaxing and easing physical and mental tensions, heart rate and blood pressure are lowered and headaches disappear.Some studies show that yoga meditation may also be beneficial to allergies, asthma and other chronic ailments. Yoga meditation is also known to help increase the ability to focus and concentrate which can be of particular benefit to athletes, the elderly and anyone who is easily distracted and finds it difficult to maintain focus.
Whatever your reasons for doing Yoga meditations, it will surely have a positive impact on both your personal and professional life.
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