Do Yoda Proud: Meditation 101

Do Yoda Proud: Meditation 101

Do Yoda Proud: Meditation 101
Learn the secrets of yoga & meditation combined

Meditation refers to a state where your body and mind are consciously relaxed and focused. Practitioners of this art report increased awareness, focus, and concentration, as well as a more positive outlook on life.

Meditation is most commonly associated with monks, mystics, and other spiritual disciplines. However, you don’t have to be a monk or mystic to enjoy its benefits.

You don’t even have to be in a special place to practise it. You can even try it in your own living room.

Although there are many approaches to meditation, the fundamental principles remain the same.

First, Clear The Mind

The most important among these principles is that of removing obstructive, negative, and wandering thoughts and fantasies, and calming the mind with a deep sense of focus. This clears the mind of debris and prepares it for a higher quality of activity.

The negative thoughts you have – those of noisy neighbours, bossy office mates, that parking ticket you got, and unwanted spam– contribute to the ‘polluting’ of the mind. 

Shutting them out allows for the ‘cleansing’ of the mind so that it may focus on deeper, more meaningful thoughts.

Some practitioners even shut out all sensory input – no sights, no sounds, and nothing to touch – and try to detach themselves from the surrounding commotion.

You may focus on a deep thought if this is your goal. It may seem deafening at first, since we are all too accustomed to constantly hearing and seeing things, but as you continue this exercise, you will become more aware of everything around you.

Find a Comfortable Position

If you find the meditating positions you see on TV threatening – those with impossibly arched backs, and painful-looking contortions – you needn’t worry.

The principle here is to get into a comfortable position conducive to concentration. This may be while sitting cross-legged, standing, lying down, or even walking.

If the position allows you to relax and focus, then that’s a good starting point. While sitting or standing, the back should be straight, but not tense or tight.

Wearing loose, comfortable clothing helps, since tight-fitting clothes have a tendency to choke you up and make you feel tense.

Soothing Surroundings

The place you perform meditation should have a soothing atmosphere. It may be in your living room, or bedroom, or any place that you feel comfortable in. 

If you’re outdoors, it could be in a wood, park or on a beach. It doesn’t matter; you know your favourite places. Choose one of those.

You might want an exercise mat if you plan to take on the more challenging positions (if you feel more focused doing this, and if the contortionist in you is screaming for release). Have the place arranged so that it is soothing to your senses.

Silence helps most people relax and meditate, so you may want a quiet, isolated area far from the ringing of the phone or the humming of the washing machine. Pleasant scents help too, so stocking up on aromatic candles isn’t such a bad idea either.

Focus on Your Breathing

The monks you see on TV making those monotonous sounds are actually performing their mantra. This, in simple terms, is a short creed, a simple sound which, for these practitioners, holds a mystic value.

You do not need to do this, but repeated actions such as breathing and humming help you enter a higher state of consciousness.

The principle here is focus. You could also try focusing on a particular object or thought, or even, while keeping your eyes open, focus on a single sight.

One routine would be to – while in a meditative state – silently name every part of your body and focusing your consciousness on the particular part each time.

While doing this, be aware of any tension in any part of your body. Mentally visualise releasing this tension. It works wonders.

A Risk Free Way to Bliss

Meditation is a relatively risk-free practice and its benefits are worthwhile (or low effort – remember, we’re relaxing).

Studies have shown that meditation brings about beneficial physiologic effects to the mind and body, and there is a growing consensus among the medical community that it improves mental and physical health.

So, who knows, that mystical thing we call meditation might become a science itself!

Did you know that you can use yoga to help to meditate (and strengthen your body and soul)


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