Monday, April 21, 2014

Getting Started with Yoga Meditation

In today’s busy and often harried world, yoga meditation can offer a meaningful way to recharge your energy and reconnect with feelings of calm and tranquility. It can also increase your mind’s ability to concentrate and stay focused on your everyday goals. While many people understand yoga’s benefits where physical fitness is concerned, they forget that the centuries-old practice is traditionally as much about the mind and the spirit as it is about the body.

Regular practice is the key to getting the full benefit from your yogic meditation. Set aside a time and place where you will be free of other distractions. Learn to let go of worries about the past and nagging mental to-do lists for the future as you focus on being fully present in the moment.

Experts emphasize that yoga meditation is an active state of mind, that ideally a practitioner will be fully alert while maintaining a sense of calm, a steady, rhythmic breathing, and an inward focus.

Assume a relaxed posture for your meditation, whether that involves sitting in the traditional cross-legged pose on the floor, indoors on a sofa, or in a garden chair. You may want to use sound to assist you in concentrating: You may listen to recorded music, the lyrics of nature in a waterfall or flowing stream, or an affirmation you chant softly to yourself.

Beginners may find it helpful to start their meditative practice by focusing on one single thing, whether it’s a candle flame, a piece of art, an object in nature, or their own breathing. Allow for the fact that your thoughts may drift, and be prepared to gently guide them back again.

Start out with only a few minutes the first few times and gradually work your way up to longer periods of meditation as you become comfortable and experienced in the discipline.

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