Yoga Meditation

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Yoga Meditation Techniques

There are many types of yoga meditations, such as insight meditation, contemplation meditation, concentration meditation, self-awareness meditation, spiritual awakening meditation, goal-oriented meditation, and more.

Some specific meditation techniques in yoga include:

    • Vipassana: Mindfulness meditation; free flow of thoughts and self-observation, leads to insight and seeing things as they really are
    • Trataka: Steady gaze meditation; helps improve eyesight, develop concentration and mental resolve, and strengthen the power of intuition by ┬ádeveloping the psychic eye or the ability to see beyond the obvious
    • Mantra: Repetition of a group of sound vibrations (japa) to achieve a meditative state that effects mental consciousness and has a spiritual and physical healing effect; mantras help anchor the mind in the face of wavering thoughts
    • Chakra: Meditation focused on the seven chakras or energy systems in the body, with each chakra representing a different energy field and a stage in consciousness development
    • Raja: Meditation to achieve a spiritual awakening or establishing a relationship with God; aims to reach a state of pure bliss which elevates the mind and body above worldly pleasures
    • Zazen: Concentration meditation; also known as Zen meditation; practiced originally by Buddha while sitting in a lotus position, helps establish discipline in life
    • Nada: Beneficial meditation technique to focus the mind internally; involves plugging the ears with the thumbs and concentrating on internal body sounds

Yoga Meditation Postures

The right yoga meditation posture will promote the desired state of attention awareness, leading to a more successful meditation experience. Lying down is generally not recommended since meditation can easily lead to sleep; rather, most yoga meditation postures involve sitting with an erect but not rigid back. This poised posture achieves the desired balance between being alert and relaxed.

While many people associate yoga meditation with a cross-legged posture with feet on the thighs, also known as the Lotus position, there are in fact several yoga meditation postures, including:

      • Full Lotus Posture (Padmasana)
      • Half Lotus Posture (Ardha Padmasana)
      • Burmese Posture (legs
      • Egyptian Posture (yoga meditation while sitting on a chair)

Essential Skills for Yoga Meditation

One of the most fundamental skills for effective yoga meditation is diaphragmatic breathing. Additional skills include:

      • Sitting comfortably in a straight, steady posture
      • Slowing down the breath
      • Witnessing the mind’s train of thought
      • Inspecting and introspecting one’s thoughts
      • Cultivation of beneficial thoughts
      • State of relaxation where outer disturbances do not affect you

Yoga Meditation Benefits

Broadly speaking, yoga meditation significantly enriches one’s psychological and physiological well-being, helping one achieve a deeper understanding of self and a more beneficial outlook on life.More specific benefits of meditation in yoga include:

      • Decreased levels of stress, anxiety, and depression
      • Improved air flow to the lungs leading to easier breathing
      • Lower heart rate/decreased cholesterol levels
      • Lower blood pressure
      • Greater mental clarity
      • Improved memory
      • Increased emotional stability
      • Increased feelings of happiness and vitality
      • Greater self-awareness and self-acceptance
      • Increased insight leading to self-actualization
      • Spiritual growth
      • Sense of deep inner peace and bliss

Set aside a few minutes a day, perhaps in the early morning and in the evening, to begin practicing conscious diaphragmatic breathing and to begin mastering and benefiting from yoga meditation.