Power isn't always about force. With a consistent yoga and meditation practice, you aren’t working toward simply becoming more peaceful. You’re creating a calm, focused mind which helps you step into your personal power. In our busy, multi-tasking world, becoming present and living in the here and now is one of our biggest challenges. Instead of falling into a pattern of spreading your energy too thin, this week take the time to become clear, calm, and strong.
According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, yoga is all about citta vritti nirodaha or learning to direct the attention of your mind where you want it to go. Yes, mind control! Another way to consider it is learning to quiet the monkey mind. We’ve all got a pack of wild monkeys zooming around in our brains which fill us with endless chatter and distraction. Meditation and yoga help us quiet the mind and become present in stillness.
Patanjali lays out the eight-limbed path of yoga, which is a road map. After the Yamas, Niyamas, Asanas, and Pranayama, we move into Pratyahara, Dharana, and Dhyana as the final stepping stones to Samadhi. These principles guide us to our most powerful sense of self.
Pratyahara: Pratyahara means to turn your focus inward by tuning out external distractions. Yes, this is easier said than done! How do we learn to ignore everything that our senses pick up? The smells? The sounds of the lawn mower outside, the sunshine outside the window, or the breath of the person on the mat next to us? We cannot avoid sounds, smells, sights, so we need to learn to accept their existence without losing our focus.
Dharana: Dharana translates to a single-pointed focus of concentration. By intently directing the mind toward one thing, we eliminate the space for anything else. In a traditional Dharana practice, the focus is a mantra or a tool for the mind. This mantra can be the breath or an activity like dancing or surfing or gardening, where our attention is wholly connected with what we are doing. Our minds become more clear, peaceful, and steady.
Dhyana: Dhyana occurs when we’ve mastered our senses and we’re no longer aware that we are meditating or trying to focus. It’s an effortless flow––it’s that moment when you are truly “in the moment” without trying to be in it. In other words, you stop trying to concentrate and you are just doing it!
Through yoga and meditation, we learn to move into Samadhi or the highest level of absorption or transcendence. This week's classes give you a chance to work toward a state of dhyana where you’ll be your most powerful. Check them out!
Keith Allen - Wake Up Slowly 2: Brand New Day
Pradeep Teotia - Mindfulness Meditation
Shy Sayar - Transcending Emotionality
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