Meditation teaches us how distracted we really are. We just don’t usually notice because we are so distracted. Most of us generally have the same series of redundant thoughts circling around in our mind, over and over and over again.
In our society, we are so focused on getting somewhere, getting what we want, the “if only” syndrome so to speak. If only we can just get this job, this house, this person, fill in the blank, then we’ll be happy. When we are operating from this mindset, we aren’t focused on the here and now.
How do we find the place where we can just BE? Where the mind is quiet. Not that there are no thoughts, just that we are so caught up in feeling the present moment—we are still.
For National Yoga Month, we invite you to explore this mindfulness, meditation, mastery-- Welcome to your mind.
What’s your favorite activity? You know, the one where you’re no longer distracted by sights, sounds, or smells around you? For some people, complete engagement occurs when they are running or surfing. Maybe for you, it’s listening to live music, dancing, gardening, standing in the majesty of nature—whatever resonates for you. You’re no longer aware you are “doing” something; you’re simply in the moment.
What if we told you there were a way to create that feeling of complete immersion whenever you wanted?
It’s called meditation.
And yes, you can learn to find that state of dhyana or absorption whenever you want, no musical instruments or body of water needed. It might take a little work, however.
Meditation is the art of “letting go.” It is bringing the mind to the present moment; moving from the form to the formless, from boundaries to boundless. In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali describes meditation as Chitta Vritti Nirodhaha or to still the fluctuations of the mind. Often, this practice is referred to as learning to “quiet the monkey mind.” How many wild monkeys do you have zooming around in your head?
If you’ve tried meditation in the past and instead of finding calmness and clarity, you were ready to rip your hair out and run screaming from the room, you’re not alone. The good news is that meditation is a skill you can learn. It’s a practice. Cultivate a little patience and compassion toward yourself as you learn to achieve inner stillness.
Just like yoga, there’s no “right” way to meditate, no single path. Numerous different techniques abound—transcendental meditation, mantra meditation, japa meditation, Kriya meditation, meditation upon an object like a candle or flower, mudras, visualization…the list goes on.
If one doesn’t work for you, keep trying. Don’t give up.
Try one of our featured classes this week:
1. Alanna Kaivalya / Learn to Meditate: 3 Steps to Success (FREE CLASS)
Learn to meditate with ease in this instructional video with Alanna Kaivalya, founder of The Kaivalya Yoga Method Teacher Training on YogaDownload.com. In three easy steps you master the key meditation techniques and lay the foundation for the most transformative and effective practice in yoga!
2. Geenie Celento / Tap Your Inner Fire
The perfect combo, guided breath work and meditation to ignite a purifying fire and inner potency. This class is focused on building tapas-austerity, the transformative fire to release limitations and energetic obstructions.
Tapas is the self-generated heat to burn off what cannot serve us, to move us beyond comfort into our greatest potential. 15 min of accessible breath work followed with 15 min of guided meditation to deepen your experience and renewal.
3. Celeste Pereira / Yoga Nidra
We are so tightly wound up in our daily lives! Relief is on the way: this yoga nidra is a soft, relaxing meditation that will help you unwind every part of yourself, on every level of your being. We will cultivate a deep state of softness that will give you a platform from which you can create positive changes in your every day life. Relax and enjoy!
4. Sibyl Buck / Restorative Meditation
Make yourself comfortable and be guided into deep relaxation and meditation. Specific language is used to help you move past the spinning movement of your mind, and into the deeper dimensions of your being, out past the temporal details of your life, which pull you out of the moment. Even if you find a lot of mental noise when you attempt meditation, combining your practice with restorative yoga will help you to arrive in the ever-present peace within yourself, deeper than the layer of mental movement that distracts you. Using props that can be found around the house, you'll create a comfortable position for your body, and release each body part individually before delving deeper. Breath techniques are used to help bring balance to the body and mind. Namaste.