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One of the more mysterious aspects of Yoga is meditation. It is considered one of the final limbs of a Yoga practice. Most people think meditation is about sitting still in the same spot and breathing without movement or thought.
Although that is true in some cases, that level of meditation requires mastery of breath control and many physical postures – something that would take most of us a long time to achieve.
Let’s keep meditation simple and easy. After teaching thousands of students, I have found that meditation is truly nothing more than focused concentration. How many of us can get caught up in the moment during our favorite song, TV show, podcast, movie or a great conversation? Awesome. You’ve already practiced meditation!
Meditation is like doing your favorite thing, getting caught in the moment, and holding yourself there. Thankfully, it need not take hours of sitting on a mountain alone to reach higher states of consciousness—unless you happen to be lucky enough to have a mountain in your backyard.
Of course, meditation is best learned from an experienced teacher, but you can try one of these simple meditation techniques to get an idea of how it feels for your body:
- Gaze at a candle and simply focus on the light. Notice when your thinking mind intrudes.
- Sit comfortably and concentrate on your breath; notice the time it takes to inhale and exhale. Count how many breaths it takes before your thinking mind intrudes.
- Create a repetitive statement that your mind can focus on for a few minutes. Count how many breaths you take before your thinking mind intrudes.
These need not take a long time—just 5 minutes a day will make a huge difference!
Each time your mind intrudes, don’t resist—simply notice it and go back to what you were doing. Be fully present in that experience. That is meditation!