Defined in the yoga sutras of Patanjali as the cessation of the identification with the waves of the mind, yogic mediation allows us to move beyond the chattering mind to a witnessing state. The process begins with a turning inwards of the senses, gradually concentration arises and with practice, meditation, and eventually, a deep sense of absorption are experienced. Yoga is foremost about meditation. Asanas release tamas (inertia) from the body, transform rajas (activity) from the mind to create internal sattva (harmony) and enhance the experience of meditation. In addition, as our asana and meditation practice matures asana practice becomes an experience of meditation in movement.
Once we have accumulated enough sattva, turning the senses inwards becomes natural which allows us to experience what is called samyama which is the interplay between concentration, meditation and the state of absorption. Like three drops of water joining we can no longer tell them apart.
Light of awareness
The process of meditation is about taking the attitude of the witness which is called sakshi-bhava. This way we are aligned with the higher Self instead of the chattering mind and body. This witnessing process releases the need to suppress emotions and allows the light of awareness to shine through. With practice, meditation clears our karma and enhances all aspects of our life.
Approaches to meditation
There are many yogic approaches to meditation. There are varied passive approaches of observation and focus such as a mantra or the breath or an object and more… And, there is the active form of meditation which is a deep contemplation on higher expressions. It is the art of thinking. This is an advanced form of meditation practice that I am now ready to begin teaching and I will be offering courses on the subject in 2022.
Meditation practice tips:
Sit tall, expansive and comfortable;
Call on the feelings of stability and ease;
Be aware of your gaze and let it also be focused and easeful;
Relax the mouth, feeling like you are just about to smile will open the back of the throat and enhance the quality of the breath;
Set the intention that you’re no longer just breathing but you are taking in the Prana;
Your mind will start thinking of other things, observe and bring it back to your point of focus (don’t fuss over it);
Place your consciousness at the back of the head instead of behind the eyes, this way you will better equipped to observe;
The gifts of meditation are found in the consistency; and
Be true to yourself and set yourself up for success.