With all of today's distractions, including online endeavors like Twitter and Facebook, finding the opportunity to simply clear your mind may be difficult chore. And, for some, impossible.
But clearing one's mind of the useless clutter and reaching a state of calmness and peace is the goal of yoga meditation. To accomplish this goal, the yoga student must learn to be in total control of their thoughts and mind. Many people may believe they can easily achieve this state of calmness, but actually attempting meditation can prove to them how difficult it actually is.
What anyone attempting meditation for the first (or even third or tenth time) should realize is that meditation doesn't come easy. Although the practice will eventually bring the student serenity, actually getting your mind to clear itself and remove stress is a difficult process with key steps. And one of the most important steps is breathing. By learning to breath in a controlled manner, a yoga practitioner can control their life force, or "prana", increasing it or decreasing it to bring themselves into a sense of balance, which will ease the transition into a meditative state.
By learning to breath in a controlled manner, a yoga practitioner can control their life force, or "prana", increasing it or decreasing it to bring themselves into a sense of balance, which will ease the transition into a meditative state.
The life force works its way through the body along paths known as "nadis". There are three nadis: the sushumna, which flows along the spine, and the pinngala and ida, which each run on one side of the sushumma. The prana runs along these paths and is propelled by the student's breathing, thoughts and emotions. The breathing patterns can control the flow of prana that, in turn, will enable the meditation process.
Followiing that thought, one of the first steps in yoga is to gain an awareness of yourself and your body. To do this, start by lying on your back with your arms at your side and your legs extended. Become aware of your surroundings, the way your body is reacting to them. With your eyes closed, feel your body's weight, the weight of your arms and legs. Feel your body sink into the floor or bed and let the various parts of your body come in contact with the surface.
Now try to gain an awareness of your body from top to bottom. Became aware of your body starting with your toes. Move your awareness up your legs, past your knees, your pelvis and continue upwards along your back to your shoulders.