Our lives are busy, stressful, on-the-go and fast paced. Eating while on your computer, texting your friend to plan the weekend and thinking about your finances, seems like an ordinary day for most of us. With our hectic lifestyles, should we not take advantage of yoga meditation, take a moment to pause and reflect on our breath? Expand our mind, and just be?
Today’s culture equates stillness with passivity and laziness without recognizing that the mind and the body need to pause. Yoga Meditation trains us to be perceptive, open and present. The goal of spirituality is a stable mind. The end result is that you perform the same tasks with a higher level of productivity and joy.
One of the best and most effective ways to reach a state of tranquility and peace is through yoga meditation. The two really go hand-in-hand and push us to connect more with our physical and spiritual selves.
A Union between the Mind and Body
It is when we experience something with our body and mind that we begin to fully understand. The practice of yoga creates a union between the mind and body connecting us more fully with our spiritual selves – an experience that is in the moment, rewarding and true. Through this practice, you are awakening your potential, both physically and mentally. This allows you to understand and truly feel how everything in the universe is connected, starting with your mind, body and soul.
As you move your body through specific postures, breathing techniques and meditation, you are guided towards a state of tranquility, mindfulness and concentration. This experience creates a sense of unity and oneness that helps your mind and body feel its connection to the rest of the universe. It is through this connection that you stabilize and lift yourself out of depression, anxiety, anger and pain.
Yoga and Fitness
Aside from its mediation benefits, there are also fitness benefits to yoga. Including a balance of poses in your routine will help build strength, stamina, and flexibility along with breath-work that allows you to develop body awareness.
Standing poses such as the Mountain pose, Warrior poses, Chair pose, Standing Forward Bend and Tree pose benefit your body by strengthening your legs, abdominal and buttocks. Through these moves, your muscles and joints are strengthened and your body fights to keep its balance. Standing poses also improve your flexibility because as you go through these moves you loosen your muscles by constantly stretching and holding. Standing postures also create body awareness, helping you keep you core tight, opening up your chest and improving your breath. While you perform these moves, you are kept aware of your posture and pose. These benefits are not for the yoga studio only. The main benefit of yoga is how it prepares and builds your body over time, to make it strong, stable, and flexible. This allows your body to stay away from injury, pain, and fatigue.
If you have specific fitness goals in mind, yoga can still help you. If you are new to yoga, your body will struggle in the beginning of your practice. Yoga is challenging, and can cause discomfort, but no one said it’s going to be easy. As your body adjusts itself you begin to feel the improvements in your posture and form. For those who do wish to reach a specific fitness level, it will benefit you to add other forms of exercise to stay fit. Many professional athletes keep yoga in their routine, in addition to their training to prevent injury, improve flexibility and performance.
How Yoga Benefits Your Fitness
There are also benefits to yoga that not only transform your mind and body, but your entire life. Yoga meditation are lifestyle choices that achieve a state of calmness and balance. The union between the mind and body help you fight depression, improve body pain and allow you to sleep better. Yoga improves fitness performance, giving you a sculpted body that not only looks great, but also feels great.
Have you ever found yourself running around aimlessly, doing several tasks all at the same time? It happens to all of us. Sometimes our busy schedules clutter our mind, not allowing us to be productive. Yoga meditation put things into perspective allowing you to realize that your mind and body need a break. A pause that allows you to focus on your breath, get in touch with your inner-self and to take a break from all the chaos. If your excuse is the lack of time, then you’re the perfect candidate. Taking a few hours out of your week to focus on your mind and body, will prepare you to fight stress and gain focus to achieve everything on that to-do list. Because sometimes by spending more time on our health and well-being, we can go back with more strength and focus. So let’s breathe, focus and keep our eyes open.
Why You Should Meditate?
There are practices that can help you gain the skills you need to deal with the challenges in your daily life, bringing happiness, joy and ease. Meditation doesn’t have to take hours. Here’s a simple yet effective practice that can transform the way you think, helping you stay focused on your breath and the present moment. Give it a try and tell us what you think.
The Open Eye Meditation
There are many meditation routines that require you to close your eyes. With this practice, your eyes remain open throughout. In the beginning you will feel discomfort and a lack of focus. It’s natural! Your mind and body will take time to adjust to this routine.
Whereas other meditation routines help you escape your thoughts and the present moment, this simple, yet effective routine accomplishes quite the opposite. The open-eye meditation will allow you to focus on your breath and become conscious of the present moment. Over time you will begin to see changes in your attitude as you begin to value and appreciate the power of the present moment.
We are often trapped in our past, and anxious for our future – this only harms us. Through meditation, you can train your mind to simply be – to focus on the moment and the power of your breath. The main goal is to clear your mind and just breathe.
Keep in Mind that Form Matters
Form is key! Keep your eyes open and look directly in front of you (about 4 feet). Slightly tilt your head without lowering your gaze. Keep a proper posture, with a straight spine, but try to keep your body open at the same time. Your shoulders are rolled back; your feet are on the ground, feeling the earth beneath you. If you are on the floor, sit on a cushion and cross your legs. Keep your palms on your thighs, your eyes open and breathe as you would normally.
It’s okay to feel discomfort – your mind and body are new to this! Your body will constantly lose its posture and you might even feel pain in your spine. Your thoughts will take over and you will lose focus. This is all natural and the journey is part of it all. Here are some helpful tips to help you get started.
Breathe: No one said it’s easy, but there are ways to improve. When your thoughts begin to drift, and your posture loses its form, redirect your breath- inhale and exhale. Appreciate the present moment. We often take our breath for granted.
Don’t judge your thoughts: You will find yourself thinking about your day, your to-do lists, the fights you may have had, what to eat for lunch and so on. Be gentle with yourself. Instead, breathe in and out and redirect your focus and energy. With every exhale, let go of all the built-up tension.
Don’t be overly ambitious: In the beginning you will find it difficult to stay focused. You will pray for time to pass. Begin with a five minute routine. As you improve your focus and posture, you will be able to increase your meditation duration.
Stay disciplined: Five minutes may even be difficult. It’s not easy to train your mind and body to focus on your breath. Over time, you will begin to see and feel the benefits of meditation in all areas of your life. Remember, discipline brings joy.
Open-eye meditation will improve your appreciation for the present moment. There is a tremendous power in our breath. With every exhale, we can shift and redirect our mind and body, helping us improve our focus to find peace from within. With open-eye meditation, you are choosing to face the world and your inner self. We spend so much of our time looking outside of us, and by dedicating time for a yoga meditation routine, we are inviting ourselves to look within. The end all is to control your breath, because once you control your breath, you can control absolutely anything.
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