At Yoga Quota, the vast majority of our classes are grounded in the philosophy of the Eight Limbs of Yoga, laid out by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras (c. 0-400 CE). The Eight Limbs of Yoga are:
In today's blog and as part of Mental Health Awareness week, we're going to explore more about the 7th limb, Dhyana or Meditation.
Meditation has many benefits that are only just now starting to be backed by science. Some of these benefits include:
Do I have to sit cross legged on the floor to meditate? It's uncomfortable or hurts my back/knees/etc...
No! The body can be in any position that is comfortable. This could mean sitting in a chair, sitting on a cushion, sitting with your back against a wall, laying down in bed or on the floor. There's no set position you have to be in to meditate. As long as you're comfortable and able to bring your attention to your breath, then you're doing it!
Should I meditate with my eyes open or closed?
Whatever works for you. There's something to be said for either. If you're practicing with your eyes open, try to focus on one point or object. Maybe a burning candle. This is so that it can help prevent your eyes from darting all over the room. You could even be meditating on/about the candle/object itself. If you're practicing with your eyes closed, try focusing on the rise and fall of the breath. Try to stay aware of the sensations within the body.
Closing the eyes may block out more distractions, but keeping the eyes open can also feel much safer. Practice what feels right for you.
My thoughts keep wandering...am I meditating?
Yes! That's actually brilliant if your thoughts wander! The whole point of meditation is to notice when you've become caught up in a thought and to bring your attention back to the present moment. Meditation is the tool we use to cultivate the skill of being in the present moment. So each time your mind wanders off and you catch it, then you are applying that skill of coming back to the present!
And without further ado...we've recorded a guided meditation of our own for you to listen to. Play it when you're feeling stressed or anxious or simply want a few moments of quiet. It's under 10 minutes long, so hopefully you can find just that short amount of time in your day for meditating. After you've downloaded and listened, be sure to leave us feedback!
Sign up to receive the free guided meditation.