In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, the eightfold path is called Ashtanga, which means eight limbs (ashta=eight, anga=limb). These eight steps basically act as guidelines on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life with moral and self discipline. They direct attention toward one’s health, vitality and wisdom.
Meditation is the seventh stage of Ashtanga and is one of the important aspects of yoga. Meditation is described as a state of pure consciousness, where the mind is free of scattered thoughts and worldly worries. Meditating means to relax your mind. It helps you develop concentration, calmness, and a positive way of looking towards the world. The mind becomes clearer and focused when you meditate. It teaches us to become still and observe what is within ourselves. It helps you change your inner self.
Meditation has been practiced since ancient times, as a tradition in numerous religions. It often involves an internal effort to self-regulate the mind. Meditation is often used to clear the mind and ease many health concerns, such as high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety. Meditation also helps to reduce stress. It may be done sitting with eyes closed, reciting a mantra or in an active way.
During Ancient times, Meditation was usually done by yogis & monks but now it can be done by anyone at any time of the day. There are different ways to meditate. All you need is a quiet and clean place.
Concentration Meditation is to develop a single-minded attention directed at some object: an image, a breath, a candle flame, or a word or phrase. Continually returning one’s attention to this object develops one’s ability to remain calm, focused, and grounded.
Mindfulness Meditation is practiced sitting with eyes closed, cross-legged on a cushion, or on a chair, with the back straight. Focus on the movement of the abdomen when breathing in and out, or on the awareness of the breath as it goes in and out the nostrils. When you find your mind wandering constantly, come back again to your body and environment.
Meditation is to focus your thoughts on something specific. The main idea is to concentrate on one thing at a time.
- Sit on the floor with a mat under you.
- Keep your back straight and eyes closed.
- Now let your body relax and let go off the tension from your body.
- Take deep breaths while focusing on inhalation and exhalation.
- You can initiate meditation with 5-10 minutes and gradually try it for longer periods.
Meditation helps us to understand our own mind. We can learn how to feel positive from negative, from disturbed to peaceful, from unhappy to happy.