Yoga, meditation and the benefits of a regular practice
The regular practice of meditation diminishes the desire to react, retort and hate, until these emotions vanish completely. Samadhi (a higher state of consciousness, in which the mind is free of thought) is the end product of regular meditation and allows us to live in a calm, peaceful state, regardless of the conflicts or problems that may exist in our lives.
The practice of yoga helps to develop willpower and stamina. Stress and anxiety are major problems in modern life, but they can be effectively tackled through concentration, meditation, breath control and relaxation, all of which are elements of a basic yoga practice.
Most tension-related ailments generally arise from frustration, worry, anger or emotional imbalance which can cause our inbuilt stress mechanism to fail.
The regular practice of yoga and meditation gradually releases tension and relaxes the body and mind. It also develops patience and a new awareness of when not to speak and how to create a quiet, calm and harmonious environment in which to live.
The true origins of yoga are not about physical exercise, complicated postures or standing on your head. Yoga is an ancient Eastern tradition, dating from around 3000 BC, and the very word ‘yoga’ means ‘union’ . It refers to the union between the mind and the body. Yoga is a state of mastery over the senses and the mind. In its truest sense, yoga is the mastery of the mind achieved through the practice of meditation. Exellence in action is yoga.
Meditation is simply the liberation of the mind from all the disturbing and distracting emotions, thoughts and desires that we experience. It is the practice of giving the mind a chance to consciously rest from all the mental chatter. No amount of physical exercise can change the negativity of the mind.
We can choose to live from the mind (logic) or the heart (feelings). Living from the mind is living in the past and according to societal norms. It will always be unfulfilling in the long run. True happiness lies in transcending the mind. This frees us from doubt or expectation, allowing us to participate in life on our own terms.
The first requirement is the desire to change. The mind tends to resist this, as it seeks comfort and makes us afraid of taking the necessary steps. This is why most of us tend to live our lives within tried and trusted limitations. They make us feel safe. Once we understand this, we can be free to accept life as it comes and steer it in the direction which is most advantageous for us.
My teachings are about first accepting your current reality, then meditating and connecting with your inner self to define what you want to create. The next step is to develop the awareness of how to create it.
The gap between what we want and what we have creates unhappiness and dissatisfaction. Awareness of these processes will close that gap.
We all have unlimited possibilities within us and with the practice of meditation, we are able to understand what we truly want and how to achieve it. Time is limited in life, but energy can be unlimited. Yoga is not about doing difficult exercises, but rather about how the practice of simple yoga postures (“asanas”) can lead to clarity of mind and inner peace.
On a physical level, yoga will increase your energy levels, flexibility and stamina. No experience or particular level of fitness is required as the practice can be adapted to suit anyone regardless of age, gender or physical condition. A regular practice will give the best and most long-term benefits, but right from the first practice you will feel energised and calmer.
A regular yoga and meditation practice helps you to go beyond mental turbulence and tap into a source of inner peace, creativity and joy.