What if being happy could be like yoga, or running or perhaps lifting weights? What if we could train ourselves to stay happy throughout the day? And what if this constant source of happiness could be achieved with closed eyes? Meditation, the art of diving deep inside the self, is also a source of undying zest and happiness.
Traditionally yoga was practiced and developed to open your body and clear your mind. Yoga is an exercise, meditation and life practice that helps you to be closer to the inner self.
Meditation is becoming so much more acceptable and accessible. Many business people, celebrities, and generally successful people are now speaking about how meditation not only compliments their life but enriches it to such a great depth. So you fancy trying it out. So you sit…and fidget…and wiggle and can’t seem to get comfortable. Your body is moaning and aching so much just being still, that it can feel impossible to focus on your breath.
This is where everything starts coming together because this is what the physical yoga practice is for: we move in yoga asana to make sitting still in meditation more comfortable.
More often than not we will practice yoga just for its physical benefits of having toned muscles, flexibility, and mental clarity. If we add a little meditation to our daily life and practice though, it will bring about a deeper sense of who we are.
Yoga postures are a great way to prepare the body for meditation. It designed to systematically prepare the body to meditate, though with much of the yoga available nowadays, the link to meditation is rarely mentioned. Balancing action (pre-meditation yoga poses) with inaction (sitting in meditation) will create more harmony in your body and mind. It will make it easier to find stillness so that you can dive deep into your meditation practice.
The state of meditation is beautiful and amazing where we are both in deep rest and awareness at the same time. More so, the rest in meditation is said to be deeper than the deepest sleep. A calm mind, good concentration, clarity of perception, improvement in communication, inner strength, and relaxation are all natural results of meditating regularly. In today’s world where stress catches on faster than the eye can see or the mind can perceive, meditation is no more a luxury. It is a necessity.
However, one having a restless body, an unhealthy body or a body in pain cannot sit for a peaceful meditation. In Angkor Zen gardens we teach Pranayama and Yin yoga to prepare for meditation.
Find our daily schedule here 🙂
Yin Yoga is unique in that you are asked to relax in the posture, soften the muscle and move closer to the bone (connective tissues, fascia, joints). While yang-like yoga practices are more superficial, Yin offers a much deeper access to the body. It is not uncommon to see postures held for three to five minutes, even 20 minutes at a time. The time spent in these postures is much like time spent in meditation.
Pranayama is breathing exercise, and it is part of Ashtanga yoga (eight limbs by Patanjali). The term is made of two words ‘Prana’ and ‘Yama.’ Where ‘Prana’ means ‘life force’ and ‘ayama’ means ‘control.’ In practice, a person first implements first three steps and then starts ‘Pranayama.’ Pranayama balances and harmonize body with the mind.
Follow the meditation after the pranayama. Go slowly, breath by breath, each one slightly deeper than the one before. Notice how your body changes as your breath changes. What does that feel like in your chest, your side ribs, the back of your neck, your armpits, your jaw?
Yoga and meditation are such valuable tools for life and happiness.
Please note that meditation practice and pranayama practice are not the same. Although they both involve concentration and breathing, meditation is a practice of cultivating awareness of our habitual thought patterns, and pranayama is a practice of refining breathing ability and awareness of prana flow.
If you are interested to try Yin and pranamaya yoga you may be interested in joining us in Angkor Zen