DIG A LITTLE DEEPER INTO YOGA, MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS
Yoga, meditation and mindfulness are three different practices that have evolved in the same spiritual culture of ancient India. Other than their place of origin, these three share the similarity in their application and the relevance in the modern world. Though these terms are often used interchangeably due to the closeness in their concepts, it is important to understand that these have their own specific meaning and purpose. Studying the dissimilarity in these similar practices, mindsupport yoga classes in Trivandrum has incorporated the techniques of meditation and mindfulness in order to touch more lives.
Know what you practice!
‘Know before you do’ policy should be applied to everything you plan to do. Here is what you need to know about yoga, meditation and mindfulness before you begin with the practice.
- Yoga: The name ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’ which means to join, balance or integrate. The depth of Yoga can be sensed from its name itself. It is definitely beyond the physical exercises and body postures that are creating a buzz today. Yoga contributes to both physical and mental harmony by creating a perfect balance between the body, mind and spirit. No wonder why it is known for its diverse range of effects on human life. Based on the vastness in the concept, this ancient practice can be further categorised into-
- Jnana Yoga– It preaches to free your mind, to attain wisdom through yogic practices. The more you liberate your mind, the wiser you become.
- Raja Yoga: This form teaches the practitioner the art of controlling the mind and emotions.
- Karma Yoga: Based on the principles of Bhagavad Gita, it motivates to carry out selfless actions.
- Bhakti Yoga– It paves the way to spiritual enlightenment. You can liberate your mind once you realise the oneness with God. It is basically the divine touch of yoga.
- Meditation: Meditation is a means to achieve the highest form of consciousness. Mantra yoga is a form of meditation which is found to be prevalent since prehistoric times. Meditation techniques have taken several forms since its inception. Earlier, in ancient times, meditation was practiced to free oneself from the worldly connections and to attain eternal peace. Today, meditation techniques are widely practiced all around the globe to reduce stress and tension that are the by-products of urban culture and the fast paced modern lifestyle. The basic thing concerning meditation that one has to understand is that ‘Meditation is beyond mind.’ It is based on self-realization and hence, no technique can ever lead to meditation. It is purely based on one’s own mind and how he/she regulates it to attain peace. Meditation is a state of being that can be attained only through understanding. It is also important to note that not all forms of meditation is meant for all. People have diverse mindsets and thus, meditation techniques vary with person to person.Let us take a look at some of the popular forms of meditation-
- Transcendental meditation: It is one of the most scientifically studied and popular form of meditation. This customisable form of mantra meditation is practiced for avoiding distracting thoughts.
- Mantra meditation: Mantra meditation traces its root to Hindu and Buddhist traditions. The religious connection of mantra meditation is enough to generate a sense of spirituality in one who practices it. In this form of meditation, certain words or sound is repeated until the mind is cleared. ‘Om’ is the most popular sound used to practice mantra meditation.
- Movement meditation: This particular form of meditation goes against the popular notion that meditation can only be practiced by sitting still in a particular position. It involves gentle movement like walking through the woods, gardening etc. This active form of meditation best suits those who find peace in action.
- Spiritual meditation: It for those who want to establish a connection with God or universe. It is generally practiced at places of worship and can also be practiced at home. It aids in one’s spiritual growth.
- Mindfulness meditation: Having Buddhist origin, it is one of the most popular forms of meditation practiced in the West. This can be practiced alone by shifting the attention to your thoughts to stay in the present moment.
- Mindfulness: As mentioned above, mindfulness is the act of focusing in the present. Dwelling on the past or anticipating the future will keep our minds disturbed and this is why staying in the current moment becomes important. Mindfulness hence, has a prominent role to play in our lives. Though, it comes under the larger umbrella term called meditation, it has its own specific nature and way of practice. When you practice mindfulness, there would be no place for overpowering emotions in your mind and you become happier in life by keeping your stress at bay. The most common way of practicing mindfulness is by-
- Following your breath: What happens when you breathe in and then breathe out? Your thoughts wander, right? All you have to do is follow your breath and bring your wandering thoughts back to the present. This kind of mindfulness meditation is also referred to as ‘Shamatha’ among Buddhists.
- Being mindful of your food– Bringing your thoughts that drift away while you taste your food back to the act of tasting the food is an act of mindfulness. The more you stay in the present, the more you stay in reality.
This is how these three concepts of holistic well-being are interrelated yet so different in their very own way. Mindsupport helps you walk the path of yoga, exploring the vastness of meditation making mindfulness a part of your daily routine.