By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP
What is Yoga meditation? Within Yoga are many styles of meditation. Some Yoga styles focus on mantra, yantra, or breath, as a tool during meditation practice. The focus on attention, to practice during an asana sequence, is also a method for meditating, which can be compared to similar methods when walking.
Yoga meditation is such a powerful tool for mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health, which beginners to this practice can benefit from instantly. While practitioners have to build up, to access the full range of benefits, beginners will feel instantly affected when they begin to practice, even if for a few minutes. Just attempting a short session of meditation can leave the practitioner feeling calmer, centered, more focused, and physically stronger.
The immediate outcome of a meditation session, even for beginners, is relaxation. Due to the way the world functions, some people are perpetually stressed, affecting both their mind and health. Taking even a few minutes to breathe slowly, and properly, will cleanse the mind of the clutter that causes stress, resulting in an instantly more relaxed state.
A short Yoga meditation session, with its accompanying breathing exercises, can help the beginner slow down. Both the practitioner’s heart rate, as well as his/her mind, slow down; thus, the mind can begin letting go of stressful ideas and thoughts as the body becomes less tense. As the heart rate slows down, the practitioner’s blood pressure also becomes more stabilized; a physical benefit of meditation that has a powerful impact.
This relaxed state, which can be achieved with a few minutes of meditation, leads to a general feeling of calmness. Meditation supports Yoga’s goal of helping the practitioner become present in the moment, and being calm is the first step in this direction. The calmness also leads the practitioner to become more centered and focused, both in the moment of meditation, and upon completion of the process.
A Yoga meditation session can achieve more than lowering the heart rate and blood pressure. It also immediately starts providing tools for the beginner to manage panic-inducing situations, and can even help a practitioner with headaches, which are often caused by the stress, present in the practitioner’s life.
Since stress is a natural release, the tension leaves the body, and this can begin a healing process in the practitioner. This healing is achieved over time, strengthening the person’s immune system, and assisting in helping the person feel physically stronger. The impact starts the moment the practitioner starts to meditate and concentrate on cleansing mind and body.
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