Why should Yoga practitioners meditate? Meditation is one of the most essential yogic techniques, but many classes focus on yoga poses. After all, at this time, the practice of yoga training has become more divorced from meditation than in the past, but it still remains crucial to even the most elemental understanding of yogic science. With the widespread adaptation of yoga by modern audiences, the emphasis is on movement. As a result, many classes are flow-based and some students question whether meditation is necessary to appreciate what yoga has to offer. Therefore, classes often contain Hatha and Vinyasa flow sequences. Accordingly, the common reason for flows is because students can’t sit still long enough to hold a pose. Furthermore, many people have a lot of nervous energy from desk jobs.
Yoga and meditation are connected as intimately as breathing and air. One does not perform one without the existence of the other. Meditation practitioners are always practicing in some form of a posture. That anyone can question whether meditation is necessary to perform yoga speaks to the general lack of understanding on both subjects. Furthermore, yogic breathing, and postures, complement meditation for a complete health maintenance system.
Purpose of Meditation in Yoga
Yoga practitioners meditate for a well-rounded practice. Whether it’s fast or slow, hot or cold; all forms of yogic methodology rely on the principles of meditation to be part of their class. It’s true that postures are a form of exercise as well, but yogic exercise is movement at its most evolved level. In fact, postures alone are a form of moving meditation. With so much attention paid to focusing, the movements require mindfulness. Yet, breathing (pranayama) is a form of meditation. To begin with, many students learn breath awareness meditation in the early stages of training.
Meditation in the Mix
Yoga meditation is consciousness in every action. When performing yogic exercise the mind is active along with the body. This takes shape in the form of counting breaths, holding poses, and smoothly transitioning from one position to the next. All of this activity takes place with a deliberate state of mindfulness that is the essence of every yogic action. Off the mat, many students learn to meditate in daily life.
Mindfulness in Action
Continuing along this theme, yogic meditation recognizes that while the body is active, the mind is supervising daily activities. That said, the mind multitasks and processes many thoughts during the day. The addition of introspective thoughts, and mantra practice, fully occupies the mind so that all energies being spent by the body are working toward one constructive purpose. For instance, that purpose is complete mindfulness in every action.
The Family of Yogic Techniques
Once these breathing and mantra techniques are realized, it becomes easier to answer the question as to whether people who practice postures should meditate or not. Meditation is not some strange concept that is divorced from the utility of yogic science; meditation is, in fact, the beginning and end of yogic methodology.
Despite those who are confused or disturbed by the concept of meditation, it may be useful for them to think of it in simpler terms. As an example, yoga poses relax the body long enough for students to relax. Should yoga practitioners meditate as a means of mental concentration? Yes, and self-improvement is essential to achieving awareness. Essentially, the real question about meditation practice is to learn how to enhance the power of contemplation.
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