adore yoga blog

Does this sound familiar: you really, really want to meditate. But within seconds of sitting still, your mind’s a riot of buzzing thoughts. You love the idea of meditation, but it just isn’t working for you. Why?

 

Let’s ask that question another way. When did you last enjoy a refreshing cup of tea without going through the ritual of boiling the kettle, putting the tea in the cup (or pot) and pouring the hot water on the tea?

 

It’s the ritual of preparing the tea that makes drinking the brew both possible and pleasurable. Now think about the way you approach meditation. Do you just sit down, close your eyes and jump straight in? It could be that lack of preparation is sabotaging your practice.

 

Don’t just sit there.

 

After more than 20 years of practice, I still find it very difficult to simply sit still and meditation. So I don’t.

 

It took me a long time to figure out how to meditate without being driven crazy by my own restless mind. Here’s the secret – use all eight limbs of yoga to prepare. If you’re not practicing all of Patanjali’s Eight Limbs (or you don’t know what that means), it’s about to change how you meditate forever.

 

The ancient text, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, forms the foundation for the yoga we practice in the west today. Patanjali knew a thing or two about human nature. His observations of our busy brains and ability to delude ourselves are as true today as they were when he wrote them nearly 2,000yrs ago. He used his deep understanding of the human mind to create a road map to help us to let go of the things that cause suffering and move towards a state of yogic bliss.

 

Patanjali makes it very clear that yoga has eight components, or ‘limbs’, and we need to engage with all of them if we want to enjoy the benefits of practice. Deep meditation comes right down the bottom of Patanjali’s list, suggesting that there are a few things we need to cover before sitting down to silent contemplation.

 

Patanjali’s ‘road-map forms the basis of my own meditation practice and is at the heart of all the meditation courses and trainings at Adore Yoga. It looks like this:

 

  • Yama – 5 guidelines for living in harmony with others
  • Niyama – 5 guidelines for living in harmony with yourself
  • Asana – physical postures
  • Pranayama – breathing techniques
  • Pratyahara – how to avoid things that are distracting you from concentrating
  • Dharana – learning to focus the mind 
  • Dhyana – deep concentration
  • Samadhi – the state of bliss that arises with deep meditation

 

Following the Eight Limbs perfectly prepare your body and mind to experience the bliss that arrives when the mind settles. I went to an audience with a high Tibetan lama once and was amazed to hear his followers describing how he’d broken his hip due to long hours sitting in mediation. I couldn’t figure out how that could be a good thing – if the body isn’t comfortable, that can only add to the many distractions that get in the way of meditating.

 

Yoga embraces the WHOLE being.  When you mindfully practice yoga, including movement, sound and breathing practices, you start to relax muscle tension, calm the nervous system and settle the mind. All the things that make meditating possible.

 

Don’t forget the first two limbs, the Yamas and Niyamas. These are guidelines for living a good life, teaching us ways of thinking and acting that reduce conflict – both internally and with those around us. Sitting in meditation is much easier when your mind is clear of the stories that arise when we are not living in harmony with ourselves and our community. You can learn more about the Yamas and Niyamas in this blogpost.

 

If you're a beginner and want to make meditating easier, my advice is ‘don’t sit still’. Well, not at first. Learn how to prepare yourself to sit comfortably using all Eight Limbs of yoga and you’ll discover how much more pleasurable meditation can be.


Nikola Ellis is the founder of Adore Yoga, yoga therapist, counselor and teacher trainer. She conducts regular Meditation Facilitator Certificate Trainings for people who want to share meditation with clients, friends and students. She also offers Level 1 200hr Teacher Training;  150hr Post Graduate Yoga Teacher Training in Mental Health, Adaptive Asana and Yoga Therapy and a highly regarded professional 650hr Graduate Certificate of Yoga Therapy. Got a question about yoga or ayurveda? Ask Nikola here.  

Comments through Facebook

Trackback Link
http://www.adoreyoga.com/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=2848&PostID=689466&A=Trackback
Trackbacks
Post has no trackbacks.

Subscribe


Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Subscribe by email

Like us on Facebook

categories

yoga for sleep counselling yoga and body image holiday yoga classes teaching yoga for winter Adore Yoga Bhakti Yoga 200 hour yoga teacher training body image yoga body image advanced yoga teacher training Seane Corn yoga teachers Yoga retreat sydney Niyama Rachel Zinman yoga for men Teacher Training cancer yoga yoga for heart KYM recipes emotions creativity hayfever yoga retreat india Gratitude spring yoga yoga teacher training sydney Photography Metta Meditation Yoga for anorexia teaching yoga asana yoga therapy Sarah Powers how to become a yoga therapist Adore Yoga Teachers yoga therapists yoga christmas curvy yoga yoga for trekking ayurvedic massage allergies Yoga teacher training psychology new to yoga Bali yoga Jala neti learn to teach yoga Yoga Gives Back Capturing Gratitude negative body image ageing yogi Student yoga teacher try yoga Belinda Gurd Sukha Queensland yoga retreat soup Bali Paradise Retreat new yoga teacher yoga instructor Ayurveda Yoga of the mind anti ageing yoga private yoga class autumn recipes Asthma santosha making yoga accessible Mastectomy savoring savouring Yoga for Spring yoga competition meditation made easy cancer council shatkarma Trikonasana chakras daintree Yoga in Paradise Pranayama India yoga retreat intermediate yoga mosman yoga yoga therapy australia kids relaxation detox breast cancer yoga cleanse Autumn yoga January yoga retreat adore yoga retreat Eve Grzybowski pink ribbon yoga yoga for over 40 Reiki Villa Boreh yoga, sleep, insomnia Level 2 Yoga beauty samtosa yoga blog yoga asana Yoga Reach Philosophy Yama cancer survivor yoga learn yoga Sarah Corbett yoga alliance India people unyogic meditation city yoga retreat Love Nikola Ellis Loving kindness meditation Lauren Tober October yoga retreat yoga student profile yoga lifestyle adore yoga in mosman yoga manifesto yoga in nepal Yoga poses Yoga workshop Marianne Elliot Eating disorders Insight Yoga yoga teacher yoga for over 50 meditation teacher Frittata meditation for beginners yoga for cancer yoga cardiovascular daintree rainforest men's yoga guided relaxation Spring Yoga Intensive World's Longest Yoga Chain Warrior 2 Lucy Proud yoga in mosman Yoga day retreat detox yoga retreat yoga practice back pain, yoga for back pain Yoga for bulimia yoga and body image coalition Summer Yoga Feminist consumer capitalism yoga classes pancha kosha Self Acceptance Dr. NC Brook McCarthy massage in india Yoga Nidra cardiovascular disease sitali yoga chain yoga detox retreat Yoga retreat NSW Start yoga contentment Yoga relaxation yoga styles yoga commodification one on one yoga Yoga journal shitali Anorexia mature age yoga bali yoga retreat Maurice Eberlein Head massage Guinness World Record yoga e-book yoga for asthma patanjali anger guided meditation healthy eating anti ageing Therapeutic yoga yoga kids meditation neti 2014 Yang yoga community yoga relaxation for children yoga for eating disorders anxiety Ahimsa Feminist yoga CCNSW Off The Mat Tropical yoga retreat Relaxation yoga and alcohol Generosity yoga 4 cancer yoga detox insomnia yoga cleansing Yin Yoga yoga alliance guidelines Mindfulness yoga in Bali yoga modifications yoga philosophy Yoga inspiration Seva Angelina Jolie 500 hour yoga teacher training Manipura chakra Festival of Mosman yoga therapy accreditation KHYF cleansing yoga happiness AG Mohan Transform your life detox retreat Mentoring learning meditation heart health stress Level 1 yoga teacher training New years resolution Dharma yoga retreat A Sound Life women's cancers yoga therapy training Weekend yoga retreat July yoga bali Fresh Start Retreat feminism meditation for children day retreat yoga for bigger bodies become a yoga teacher Yoga and Money Sthira cooling yoga easy meditation Yoga routine life change niyamas Elizabeth Armstrong Meditation Teacher Training beginners yoga yoga alliance yoga therapy Edo and Jo Sydney yoga retreat yoga for women Koshas yoga for older students yoga injuries mosman blog Valentines yoga yoga for mums Pink Yoga Ali Dear chanting Balance Pizhichil teaching meditation birthday yoga Compassion yoga guide detox yoga kausthub desikachar

archive