Why You Should Meditate
Meditation is the practice of internalising your awareness to find peace, rest and renewed vitality. Its benefits are sung by the ancient yogis who consider it an essential part of yoga practice.
Don’t think that meditation is too hard for you, or that you cannot sit still and relax. These are common objections and simple solutions are available.
Can you think a thought? Yes? Then you can meditate.
That is all that is required to meditate. It need not be difficult. With practice it becomes highly enjoyable.
You don’t need to accept any beliefs or philosophy. If you don’t like one style of meditation, then try another one.
The benefits of meditation on mental, emotional and physical health are well documented – especially since the rest from meditation is considered to be deeper than sleep. When people get regular deep rest they often report improvements in their health and productivity and a greater ability to cope with stress.
Regular practice is the golden key to meditation. A few minutes everyday can deliver tremendous benefits. It is very common for the people you live with to notice changes sooner than you do. Often people comment “my husband is less grumpy since he learnt to meditate” or “my wife is more content in herself”.
Another golden key to meditation is proper instruction. Having an experienced guide is really important, especially in the beginning.
There is no substitute for a great teacher.
Instruction in meditation is very simple, so simple that you may wonder how it can be so effective. But simplicity is the antidote to the complexity of our minds and lives. Learning to relax, breathe and be still is a skill that is well worth investing your time and energy into. It helps you to get off the mental highway and appreciate what is already in your life.
At Ashram Yoga we offer a number of courses on meditation, but two are particularly good for beginners:
Meditation with Premajyoti
Premajyoti runs regular 6-week courses that start with the basics and builds a firm foundation. She guides you step-by-step in the practice of meditation and can answer your questions. She is currently running a course which you are welcome to join anytime.
She teaches mantra, visualisation, breathing (pranayama) and a variety of other techniques. No previous experience is necessary. Read more
Yoga Nidra CDs
Yoga Nidra is usually included at the end of our yoga classes. It is an ancient technique for systematic relaxation that allows us to release tensions and recondition the mind from a very deep level. It is very helpful for anxiety, insomnia, healing and changing habits and behaviours. See the Yoga Nidra Shop.
The difference between Yoga Nidra and meditation is that Yoga Nidra is usually done lying down, while meditation is mostly sitting up. There are other differences too, but they are both techniques for internalising your awareness – ie “getting inside”.
Recommended reading: Sure Ways to Self-Realisation and Yoga Nidra by Swami Satyananda. Available at Ashram Yoga.