Deepening Your Practice with Meditation
How is your yoga practice going?
Has it left the yoga mat yet?
In this country it is very common for our yoga practice to begin with the physical. Yet, as we benefit, and desire to increase the benefits, we notice that all the ways to deepen the practice address our mind, which parallels Western science’s finding that most dis-ease originates in our mind. So in order to access the next level of wellness we need to address the mental state.
There are many different kinds of yoga practices that address our minds and actually knowing some of these practices will very much deepen your physical practice. I have just released a meditation CD. These meditations have been a great asset to me and have made a huge impact on my life. There is also a wonderful meditation at the end of our new Advanced 2 CD. We also carry a large variety of books explaining meditation.
It’s amazing how your outlook on life can affect your happiness, attitudes, relationships, and health. Our outlook is a result of our history, or the experiences we have had that have influenced us and programmed us. For example, a person with racist tendencies, violent tendencies, or insecurities most likely cultivated these tendencies in a society or family that expressed certain ideas and beliefs, whether it was conscious and obvious, or unconscious and subtle. Our ideas of beauty, manliness, femininity, success, and happiness, as well as our priorities, may have been more shaped by the media than our own wisdom. Another example is how it is said that an abused child one day becomes the abuser. Why? Because that’s the program that has been passed to that child that is now an adult. I’ve often heard people exclaim, “Oh my God, I’ve become my mother!” (or “father!”) when dealing with their own children, or just in general.
To purge our minds of harmful past programming and to write programs of our own choosing is what we are doing in meditation. Believe it or not, this may have the largest impact on your health. One of the ways this works is simple. A large goal in meditation is to generate “awareness.” As we become more aware and alert or present, we begin to notice our tendencies, which may be thought patterns or actions that are unwholesome. Once we notice them due to “awareness” (tendencies that had previously gone unnoticed), we have a choice which is “should I move forward with this thought or action? Is this something I want to strengthen and feed? Or should I stop this thought or action and replace it with something more wholesome? Do I want to dwell in lack or abundance? Do I want to dwell in regret or gratitude? Do I want to generate fear or compassion?” These choices become mine with “awareness,” which is the quality cultivated in meditation. With this awareness you soon will begin noticing thoughts and actions emanating from within you that are extremely unwholesome throughout your day. Dealing with these as they arise well away from your yoga mat, is a sign you are making progress and your yoga is happening well off your mat and throughout your day. As these unwholesome programs are no longer fed food and energy their strength diminishes and has less power over your thoughts and attitudes. This leaves you feeling more light, free, and happy, and affecting all those you meet in a significantly more positive way.
With so much gratitude to be able to share this wonderful yoga with all of you,