What is meditation? And how and why would I do it? Get the answers.
Although you don't need to formally meditate in order to practice hatha yoga—nor is the practice of hatha yoga mandatory in order to meditate—the two practices support each another. Through your practice of yoga, you've enhanced both your abilities to concentrate and to relax—the two most important requirements for a meditation practice. Now you can deepen your understanding of what meditation is and begin a practice of your own.
What Is Meditation?
An exquisite methodology exists within the yoga tradition that is designed to reveal the interconnectedness of every living thing. This fundamental unity is referred to as advaita. Meditation is the actual experience of this union.
In the Yoga Sutra, Patanjali gives instruction on how to meditate and describes what factors constitute a meditation practice. The second sutra in the first chapter states that yoga (or union) happens when the mind becomes quiet. This mental stillness is created by bringing the body, mind, and senses into balance which, in turn, relaxes the nervous system. Patanjali goes on to explain that meditation begins when we discover that our never-ending quest to possess things and our continual craving for pleasure and security can never be satisfied. When we finally realize this, our external quest turns inward, and we have shifted into the realm of meditation.
This journey began from a overwhelming need to change - my life and career choices had been made by someone I no longer was, I was stuck in habits that did not serve me, I felt constantly unfulfilled and restless, with no sense of purpose, inspiration or excitement. I struggled with chronic self-loathing, post traumatic stress disorder and mental health challenges. I could not think my way out of the situation so I began rigorous practical application of anything that seemed to help.
"I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch"
Leonard Cohen, 1984. Hallelujah.
My first point of call was Yoga - Yoga gave me such freedom from my difficulties with health, addiction
"We can only keep what we have by giving it away." IP#1 NAWS, 1976. Who What, How and Why.