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5 Yoga & Meditation Lessons

5 Yoga and Meditation Lessons
 

Lesson 1 focuses on correct breathing

Lesson 1 focuses on correct breathing as this is so important to both yoga and meditation. Breath is so essential to yoga because it is the source of all life and energy. In Sanskrit, the word for yoga and life is the same: prana.

 

To learn the proper way to breathe for yoga, all you need do is read through the instructions and then follow along:

 

1. Find a comfortable place to sit and either cross your legs or put them in Lotus pose, where your legs are crossed but each foot is resting on the opposite thigh rather than on the floor.

2. Sit up straight and let your shoulders relax away from your ears. Very slightly lower your chin towards your chest but make sure you are not straining your head or neck.

3. Put one hand on your belly button and the other on your lower back so you can feel the movement as you inhale.

4. Keeping your mouth closed and your jaw relaxed, breathe in and out slowly through your nose. Try to imagine your belly as a balloon, expanding and contracting with each breath.

5. Make those breaths as long and slow as possible, imagining that you are filling up your lungs all the way from the bottom to the top.

6. Relax and slowly return to your normal breathing.

 

Try this for a few minutes each day, slowly building up the amount of time you spend on this exercise. You will quickly find that you can breathe deeper and develop more stamina as your lung capacity increases.

Lesson 2 is a simple meditation sequence

In lesson 2 we are going to learn a simple meditation sequence. Meditation is an essential part of yoga practice and brings so many health benefits with it, including a reduction in the symptoms of stress, anxiety and insomnia. Make meditation part of your daily life and you will soon see a profound difference in your health and wellbeing.

 

Simply follow the instructions below:

 

1. Find a comfortable spot to sit where you will be undisturbed.

2. Either sit on a cushion or something like a folded blanket that, from now on, will be your meditation cushion.

3. Just as you did in your breathing lesson, Lesson One, sit up straight with your legs crossed or in Lotus pose.

4. Let your shoulders and jaw relax and close your eyes.

5. Begin to breathe deeply and evenly through your nose, focusing on your breath.

6. Observe how the breath fills up your stomach and lungs. Empty your mind of everything but your breath.

7. If stray thoughts pop in, simply acknowledge them and let them drift away on the next out-breath.

8. When you feel ready, bring your breathing back to normal and open your eyes.

 

Although this exercise sounds simple it really does induce a feeling of deep relaxation. The more you practice, the better you will get at it. Start with 5 minutes a day and progress to 20 minutes twice a day and you will be amazed at the difference it makes.

Lesson 3 is a yoga sequence

Lesson 3 is a yoga sequence that will, practiced first thing in the morning before you even get out of bed, help your body wake up to the day ahead. Before practicing it, make sure that you are not suffering from any injuries or conditions that might be aggravated by movement. If in doubt, consult a medical professional.

 

Read through the instructions and then follow along:

 

1. Lie flat on your back on your bed, breathe in and lift your head and legs 3 – 6 inches.

2. The rest of your body remains on your bed. Do not strain your neck or try to lift any higher.

3. Breathe in and out as you were taught in Lesson One.

4. Relax back.

5. Now, lying on your back, bend your left knee and cross it over the right side of your body.

6. Reach your left arm out to the left and put your right hand on your right knee.

7. Stay in this position for 5 – 10 deep breaths, enjoying the stretch.

8. Repeat on the other side.

 

Slowly get out of bed and get on with your day feeling refreshed and revitalized!

Lesson 4 you are going to learn a yoga exercise

In lesson 4 you are going to learn a yoga exercise that instills confidence and a good body image. You can practice this wherever you have space and it is an excellent thing to do before you need to feel more grounded and confident in a particular situation.

 

Before practicing it, make sure that you are not suffering from any injuries or conditions that might be aggravated by movement. If in doubt, consult a medical professional.

 

Read through the instructions and then follow along:

 

1. Sit on the floor with your legs hip width apart and stretched out in front of you, feet flexed.

2. Breathe in and sit up straight, reaching your arms above your head without straining your shoulders.

3. Breathe out and, as you do so, bend forward and reach your hands down your legs as far as you can go without feeling strain.

4. Stay there and breathe deeply. On each breath, try to sink forward a little lower.

5. Come back up to sitting. Relax.

 

This exercise works on the lower chakras, or energy centers, to instill those feelings of confidence and being grounded. Enjoy those feelings and take them with you as you go about your day.

Lesson 5 you are going to learn a deep relaxation pose

In the final part, lesson 5, you are going to learn a deep relaxation pose known as Corpse Pose or Savasana. This is everyone’s favorite yoga pose as it is so deeply relaxing. It comes at the end of a yoga class to allow all the energy you have stirred up during that class to flow through your entire body.

 

Simply read through the instructions and follow along:

 

1. Lie on your back with arms and legs flat on the floor and slightly apart, palms facing upward.

2. Close your eyes and start to relax, beginning with the tips of your toes and traveling all the way up to the top of your head.

3. Allow your body to sink into the floor beneath you. Let your breath flow in and out naturally.

4. Let go of every muscle and bone. Allow your thoughts to drift away on your breath. Simply relax.

5. When you are ready, slowly come to sitting and then standing. Shake out.

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