Meditation is considered one of the five principals of yoga practice. The path of achieving balance and harmony in this physical meditation process helps to harmonize ourselves and to heal our existence on this earth. It is often called “meditation in motion” by those yogis and other yoga masters who practice it.
Because we have so much stress in our lives, our total health will feel unbalanced and undisciplined. This can be corrected through yoga as a practice of meditation. In order to achieve this ultimate bliss of balancing the mind, body, and spirit, one needs to learn how to detach themselves from the world around them and focus within through the use of not only the breath and learning to center oneself, but also through learning how to balance oneself physically to create this total harmony.
Part of achieving this is total harmony is to focus our individual consciousness with God, the Universe, or whatever higher spirit you happen to believe in, which is at the heart of yoga practice. In the Yoga Sutras, written by Pantanjali in about 200 B.C.E., this focus and meditation to God come in the form of eight limbs of yoga or Ashatanga yoga:
Yama — Five ethical guidelines of living including non-violence, fidelity, no stealing, truthfulness, and detachment
Niyama — Five ethical behaviors of cleanliness, contentment, self-discipline, self-study, and devotion to a higher power
Asana — the physical exercises associated with yoga that contribute to deep relaxation in order to meditate on God unconditionally
Prana Yama — Energizing breathing exercises that produce overall health and inner calmness.
Pratyahara — Detachment from life in order to transcend personal trials and sufferings
Dhahran — The practice of concentration
Dhyana —- Devotional meditation to God that open’s the heart to healing love
Samadhi — Also known a nirvana or the absolute state of bliss, consciousness and connection with the highest form of energy and God-like energy.
If you think about it, as with meditation, in yoga practice, the mind is focused not on thoughts of the day, worries, or other negativity that affects the mind. Instead, it is focused on achieving mindfulness here and now, and with what’s going on within the self rather than outside of it. It can produce great inner transformation and enlightenment by meditating in daily life on a continual basis.
While at times you might not feel you are getting anywhere, you really are getting somewhere by learning to become still and quiet. That is because most of your hard work is getting to that place and stillness through the practice of meditation and yoga, and oftentimes being in that state of non-action symbolizes a readiness for what’s to come down the line in one’s life.
When approaching the notion of both meditation and yoga, it is best to realize that when in stillness, nothing will be expected from you, nor will you be judged on the proper positioning of your body. It’s all about you, and how the comfort level you feel within yourself. Thus, when you realize this notion, not only will you feel free, but you can concentrate more effectively. Thus, every effort obtained in your practice, whether you realize it not, will achieve the results you are seeking. But it won’t be overnight. It will be a slow, process that could take many months, years, or a lifetime to achieve.