Meditation is not easy. For some reason, when I started my Yoga Teacher Training, I had no idea that meditation would be a key component! Silly me, I, like many in today’s society, was hooked on the asana practice, and wanted to spread that knowledge to others. Boy, was I in for it, when on the first day of teacher training, we were given the most important assignment: meditate every day, and record your experience in a journal. The recording didn’t need to be long, or extensive, yet it needed to be captured in some way.
As I would come to learn, and as we have explored together, meditation is a key component to the science/art/practice of yoga (one of the eight limbs we will get used to soon!). Within this particular practice there are many options that we can flow through, trying various methods of meditation, moving from one to another. We provide options within this blog, and within our classes so that our students can find the right fit at the right time.
One meditation outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is Meditation on a Single Point. Often we meditate with our eyes closed, and this relates to the limb of yoga we discussed this month, pratyahara. Another option, that often resonates with those new to the practice, and to those who are seeking inspiration, is meditating on an object.
A common start is with a candle flame. In lighting a candle and finding the resting breath, we allow the gaze to follow the flicker, and the movement, and to stay within each moment. If the mind wanders (and we recognize that it will) we gently draw it back to the candle flame. Each time it wanders, we bring it back and find the place of peace and quiet in the flame of the candle.
This practice allows us to choose any object that has meaning to you, and provides inspiration. Some choose a picture of a deity, or a flower (any object of nature). Some have a meditation area in their home with a candle and another object nearby, so that whatever is inspiring to us in the moment is easy to access.
Take a moment this week, and choose an object or picture that has meaning to you and have it handy for when you wish to try this particular practice. Enjoy!