Meditation as a definition is when a person chooses to devote time to specific thoughts that generate tranquil feelings. Meditation is best done in a quiet setting. It is used by many people all over the world for relaxation benefits, as well as for religious reasons. The idea is to have a healthy focus while meditating, turning your thoughts inwards to find peace and gratuity within your world.
There are many different forms of meditation that can be beneficial. The choice and reasons to meditate are always personal, so giving some examples of specific forms of meditation can be helpful in choosing the right kind for yourself. The goal is to find a meditative state that you are comfortable with, one that makes you feel well and whole inside your mind, which in turn transfers to well-being in the body as a whole.
One form of meditation is yoga. It works the body physically through many different positions and steps. As the body is working physically, the mind is devoted to thoughts that connect a person to physical, mental, and spiritual unity and stability. There are several kinds of specific yoga meditations that are useful in the search for inner enlightenment and contentment.
Hatha Yoga uses postures to be done physically to ready the body for self-awareness and mindfulness for physical and mental discipline. These are specific postures followed that are also called asanas. It is a determination that the body and mind are ready to focus on the meditation itself. The purpose of this type of meditation is to cleanse the body as a whole, leading to a conscious understanding of the intrinsic control of the states of the body.
Next, there is Mantra Yoga. It serves as more of an exact science using the physical poses and repetition of sounds that contain root words that are common and encompassing. The sounds are used to connect the mind to specific facets of Spirit.
This form of yoga allows for the focusing of consciousness. It allows physical, mental, and spiritual benefits through centralizing thoughts by dedicated devotion and coherence to the true science it is. The use of chanting in mantra yoga focuses the mind, without allowing it to wander, therefore creating a oneness with Spirit.
Another form of Yoga is Raja Yoga. Its focus is consciousness and energy leading to spiritual unity. It has eight parts consisting of self-control, discipline, physical exercises, breath exercises, withdrawing senses from external things, concentration, meditation, and finally complete realization. There are also 5 principles to self-control (non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, pure way of life, and non-accumulation of possessions) and discipline (purity, contentment, self-control/self-discipline, study of the Holy Scriptures, and devotion to God).
There are two other yoga forms that identify directly with divinity and awareness of God. Karma Yoga is the form that an individual must serve others selflessly, not relying on any credit for it or worrying about the end result. It takes into consideration that everything that is done for others is through God and the knowledge that is is through Him that these services are done. Bhakti Yoga is a ceaseless faithfulness that leads an individual have the goal to be aware and feel love for the divine that every creature holds in it. It is a continual worship. Nada Yoga uses sound as a focus on the internal body rather than any kind of outside vibration influence. It uses the traditional Om sound. It is used as a pointed note of energy and connection with the inner self. Nada Yoga uses sound and music to create a union with God through connection with all astral sounds that culminate in cosmic sound. Consciousness of sound, self, and God instill the knowledge of the absoluteness of divinity.
Jnana (Gyana) Yoga is one of the more difficult forms of yoga to practice as it requires delving into spiritual oneness through the lack of focus on one’s thoughts and ideas. The ego is actually transcended through exercises that provide the realization that there is divinity of all souls as one, rather just divinity in one’s self.
Swara Yoga uses the flow of breath through the nostrils. The goal with this yoga is to achieve mindfulness of cosmic infinity. Kriya Yoga also uses breath control to prepare the body for meditation with the goal of enlightenment and awareness of the self.
Vashishta Yoga is actually the earliest scripture written about yoga. It is done through stories, as well as illustrations, in poetic form. A question and answer format between a student (Rama) and a teacher (Vashishta) leads one to the ultimate fulfillment of happiness and guidance through wisdom.
Tantra Yoga culminates in unity by practicing the use of rituals, chanting the holy name, and prayer offerings. The Kundalini (a latent female energy everyone has) at the base of the spine is considered the center of energy and with the crown chakra (chakras are areas of energy in particular areas of the body) combined, an elemental peace can be achieved. Kundalini Yoga is the specific focus on the awakening of self-realization through the base of the spine.
Laya Yoga is a form of yoga that also uses energy from chakras in the spine and the head. Establishing connection with the chakras through meditation is what brings harmony. Patanjali Yoga is based on the teachings that Patanjali organized into the modern form of yoga through sutras, some 1700 years ago. Today, he is considered the father of yoga sutras, which are 195 observations of general truths.
Yoga is so much more than just a series of physical movements. The spiritual and mental properties of meditation that go along with it prove to be very powerful. In the sense that you can become one with the universe, obtain peace and harmony, and achieve a whole new level of enlightenment are worthy of doing yoga. Whatever form you choose to practice, the benefits can be felt physically by the five senses, the mind, and the spirit. Consider practicing Yoga….it brings a healthy focus to your life that can be life-changing and beautifully complete.