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Let Yoga postures become the stepping stone to your meditation practice

Rakesh, a friend-of-friend, approached me with a peculiar problem. He worked as a software developer in a reputed company and was suffering from work related stress for a few years. An year ago he and his family realized that the stress is affecting his health. And he decided to visit a doctor. As a part of the overall treatment his doctor also suggested him to include meditation, soothing music, and such relaxation techniques in his daily routine. Since this suggestion was coming from a doctor Rakesh decided to take it seriously and joined a nearby yoga institute.

To his utter surprise meditation as taught by the yoga teachers of the institute proved to be a horrible experience. He just couldn't sit at one place with eyes closed! As soon as he used to close his eyes he felt a strange and strong urge to open the eyes. Forcefully keeping the eyes closed didn't help either. After a while he used to experience shivering and perspiration. This whole experience was also accompanied by unexplainable fear. His multiple attempts to learn meditation in "standard" ways proved futile. Finally, one of his friend (who happens to be my friend and student) suggested him to get in touch with me.

After talking to him in an attempt to understand his lifestyle and why he might be facing this particular problem I realized that teaching meditation in typical way is not going to work in his case. His mind was full of Tamasic tendencies - lethargy, anger, sluggishness, fear, insecurity, constantly finding faults in  others - just to name a few. I decided to gradually prepare him so that he can successfully take to the practice of meditation. All I expected was his sincere and regular efforts.

My first suggestion to him was a set of simple yet carefully chosen Yoga postures. That's right! Although meditation appears to be a mind game, it is influenced by many other factors. A common mistake made by many practitioners of meditation is that they underestimate the importance of physical body postures or Yogasanas as a preparatory step towards meditation. If one approaches meditation through the path of classical Ashtanga Yoga, then meditation not only becomes an enjoyable activity but also gives concrete and permanent benefits.

In order to harness the power of Yoga postures in this manner it is required that the practitioners clearly understands the following:

  • Five sheaths explained in Yogic scriptures - food sheath, energy sheath, emotional sheath, intellectual sheath, and bliss sheath - are all interconnected and interdependent. So, whatever you do your body is going to affect your mind and vice a versa.
  • Satvic diet is important and plays a vital role in the process.
  • Complex looking Yoga postures aren't necessarily the ones that will give you best possible results. Figure out what will work for you. Many complex postures have simpler alternatives.
  • While doing Yoga postures you aren't just moving your physical body; you are also moving Prana!
  • Breath is an extremely important (and often ignored) aspect of Yoga postures.
  • Certain Yoga postures can give enhanced results if you add certain Mantras to the routine.
  • Some Yoga postures are best done with eyes open and some are best done with eyes closed.
  • Sequence of Yoga postures, Mudras, Pranayamas, and Meditation matters.
  • Mindfulness during the practice as well as while performing other daily activities acts like a catalyst.
  • While doing Yoga postures if you fix your awareness to certain centers and channels you will see better results.

In summary, if you combine Yoga postures with satvic diet, proper breathing, mantras, and  proper awareness you will see wonders. What's more - practice of Yoga postures will become the stepping stone to your meditative practices.

After a few months, gradually I introduced Rakesh to Pranayama, then to Ajapa Japa, and finally to Ajapa Dhyana. During the Navaratri, he successfully did nine malas of certain Mantra I prescribed to him followed by one hour of meditation on all the days. His sincerity, patience, and dedication finally paid off.

With OM and Peace!


"If you ever feel curious about the cosmos, close your eyes, take the stairway of breath, and enter the space within. The Inner Cosmos is waiting to be explored."
#AjapaYogaByBipinJoshi

Bipin Joshi is an independent software consultant, trainer, author, yoga mentor, and meditation teacher with over 24 years of experience in classical form of Yoga. He is an internationally published author and has authored or co-authored more than twelve books on .NET technologies. He has been awarded as a Most Valuable Professional by Microsoft. He has also written a few Marathi books including Devachya Davya Hati and Natha Sankentincha Danshu. Having embraced the Yoga way of life he also teaches Ajapa Yoga to selected individuals.

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Posted On : 14 October 2019




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