Meditation - One Limb of Ashtanga Yoga
Yoga has its roots about 5000 years BC as described in Vedic philosophy and tantras. Patanjali, a great sage composed this path into Ashtanga Yoga in Eight limb path in the book “Patanjali Yog Sutra.”
Here you will find the eightfold path of Patanjali is:-
Each and every limb has its significance in the eightfold path. To attain moksha, the state of super bliss, joy and realizing the Brahman (pure consciousness) one should master all the above limbs.
Dharana, Dhyan, and Samadhi are categorised as Antaranga Yoga
Patanjali in Yog Sutra defined dhyanam as
It means "When a student can fixate the mind continuously, without any interruption, deep meditation is achieved. This state of meditation is called Dhyana.
What Is Meditation?
•It’s a mental discipline where we attempt to go beyond thinking or conditioning and onto a more in-depth awareness or relaxation.
•It is to free the mind from all the senses, an art of living in the present moment.
•Its total relaxation of the mind & therefore the body. Good mental health leads to physical well-being, and a healthy body retains the healthy frame of mind.
Here are a few ways you can try to be in the present and calm the mind. They are:-
1. One can try to concentrate on their breath and stop thinking about anything else. Or
2. To recite a mantra once settled in the posture and breath
3. Either counting their breath from 1 to 10 over & over would help.
4. Chanting Aum at a steady rhythm is one soothing option to most!
5. You can try to observe any image of high devotion or of ideal guru you lookup, that try to intrude into your thoughts and visualize yourself in a calm, peaceful place
Once any one of the above ways focuses the mind, then you have to focus on nothing at all! To focus on nothing at all is the pinnacle in meditation. Here is how one can try to overcome this stage successfully. Try to merely focus on one thing, then letting it go without thinking of it as good or bad. Approach every thought that comes to your mind in this manner until only silence remains. This is one of the simple methods for meditating.
Purpose of Meditation:-
• The main aim to meditate is to free the mind from “unhealthy thoughts.”
• The importance of calming the mind and qualities required by the saadhak to meditate is well described in these sloka’s of Sri Bhagavad Geeta by the Lord himself.they are as follows:-
Stanza 15 of chapter 7
Indriyanaam hi charataam……
’ahamkaara balam darpam kaamam krodham parigraham
Vimuchya nirma…brahmabhuuyaya kalpathe.’’
It means that one should have the feeling of vairagya towards five sensory pleasures and have control over his mind else it's like the ship on the sea getting carried away by the wind and having no power gets distracted. Therefore one has to excel in the art of doing meditation.
What happens if you practice meditation regularly?
Meditation directs the energy level (which enhanced during yoga practice) for developing strong willpower and better creativity.
Facts about Medication:-
• During the early hours of the day between 4 am 6 am is the ideal time to meditate as that time the atmosphere and the mind are calm and pleasant state aiding to meditate well.
• It is perfect to maintain the same time& place daily.
• Care should be taken that while you meditate, you should feel comfortable and not stressful.
• In the beginning, keep the period of meditation between 5 – 10 min then later increase the time duration as per the capacity of your body
• Moderation is the key.
That’s why Meditation is considered to be one limb of Ashtanga Yoga