“When mind minds the mind, matter doesn’t matter”Swami Swaroopananda
Our mind is doing what it is meant to do i.e. to think. As the texture of a cloth determines its quality, similarly our thoughts determine the quality of our life. If we want to raise or improve the quality of our life, we need to improve or raise the quality of our thoughts. Mind is the most powerful instrument – It can make or break!
Every thought has tremendous energy and vibration. Positive thoughts has a positive impact on our overall health, whereas negative thoughts suppresses our immune system. At physical level, we always think of detoxifying our body and feeding it with organic food, however, at mental level, we never think of detoxification of our mind and feeding it with good, positive organic thoughts. It is important to take good care of our mental health.
In a day, thousands and thousands of thoughts cross our mind, which are main reason of stress. Do not suppress your thoughts or emotions, instead, just try to observe them and you will realise that most of them are junk thoughts swinging in between the experiences of past and anxiety of future. This actually drains our energy, wastes our time and does not allow us to enjoy the present moment. Overthinking leads to fogging of mind, we will not have clarity of thoughts thus decision-making becomes tough. However, if we become aware of the quality of our thoughts without getting judgemental, we will not get trapped into the web of our thoughts and then we can consciously replace them with positive ones. This is the best way of detoxifying our mind.
We have to “train” our mind to think what we want and not what mind wants. Meditation helps us in becoming self-aware.
There are lots of videos and blogs available, that tell us how to meditate, but for me, meditation means focusing with awareness in whatever activity we are involved in. This will help in reducing the activity of our mind, which will give us clarity of thoughts. Example: Instead of thinking about the list of activities we have to do during the day, while brushing our teeth or taking shower, just focus on your teeth or body parts. If you are drinking water, focus on that, if you are eating food, focus on that. Whatever you do during the day try to do it with attention and focus because anything done with focus and awareness, is itself Meditation. In this way, we can be in a meditative state throughout the day.
Just as the musician prepares himself for the orchestra, even we have to first train and prepare our mind and body by regularly practicing yoga asanas and pranayama, which will help us gain control of our senses and develop deep self-awareness. When we practice asanas at a slow pace, coordinating mind, body, and breath, it will help us connect with the present moment and at the same time make our body and mind flexible. While doing pranayama, try to make exhalation longer than inhalation, which will activate our parasympathetic nervous system i.e. rest and digest response, which will help in calming our mind and eventually increase our focus. We know body and mind are interconnected, so if we are able to control or manipulate our breath through pranayama, then we will be able to control our mind too. Even if you are unable to focus on your breath, then at least try to be aware of your breathing as “One conscious breath in and out is also Meditation”. The mind will wander, but try to bring it back to your breath. This will happen only with consistent practice and patience. We should do Pranayama with total awareness because if we just keep doing it for the sake of doing it, then it will become very mechanical and boring. However, if we do it with awareness, then we will start enjoying and eventually start feeling changes in our minds and body.
Beginners should start by observing their natural breath i.e. how the abdomen rises up with each inhalation and goes down with each exhalation. Over the period of time, start making your inhalation and exhalation slow, deep and in a controlled manner, continue practicing this.
People call meditation a technique, which is selling in the market like hotcakes, but for me, Meditation is actually the essence of asanas and pranayama. Once we train and prepare our mind and body for the same, then meditation will automatically happen.
There are various ways of doing meditation; I personally follow what I have mentioned above as I find it practical and feasible. You should try what suits you best and not just give up because you failed once. We find Meditation difficult or complex, as we do not know how to do it. We simply try to copy and follow what others are doing without realizing if it’s working for us or not and then when we see no transformation, which will certainly take time to happen, we give up. Remember, Rome was not built in a day!
As a kid, I had seen my grandma always playing devotional songs, mantras and also enjoyed humming along, that was her way of meditating. Nobody taught her, but she continued doing the same because it immensely helped her in every way. Similarly, you have to experiment and see what you like and what suits your mind and body the best. People can guide and inspire you but you have to carve your own path.
Remember, where attention goes, energy flows. Whatever method you choose to follow, simply focus on building a positive frame of mind by changing your thought process through Meditation. Your thoughts have the ability to change the world, and potentially transform you!
So keep doing and keep going! Happy Journey… 🙂
Neelu Kalra is a yoga enthusiast who has learned yoga and pranayama through traditional Guru – Shishya Parampara (Oral Wisdom). She wants to spread awareness among people about the correct method of doing yoga, pranayama, and mudras in the traditional way, which can transform lives. To achieve her objective of promoting holistic living, she started her YouTube channel about a year back where she regularly uploads videos on the correct techniques of doing yoga, pranayama, and other exercises. She also writes articles on various aspects of Yoga in simple language which are very easy to comprehend.Apart from Yoga, Neelu loves to travel, explore new places and connect with nature. Last but not the least, she loves to draw and as the world has turned digital, she has started drawing on iPad Air with Apple Pencil 😊
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