Meditation to let go
" When one enters stillness through deep meditation, the whole outer world recedes and difficulties diminish. One enjoys supreme peace'' - Swami Sivananda
Yoga and meditation for relaxation and inner peace
… to find the highest, inner peace – that is what many people are striving for today and have been since then. When the outer world becomes too loud and we no longer perceive our inner voice, seem to be separated from our essence, we long for rest, stillness, peace and contemplation. When it rages and storms around us, we wish to be the center of the storm, which is at rest and remains completely windless and untouched.
The idea may sound very peaceful, but how do we get to this magical inner place of peace and complete relaxation within our fast-paced everyday life? You carry your personal place of power within you at all times; it is simply buried under stress, pressure, physical complaints, mental and emotional strain and a mind that is constantly causing unrest. Don't worry, there are some practices that will help you bring this treasure out of yourself so that you can access it whenever you feel like it: yoga and meditation.
The actual essence of the yoga practice, which includes the practice of asanas, pranayama and purification exercises etc., is that one brings body and mind into harmony so that one can then sink into deep and long-lasting meditation.
As you can see, the path to meditation already begins when you stand on your mat for the first time, breathe in and out and go into your first asana.
In the following blog article you will find a few examples, instructions and suggestions for meditation and meditation techniques to let go and relax.
Guide to Meditation
regularity in place and time
Try to incorporate yoga and meditation into your life as regularly as possible. Make it a habit because it is difficult to concentrate the mind if it wants to jump around and create activity (= restlessness) as soon as you enter meditation. Give your mind a new stimulus with regular practice and it will settle more quickly when the time and place become a habit. Try to have your own space for meditation or delimit a part of the space and use this space exclusively for meditation, which is free from other vibrations and associations and serves as your oasis of calm.
Energetic times to meditate
The best (and most beautiful) times are the early morning hours, still shrouded in silence, and the magical twilight, when the atmosphere is charged with special spiritual powers. The best time is said to be brahma - muhurta , the hours between 4 and 6 am. In those quiet hours after sleep, the mind is clear and our brains are receptive and sensitive (!). The time after awakening can be used with awareness to influence one's own physical and mental well-being. In the state after waking up, the mind is still fresh and clear and can be easily shaped. Our brain is in the transition phases to sleep or to gently waking up in a so-called alpha frequency, which oscillates between 8 and 12 Hz. In this state, the person is awake, ie shortly after waking up, but at the same time very relaxed, ie the mind is open and receptive to stimuli that affect the brain waves and find their way into the subconscious.
If you are not able to meditate that early in the morning or at dusk, then you can, for example, download some guided meditations, relaxation music, healing chants, nature sounds or mantras onto your mobile phone or MP3 player and listen to them right after waking up. Stretch and loll in your still warm bed, take a few conscious breaths and listen to a fantasy journey or the healing sounds of singing bowls.
Important: put your cell phone away! You alone have influence on which mindset you start your day with and what things you feed your mind, your brain and your well-being.
Of course, you can still add a real meditation in the morning afterwards. Here is another article with tips for your mindful morning routine
Meditation: the beginning
Sit in a comfortable and firm position with your spine erect and ideally sit cross-legged – the lotus position can be practiced here for advanced users. Your arms are relaxed and your hands rest on your thighs with your palms either up, down, or in a mudra.
(Adjust your sitting position in a way that feels good for you, ie if you have knee problems, for example, you can pad your legs with additional pillows – anything goes!)
- Do a simple relaxation technique and consciously regulate your breathing, for example by practicing deep abdominal breathing for five minutes and then slowing your breathing to an almost imperceptible level (= the meditative breath).
- Don't force your mind to be still, let it wander for some time and become the observer of your mind with each new wave of thoughts.
- Repeat prayers or affirmations such as "I connect with the cosmic energy" or "I rest in my center, I am deeply rooted in my being. I am completely calm and invite the stillness.” Here the possibilities are limitless – you can say anything mentally or out loud that makes your heart oscillate.
Concentrate on a neutral or lofty object or symbol such as a mantra or your chosen meditation technique.
Meditation techniques for letting go
Trataka - The light meditation for healing and security
Place a candle in front of you about a meter away, slightly below eye level. Look into the flame without blinking and stay relaxed. Perceive the essence of fire and light. What feelings does it arouse in you? If after a while your eyes start to sting or you feel uncomfortable, close your eyes and just observe what is happening in your mind's eye. Accept what is now without any expectations. When you see other, new thoughts, open your eyes again and look into the candle flame. Mentally put your tension there, your worries, your stress, everything you feel weighing on you. Give it to this little transformation fire and let it burn. Take in the essence of fire and bring the light to the individual parts of the body. Go with awareness to your feet and legs, moving on to your abdomen to the heart area, back, shoulders and head. Allow the warm, golden light to completely illuminate you from within and fill you with warmth and security. Repeat this a few times in a row until you feel a sense of lightness, calm and serenity.
Tratak is one of the 6 Shatkriyas (cleansing exercises) and is also used in Ayurveda.
Energy meditation for harmony and purification of the nadis (energy channels)
- Start with deep abdominal breathing and consciously feel the solar plexus in the abdomen. Notice how the energy in the abdomen increases - imagine a sun if you like or repeat: I am collecting energy in my solar plexus.
- With your exhalation, direct the accumulated energy to the Muladhara Chakra (root chakra) at the bottom of the spine.
- Continue to breathe deeply and releasing into the abdomen and now send the energy from the bottom up the spine to the head. Inhale and send the energy up and down through the front of your body back down to the lower spine. You can also imagine a stream of bright, healing light flowing through your body.
- Now reduce your breath to the so-called Kevala Kumbhaka, the meditative breath. Keep breathing rhythmically but shallowly - let the body breathe effortlessly on its own. Feel into your heart chakra, then your throat chakra, forehead chakra and crown chakra.
Concentrate on the chakra that you feel most intensely and realize that this energy point is a gateway to infinity. Feel yourself expanding from there, repeating if you wish: I am one with the infinite.
Combined mantra - meditation for the feeling of unity
- Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and breathe deeply into your stomach about ten times.
- Synchronize a mantra such as the cosmic sound OM, RAM, OM Namah Shivaya or a word such as love, light, peace, stillness with your breath.
- Focus on either the point between the eyebrows or the heart area. Reduce breathing to Kevala Kumbhaka: Inhale for 3-4 seconds and exhale for the same amount. Imagine the breath flowing through a concentration point. Keep synchronizing the mantra with your breathing. Connect the idea of infinity or love with your chosen mantra and let it sound in you spiritually.
When non-meditation thoughts become overwhelming, return to deep breathing and observe the thoughts. Then return to meditative breathing.
As your concentration improves, focus your attention only on your mantra and drop the breath observation aspect.
Completion of a meditation
- Slowly, consciously deepen your breathing - no matter which meditation technique you have used - and gently bring your attention back to your body and your surroundings step by step, breath by breath.
- Sit in stillness for a few more moments and repeat either a mantra, prayer, or affirmation of your choice.
Open your eyes and come back to the here and now.
Meditation in everyday life – tips and suggestions
Forest Bathing: Get out there and meet Mother Nature, touch the powerful trunks of the trees and breathe in the healing forest air.
Aromatherapy: Practice short breathing exercises either at home or on the go with your choice of essential oil.
Sound energies to go: Create a playlist with spherical sounds, binaural beats, singing bowls and mantras and listen to the sounds on the way to work or after work.
Establish deep abdominal breathing as part of your normal breathing! Observe your breath several times a day to see if it is shallow and flowing more towards the chest area or if you are breathing evenly and relaxed into your stomach, stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system and supplying your body with enough oxygen.
Just try out the meditation techniques and feel which one has relaxed your mind the most.
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