The three Pillars to Peace!
I have posted a few times on my Facebook page, “Ahhhh – yoga, pranayama & meditation. A wonderful way to start the day”.
I truly mean this! Last week when I was teaching my yoga class, I talked about this as well to my students. I have noticed that every time I follow the sequence of yoga, pranayama & meditation, I DO have a nice / better / great day.
You probably have an idea of what yoga is ( and PLEEEASE lose the thought of “I’m not flexible so I can’t do yoga”)! And you may even be thinking what the heck is Pranayama (If you don’t already know, I know you’ll Google it now but here’s my explanation anyway). Prana, as defined in Ayurveda, is downward and outward movement of energy in the body. Take the lungs for example, when you inhale, your breath travels downward into the lungs and next the energy moves inward to support the entire body process. Prana supports inhalation and MIND CONTROL! OMG, did you just read that, MIND CONTROL!
Pranayama has the unique ability to make changes to the body. Breath regulation means that you can increase energy, decrease energy or even bring balance to your energy. If you ever find that your mind races from the moment you wake up, you can use a pranyama called nadi shodana (alternate nostril breathing) to bring balance to yourself.
So give that a thought, and keep in mind that the whole idea of Yoga Asana is to prepare for meditation. That’s right, the origin is not about exercise or even about “are you flexible enough to do Hanumanasana” (aka the 7th incarnation of Vishnu and the powerful monkey chief of extraordinary strength and prowess), but to prepare for meditation. Hmmmm, an entirely new concept!
I’m not going to define meditation in this blog because I just don’t have enough space, but what I do know is that a daily meditation practice reduces stress. Reducing your stress can bring greater health. Greater health can bring greater calm and greater calmness in your life reduces the stress is all aspects of your life! Meditation opens the door to higher consciousness and gives meaning to your life.
Meditation can be as simple as just closing your eyes and focusing on your breath. It doesn’t take long to relax, but you do need to find a quiet place away from distractions (like pets who like to sit in your lap for instance).
You can also learn mediation through a teacher who specializes with meditation. I personally love TM or Transcendental Meditation. In a transcendental state of meditation, breathing automatically becomes very quiet and in this state of blissful awareness the body changes it’s breathing to anaerobic which ultimately enhances the the life span. I do encourage everyone to find a way to meditate everyday. At least for five minutes. Yes, your mind wanders in meditation, that’s normal. But practicing meditation can do wonders for you.
So that’s what I’ve been focusing on recently in my own practice as well as when I teach my class. Incorporating pranayama and meditation in my practice and in the yoga class I teach are a wonderful balance. Give it a try to find balance in your life!