Unlike many other forms of exercise, yoga is truly a practice for the mind, the body and the soul. All too often we think of yoga as bendy positions, perfect balance, elongated lines and difficult postures…yet we tend to forget the essential philosophy – to breathe, to connect with our hearts and to bring mind, body and soul together in a moment of pure awareness and mindfulness. Ultimately to achieve that elusive glimpse of ‘enlightenment’ that makes the whole practice worthwhile.
Meditation is key in bringing mind, body and soul together, yet seems to be a daunting prospect for some; “What if I can’t sit still and do nothing?”, “What if I can’t stop my thoughts from wandering?”, “What if I don’t feel this enlightenment?” These days we hear of so many forms of meditation, from visualisation and guided meditation to concentration and mindfulness, that we can become confused by exactly how to reach the point of doing and thinking absolutely… nothing!
This ‘nothingness’ that we refer to as mindfulness is the true essence of yoga – the state achieved when you feel only the flow of energy from the universe flooding your body without worry or contemplation over any external matters. Tantric meditations, likewise, do not serve as training, extraneous beliefs or unnatural practices. On the contrary, the transcendence reached by such meditative work does not construct anything in the mind of the practitioner; instead, it deconstructs all preconceived notions of the human condition. The limits on thought are removed, allowing us to experience liberation, followed by a unity with reality.
There are so many ways to achieve this ultimate liberation. We at Radiant Yoga Marbella practice many techniques so that anyone, from beginners to seasoned yogis, can reach the ultimate goal of mindfulness. This does not necessarily mean to reach a heightened state of enlightenment, bliss or ecstasy. Sometimes we simply strive to disconnect from our thoughts and worries, and feel nothing at all. But the more we practice, the easier letting go becomes. From gazing into a candle, chanting a mantra or using mala beads as a meditational aid, we can each find the method that suits us best. Find a place where you feel comfortable, perhaps even create one, with the use of mats, cushions and candles, and allow yourself the time to truly ‘be’.
For those who find it hard to meditate unaided, meditation workshops are offered at Radiant Yoga, where you will be gently guided through a soothing and quieting meditation during a hatha yoga class or special yoga workshop. Beginning with a talk on compassion and centring on the heart, you will be led through a series of visualisation practices for connecting with the deep energy of your own open heart. You might experience that heart energy in different ways: as love, as pure awareness, as the inner knowledge of your thoughts, as pulsing energy or light, as pure presence or as subtle feelings and sensations. We feel the importance to taking your hatha yoga practice a step further with pranayama,-breathing techniques and meditation is essential for growth to mind, body and spirit.
However you experience it, the heart is who you really are. We feel the breath gently flowing in and out through our hearts; as the breath flows in, we let its gentle touch soften and expand our hearts. As the breath flows out, we let it carry away any thoughts that arise. We allow each breath to softly loosen and carry away any blocks or barriers. When we perform this practice we bring ourselves to the core of our humanity and unity with transcendence: complete liberation.
If you still don’t think you have the time for meditation, remember what a wise man once said:
“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day – unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.”
Radiant Yoga Marbella offers many different styles of Hatha Yoga, Hot Yoga, Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Kids Yoga, Pilates, Kundalini Yoga and Pranayama Yoga & Meditation…