Meditation in Asana
Lot of people talk about meditation, learning about it or experiencing it but do we even come closer to the ladder of meditation?
As per Patanjali Yoga Sutra Dhyana (meditation) is the 7th stage of Ashtanga Yoga.
One needs to climb each ladder of ashtanga yoga in order to attain the meditation stage.
The eight limbs (ashtanga) form a sequence from the Outer
- Yama (abstinence)
- Niyama ( observance)
- Asana (postures)
- Pranayama (breathing)
- Pratyahara (withdrawal)
- Dharana (concentration)
- Dhayan (meditation)
- Samadhi (absorption)
In today’s world nobody has time to go through each step. People are looking for quick ways to find peace and happiness thinking that sitting in some posture or doing hand mudras or listening to some chants is equal to meditation. These things may help with temporary relaxation but one cannot attain the state of meditation by doing these things.
Now the question you may ask is if not this then how will you attain the state of meditation.
Firstly let us understand what is meditation?
As per Patanjali
” Tatva Pratyaya Ekatanta dhyana”
Highest state of concentration where uninterrupted flow of awareness towards the same point or region is attained.
In Dhyana mind needs to attain that state where consciousness neither alter nor wavers, remaining as stable,smooth and constant as oil pouring from a jug. Elimination of fluctuations of thoughts to achieve single pointed concentration in Dhyana.
Now moving to next question- How do we reach this stage ?
Keeping in mind the new age work pressures, highly stressful lifestyle, competitions, very little time and lot of distractions it is difficult to concentrate but, as per Guruji BKS Iyengar, Dhyana may be achieved with both asana and pranayam.
With asana there is movement of consciousness in the body when extended vertically, horizontally or circumferentially as the whole body is brought into single focus.
When this attention is gradually and steadily maintained one achieves the state of meditation.
Now don’t wait just open the mat and start doing Asana.