In this article, learn how to get started with yoga meditation along with its various benefits and step-by-step process.
We will end today’s practice session by learning the Lotus Yoga Pose. Do not worry too much if you can’t achieve the full asana, so go as far as you possibly can, and then accordingly, find a comfortable cross-legged position on the floor and then prepare yourself for the delightful inner journey that is meditation.
Many yogis often consider or describe this state as the dhyana, also known as meditation, as the seventh stage of an eight-stage path to Enlightenment. There are many ways to go into the state of dhyana or to meditate, and we also suggest you find the one that suits you the best. With your eyes open or closed, begin by focusing on a specific sound or vision. If you prefer a sound or mantra, you might choose the classic OM.
Silently repeat it to yourself as you clear your mind of all thoughts. If you prefer a vision, focus on an object or place that makes you feel peaceful and happy. Some people prefer to focus on the rhythm of their breath. Spend 5–10 minutes in silent contemplation.
(Also Read: Yoga Poses For Postpartum)
Yoga Meditation: Yoga Poses for Meditation
Yoga Meditation Pose #1: standing half lotus
The Standing Half Lotus yoga pose, also popularly known as the Ardha Padmasana Vriksasana, often helps in opening one’s hips and improves one’s overall balance and concentration.
- This pose improves the overall balance
- It also increases one’s flexibility in hips, knees as well as in ankles.
- This yoga pose regulates one’s nervous & lymphatic systems.
- Start by standing in the Mountain Pose, with both of your hands by your sides. Then to help maintain your overall weight and balance, try to focus on an object that is right in front of you.
- Then slowly move your body weight to your right foot. And then bend your left knee, while raising your left foot, and then use your right hand to gently position your foot as far up your right thigh as is comfortable for you to do so, don’t try to put too much pressure.
- Accordingly, start to inhale, and then raise both of your arms above your head, while pressing both of your palms together.
- Then slowly Straighten both of your arms and stand tall. Hold this yoga position for about five complete breaths, then gently lower both of your arms and release your foot.
- Accordingly, make sure to repeat the same process on the other leg. (This process needs to be repeated on both sides twice or more as per your convenience).
Note: Do not practice this yoga pose if you have any knee or hip problems. Also, those with high blood pressure need to either skip this yoga pose or they should not raise both of their arms overhead in the yoga posture.
Yoga Meditation Pose #2: Standing bow pose
This pose improves elasticity and increases lung capacity. It also strengthens the thighs, arms, hips, and buttocks, and increases the flexibility and strength of the spine.
- Improves circulation to heart & lungs
- Increases elasticity of the spine
- Activates digestive system
- Improves balance & focus
- Stand in Mountain Pose, hands by your sides. Raise your right foot behind you and catch the top in the palm of your right hand.
- Inhale and raise your left arm straight up, palm facing forwards.
- Exhale as you kick your foot upwards and back, holding your foot firmly.
- As you kick your foot up, your body will naturally fold forwards. Keep kicking back until your body becomes parallel with the floor, and your leg is kicked up as far as you can manage. Hold in position for the count of ten, while still breathing. Then accordingly, repeat the same process on the other side. Repeat on both sides twice more.
Yoga Meditation Pose #3: cat-cow pose
The Cat-Cow yoga pose massages and stimulates one’s internal organs, such as the kidneys and adrenal glands.
- This pose relieves tension in one’s back, neck & shoulders
- It also reduces one’s symptoms of PMS
- This pose also improves one’s digestion
- The cat-cow pose also improves the flexibility of one’s spine
- To start with this pose, start on your hands and knees, both eyes looking down at the floor. Align both of your wrists with your shoulders and your knees with your hips. Then accordingly, start by flattening your back by slightly lifting your stomach towards your spine. Also, ensure both of your toes are untucked.
- Then accordingly, start to inhale as you slowly lift your head and tail bone, moving the chest forwards and taking the shoulders back, so that your back is concave.
- Then slowly exhale as you lower your head and tailbone while raising your abdomen and arching your spine upwards. Let your head drop gently between your shoulders without forcing your chin towards your chest.
- Then accordingly, repeat the entire process about five times.
Yoga Meditation Pose #4: knees-to-chest pose
This yoga pose helps in reducing bloating while improving circulation. This pose also helps rebalance your energy.
- This pose provides relief from one’s indigestion, bloating acid reflux, flatulence & also constipation
- This pose also improves the symptoms of IBS
- Start this pose by lying on your back with both of your legs extended. Then accordingly, draw your right knee up towards your chest. Then slowly clasp both of your hands around the knee. Then gently squeeze both of your legs towards you.
- Repeat this entire process with the other leg as well.
- Return to the first posture you started with on your back. Now, slowly draw both of your knees up towards your chest. Then accordingly, clasp both of your hands around the knees. Then gently squeeze both of your legs towards you.
- Then slowly let both of your legs drop down gently to the floor. Then leave both of your knees bent about 18 inches apart. Also, relax on the floor and concentrate on the rhythm of your breathing as you inhale and exhale.
- Then accordingly, repeat the entire process about three times.
Yoga Meditation Pose #5: alternate nostril breathing
To start with this alternate nostril Breathing yoga pose also popularly known as the Nadi Shodhana, also helps in clearing the nasal passages while increasing the flow of prana, or also described as the “life force” through one’s body.
- It also relieves one’s stress
- This pose also enhances the mental function
- It also soothes one’s nervous system
- It promotes calmness & sleep
- This pose can also boost the energy
- To start with this pose, sit in the Half Lotus Yoga Pose, or maybe in a simpler cross-legged body posture if the Half Lotus yoga pose is not comfortable for you. Then gently place both of your hands on your knees in the shuni mudra, also popularly known as the “seal of patience”.
- Slowly as you begin to exhale through your left nostril, use your thumb to close your right nostril. Then similarly, when you begin to inhale slowly and deeply through the left nostril. Now you can use your ring and little finger to close your left nostril and then accordingly, slowly exhale through your right nostril.
- And while repeating the same process of Inhaling through the right nostril, then close it with your thumb. Then, exhaling through the left nostril.
- This is usually what we call the one complete breathing cycle.
- Accordingly, repeat the same process about seven times.
Yoga Meditation Pose #6: lotus pose
The last yoga pose we will learn today in this article is the full Lotus Pose, also known as the Padmasana. So, if your hips and thighs are still not flexible enough, don’t worry. Start by sitting in the Half Lotus yoga pose, or whatever variation is comfortable for you.
- It also builds flexibility in your hips, knees & ankles
- It also strengthens one’s spine & abs
- The lotus yoga pose also improves one’s posture
- It also increases one’s overall energy
- Start by sitting in the Staff Yoga Pose while lengthening your spine from the tailbone through to the top of your head.
- Then accordingly, bend the right knee, clasp the foot with both of your hands, and then accordingly, place your foot on top of your still out-stretched leg as far up your thigh as possible (your primary goal is to place it in the hip crease).
- Then accordingly, start by bending your left knee and pulling the leg in, while lifting it onto your right thigh as close as possible to the right hip crease.
- Then slowly rest both of your hands on your knees and lengthen your spine. Then relax, close both of your eyes, and concentrate on the rhythms of your breathing calmly.
Note: Please note to skip this asana, or consult your medical advisor if necessary before attempting it, if you have an acute knee injury, or maybe if you have had a knee or hip replacement.
Please make sure to repeat the above-mentioned yoga meditation poses daily and repeat each of the yoga meditation poses about 3-4 times continuously. Take a break only if you can’t move forward or continue.
Also, if you suffer from any breathing or any serious health-related issue, consult a professional yoga meditation practitioner or your doctor. Otherwise, it is often advised and best to just skip the poses that cause any uncertainty.