I recently watched this Netflix documentary on men who do yoga. For centuries, yoga and meditation were something men did in the East. So why is it that men in the West haven’t really caught on to this essential practice?
Meditation allows you to cope with day-to-day stress, so you can be more efficient at work and play. Men tend to put on a tough front which means looking at deeper issues in front of others.
Meditation allows you to manage whatever things come up in you in a quiet space. You will be surprised at what memories will make themselves known to you. The problem with holding onto these old memories that serve no purpose is that they create triggers in your present life.
If you get jealous in your love life, that is due to something you’re not letting go of from your past. If you get nervous when you lead a meeting, the same thing happens. Your past hurts, when unattended. It will cause you pain over and over again when the triggers occur.
You don’t actually have to sit cross-legged for hours at a time. If you can quiet the mind while you’re sitting in a boat fishing, then you’re meditating. Noticing the details of life at the moment you’re in is really an achievement. Finding the calm in you is really the goal and once you get there, you can better manage the storms that live inside your body.
In yoga teacher training, people learn how to find the inner peace which is so essential in inspiring others on their spiritual journey. In medical studies, they have also found meditation to be useful for addiction and mood disorders.
Awareness of Self & The Learning Curve
Meditation, which is also seen as relaxation, puts you in a state of awareness so you can find out who you really are. This allows you to find out what you actually want in life. Maybe what you’re doing presently isn’t what you’re destined for.
Through the journey of doing meditation, you will experience moments of bliss and sometimes even feel so happy, it’s as though you’re a child again.
There is a learning curve at the beginning of meditating. For so long, you have lived with your monkey mind with no real idea of how to quiet it down. Your mind constantly talks about nothing in particular and it is what causes any anxiety, self-doubt, or sadness. Stay focused and integrate meditation into your every day. Make it as necessary as eating.
How Can Meditation Help You?
When you follow the instructions on meditation, you become calmer and all the things that bother you throughout the day can be let go of. This includes fears, longings, mental attachments, negative emotions that can be left behind.
Through meditation, you can realize your inner power as you learn to also feel extremely peaceful. The inner power in you can’t be explained properly, it is merely something each person will feel when it arrives.
As you practice mediation, you develop the mind in a more intuitive way. This does help you in your normal routine. It allows you to feel bad or good vibes about someone that maybe wasn’t possible before (amongst many other superpowers).
Here Are (Few) Benefits of Meditation:
- Lessens worry, anxiety, and impulsivity
- Lessens stress, fear, loneliness & depression
- Enhances self-esteem and self-acceptance
- Increases mental strength and focus
- Increases memory retention and recall
- Better cognitive skills and creative thinking
- Better decision making and problem-solving
- Improves immune system and energy levels
- Improves breathing and heart rate
- Reduces blood pressure
How to Meditate?
I hope that by now you are sold on the idea of meditation. Here are the steps to help you on your journey towards meditation mastery. It may take some time but you will begin to experience benefits along the way. Your life will improve and transform through meditation.
Watch the video below for best meditation technique for beginners and then read the rest of the article to go deeper.
1.Your Meditation Space
It’s a good idea to have a space where you can just head into meditation easily. It should be tidy, and free of distractions. You don’t want it to be in the corner of your TV room. Have a place where you can light a candle or lamp, it’s a potent spiritual symbol.
This space can be where you retreat when you’re looking for answers or just need to de-stress. It’s a whole new spin on the man cave, creating this magnetic aura for yourself.
The best magnetic vibrations will occur when you face yourself to the North or East direction. Meditating in nature is also highly advantageous. The blue of the sky and the green grass helps open the heart and third eye chakras.
2. The Best Time to Meditate
The best time to meditate is between 4 am – 6 am and it’s known as brahmamuhurta. Your mind and the day is most clear. Many of the most successful CEO’s wake up at the crack of dawn to start their day. Most of them do some daily meditation to manage their busy lives as well. Just before bed or when the sun sets is also a good time.
3. Being Consistent With Meditation
Meditation won’t benefit you as greatly if you do it from time to time. It should be done at the same time every day. While this might be hard in the beginning, if you stick with it, you can’t imagine your life without it. Start with a 15 minute session and work your way up to an hour.
4. Sitting in Meditation
Sit in a position that is comfortable for you. Cross legged is recommended because it promotes an erect spine and neck.
There’s a current that needs to go through your body and it’s easier when you sit in the following positions:
- Padmasana-classic full lotus
- Siddhasana-half lotus
- Sukhasana-simple cross legged pose
5. How You Breathe
The breath can be really helpful for relaxing your body and bringing you to a meditative state more quickly. Here’s a great breathing meditation exercise.
YOGA DEEP BREATHING MEDITATION
In order to really advance to other great meditation practices, you first have to master deep breathing. You will control your diaphragm in order to help you regulate your breath. This will allow you to become centered. When you inhale, extend your belly out and fill your lungs with air. As you exhale, pull in your belly and push the air out of your lungs. Keep the breath even with deep, slow breaths that go deeply into your belly and lungs.
6. Being Aware
To take your suffering and turn it into contentment, it takes awareness. Living in the moment that you’re in as much as possible stops you from looking back or worrying about the future.
Meditation helps you to see things as they are. You will learn to notice any thoughts that don’t fit into the moment you’re in. The more you do this, the less your mind will chatter on. Focusing on your present moment really does bring a great deal of peace.
7. Focus on Something
It is helpful to anchor the mind to something so it can’t think of other things. Be aware of your posture or your breath. Feel any part of the body that needs attention. Any places of tension or pain.
Accept that it is there. You can also focus on your heart center which sits in your chest. The mind goes where the heart does. It is a commitment of the heart so focusing on the heart will remind you of that.
8. An Object to Concentrate On
There are various things you can concentrate on. Mantras, the chakra centers, breathing, or focusing on a symbol. A mantra is powerful as it allows you to channel the aspects of seeing and hearing. Your symbol is your own choice. It could be a Buddha or a Christian cross. You might want to visually focus on it as you meditate.
9. Managing the Mind
It’s okay to allow the mind to do a bit of wandering and then settle slowly. Stay focused on the mind and what it’s saying. Change occurs through conscious, progressive work you put in. Having the strength and compassion to retrain your mind is essential to your success. Don’t indulge in your thoughts or be too harsh to yourself. Be aware of how far you’ve come and be proud of it.
“Become your own best friend and feel compassion for that part of you which is struggling to regain a sense of wholeness.”
10) Disassociating From The Mind
The mind will never wish to be quiet. When it begins to wander on you during your meditation, you have the power to disassociate yourself from it. Watch it objectively, witness what it’s thinking as though you were watching a movie. Don’t cooperate in the stories and drama it tries to conjure up. When you stop reacting and feeding the mind emotions, they have no energy to be there. This does take practice but eventually, the mind will slow down.
11) Thoughts of Purity
A pure thought is no thought at all. When you can maintain concentration on all the above information, you will be able to have thoughts of purity too.
The journey is at its highest state when you have achieved Samādhi. This is where you go into a conscious state of joy, peace, and contentment. You will know when you’ve arrived here and it will be through the work of sustaining your meditation practice that will get you here.
Your physical body will begin to improve and at a cellular level, your health will get better. Your mind has a powerful influence on your organs and cells and meditation can prevent or cure many diseases.
Your cell production, growth and repair prevents decay so essentially, you’ll live longer. You’ll sleep much better and stop feeling fatigued during your day. Your digestive system will improve as well which means after you eat lunch, you won’t feel exhausted.
Mentally, your concentration and memory will increase. Your mood will be lighter and you’ll be less susceptible to falling into mood swings. The conscious clarity that occurs from meditation will allow you to notice your mind and its stories. You will be able to detach from any drama so you’ll feel much more relaxed.
You’re not going to be the guy who sits in front of the TV and does the bare minimum at work. You’ll be involved with your friends, coworkers, and family. You will be present for those you care about which means living a life with no regrets. If you are a leader, you will be a great leader and an inspiration to those who work for you.
Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur, and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, CureJoy, FunTimesGuide, OMtimes and others. She’s also the founder and owner of Siddhi Yoga International, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential training in India (Rishikesh, Goa, and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali)
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