What is Meditation?

 By Clare Kerrigan

If you’ve never meditated before, you may recognise and welcome the peace you feel at the beginning of class when we practice breath awareness and during relaxation at the end of the asana (postures) practice. Calm, energised, clear headed, non judgmental, at peace with yourself and others.. It’s good for you!

We may be especially drawn to meditation during times of need, when life takes an unexpected turn or we when we may need to bring order to our inner lives. It may begin with simple curiosity or a response to a spiritual yearning, whatever the reason meditation can act as a guide for us to return to a sense of wholeness.

My meditation diary

My first impressions of a self meditation practice was that it relaxed me, even though my mind kept flickering in and out of thoughts, memories and current situations. I concentrated on the breath entering my nostrils and inflating the parachute of the diaphragm. Having that image in my mind helped me to turn inwards. I meditated on the words Let Go with every inhale and exhale as peacefulness came.

And so my journey into meditation begins.. Distractions, bad alignment, stiffness and pins and needles. I’ve learnt I need to sit on a block to be comfortable. If I don’t, I tend to collapse my lumbar spine and my shoulders start to sag which then affects and unsettles my mind, which makes it easier for my thoughts to wander and I stop listening to my inhale/exhale and the rise and fall of the breath entering my body.

The longer the sitting, the deeper the residue of calm and contentment I’ve been left with afterwards. I’ve experienced strong emotions linked to thoughts that have been chasing my mind, sometimes my mind has attached onto something that’s upsetting and I’ve engaged with it, giving it the strength to curl and twist and develop, when this has happened I’ve concentrated on the mantra Breath in/ Breath out to bring me back to the present moment, this has helped clear the heaviness away.

Breath in/ Breath out and Let (inhale) Go (exhale) has helped me to let my mind chatter (citta vritti) pass by and not indulge myself in past stories and the feelings attached to them. I’ve realised I’ve needed my meditation practice the most on the days when I’ve been busy or felt overworked.

My meditation self practice is very precious to me and I definitely want to keep on exploring and moving deeper inwards. It’s provided me with equal doses of strength and kindness that has already existed within me and it’s encouraged me to let go of reactionary feelings, it’s had a really positive effect on my life.

What is Meditation? By Clare Kerrigan If you've never meditated before, you may recognise and welcome the peace you feel at the beginning of class when we practice breath awareness and during relaxation at the end of the asana (postures) practice. Calm, energised, clear headed, non judgmental, at peace with yourself and others.. It's good for you! We may be especially drawn to meditation during times of need, when life takes an unexpected turn or we when we may need to bring order to our inner lives. It may begin with simple curiosity or a response to a spiritual yearning, whatever the reason meditation can act as a guide for us to return to a sense of wholeness. My meditation diary My first impressions of a self meditation practice was that it relaxed me, even though my mind kept flickering in and out of thoughts, memories and current situations. I concentrated on the breath entering my nostrils and inflating the parachute of the diaphragm. Having that image in my mind helped me to turn inwards. I meditated on the words Let Go with every inhale and exhale as peacefulness came. And so my journey into meditation begins.. Distractions, bad alignment, stiffness and pins and needles. I've learnt I need to sit on a block to be comfortable. If I don't, I tend to collapse my lumbar spine and my shoulders start to sag which then affects and unsettles my mind, which makes it easier for my thoughts to wander and I stop listening to my inhale/exhale and the rise and fall of the breath entering my body. The longer the sitting, the deeper the residue of calm and contentment I've been left with afterwards. I've experienced strong emotions linked to thoughts that have been chasing my mind, sometimes my mind has attached onto something that's upsetting and I've engaged with it, giving it the strength to curl and twist and develop, when this has happened I've concentrated on the mantra Breath in/ Breath out to bring me back to the present moment, this has helped clear the heaviness away. Breath in/ Breath out and Let (inhale) Go (exhale) has helped me to let my mind chatter (citta vritti) pass by and not indulge myself in past stories and the feelings attached to them. I've realised I've needed my meditation practice the most on the days when I've been busy or felt overworked. My meditation self practice is very precious to me and I definitely want to keep on exploring and moving deeper inwards. It's provided me with equal doses of strength and kindness that has already existed within me and it's encouraged me to let go of reactionary feelings, it's had a really positive effect on my life. If you're interested in learning more about meditation I'd highly recommend this book: Moving Inward, the journey to meditation. Rolf Sovik Join us at Yoga Kula on Saturday 27th September Meditation Workshop with Jon Pearson (Founder of the Calderdale Yoga Centre. Hebden Bridge) 2.30-4.30pm. £15 pre-book or £17.50 drop in. https://www.yogakulaleeds.co.uk/workshops/meditation-workshop/If you’re interested in learning more about meditation I’d highly recommend this book:

Moving Inward, the journey to meditation. Rolf Sovik

Join us at Yoga Kula on Saturday 28th November.

Meditation Workshop with Jon Pearson

(Founder of the Calderdale Yoga Centre. Hebden Bridge)

2pm – 4pm.

£15 pre-book or £17.50 drop in.

https://www.yogakulaleeds.co.uk/workshops/meditation-workshop-2/