Mediation – The key to a peaceful life

Mediation, or Dhyana in Sanskrit is the 7th limb in Ashtanga/Raja Yoga. Master Paalu talks about Ujayii (victorious breath) breathing all the time so how is this breathing linked to mediation?

First let us start with the definition of mediation. By dictionary terms, “mediation” means to ponder or reflect. However, this term has been misused and often associated with mindless thinking or even daydreaming! Mediation as opposed to many views does not belong to any religion and therefore can be practiced by anyone.

Out of the many ways, there are 2 simple ways to get into mediation – Gazing and Breathing.

Gazing means to maintain an open-eyed focus on something which can be an object or any focal point. This focal point is also called “drishti” and every pose in asana have a gazing point. This can be done with the eyes partially closed or fully opened. For me, focusing on a physical object or focal point is easier than chanting a mantra. At the start it might be relatively hard to concentrate but after a few practice, there should be less blinking observed and eventually, you might be able to see a soft diffused gaze or even two images.

Ujayii (victorious breath) is another way of mediation. Start by making sure that the body is relaxed and you are comfortable be it in an upright or lying position. Breathe in through the nostrils and keep mouth closed. The time taken to inhale and exhale should be the same. By controlling the breath, you are able to concentrate, calm yourself and Observe and feel every breath going through the nostrils and down to your abdomen and coming back up.

Glazing mediation is the fastest and easiest way for one to practice as it can be done anywhere at any time as it does not require any postures and breathing. Both methods have their own benefits but do note that ujiayi breathing should be practiced by a healthy person.

As the saying goes, quiet the mind and the soul will speak – Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati

Angela Bok (200hr Weekday TTC Sep 2015)