Yoga & Meditation
For me, the lines are blurred between yoga and meditation and between teacher and student. We are all imparting to and learning from each other. Our roles interchange in that space and time while doing the practice together. It's a give and take of thoughts, ideas, and energy. Even when nothing is said, we are expressing ourselves and listening. Vibes are sent across to each other and we inadvertently become so much more receptive to revelations.
I am often asked to teach meditation. Yoga being a physical tool for well being and calmness, no one needs to put a concentrated effort to achieve their goal. A conscientious teacher tells her students, 'do what you can. Stretch as far as your arm or leg would go. Bend only to where your body takes you and feel the pleasurable elongation. Change your position as soon as you are tired of sitting the same way'. The teacher never compels the student to achieve the nonexistent ultimate.
I tell them that the whole of yoga practice, be it for one hour, half an hour, or even ten minutes is meditation. Your senses are tuned into your long breaths. You feel it, hear it and observe it. You also listen to the smallest sounds and the loudest. You learn to differentiate, segregate and choose what you want to hear. You apply the same process to your everyday life. You learn to watch your thoughts and actions choosing what you want to think and what you want to do.....that will make you feel better. 'Feeling better' physically and mentally is the aim of yoga and meditation.
The asanas or poses are scrutinized in your mind as you position yourself. You will notice every detail of the posture, of how you have turned, twisted, and bent, where your legs and arms are placed, and even how your fingers and toes feel. You will feel your connection to the earth where you are sitting. You will become aware of the sky above and the air around you....always coming back to your long breath. And voila! You have meditated along with yoga. Yoga and meditation merge and become one. Like you become one with your breath.