There is a lot of confusion about the difference between relaxation and meditation
Let’s look at them:
As well as being a yoga teacher, I also have another job, helping families in difficult situations. So, I have a chance to meet daily with people who are in a struggle with their health or who are overwhelmed with a new family situation.
It gives me a small insight into how different people deal with new and unwelcome situations.
The main difference that I see is between people who have a place where they can go for refuge and people who don’t.
Today, I’d like to bust a misconception about a practice that you may have heard of, and that is Tantra.
Traditionally, when we talk about the spiritual path we talk about practicing, practicing, practicing, and developing your mind. And eventually you reach a goal, be it enlightenment or liberation from suffering, or whatever your goal is in your practice.
This topic goes back to a blog post from about a year ago.
In it, I talked about a prayer by the Dalai Lama, in which he talks about life.In part, it says, Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it.
This blog you are reading right now is my 50th blog post!
It might not sound like a lot, but because I am posting only every two to three weeks this means over two years of blogging! And for me, this is a reason to celebrate.
Here are a few things I’ve learned in my first two years of blogging:
First, What is Pranayama?
It is the practice of controlling the breath through different breathing exercises.
By controlling your breathing, you affect the energy of your body and your mind.
When it comes to Pranayama, I see a lot of students who feel like they have to perfect this.
Pranayama is an excellent practice, but don’t force it on yourself. Your body changes every day, and throughout each day. Be aware of how your body is feeling, and while it’s good to push yourself a bit, don’t force yourself.
We talk about meditation a lot, but what is meditation?
The meaning of meditation in Tibet is “to get familiar.” This speaks to the idea that meditation is a practice. In this case, you are practicing a particular state of mind, be it compassion, kindness, patience, or just mindfulness in general, and you practice it so that it becomes familiar, and even an unconscious habit.
Everybody has their own reasons why they choose to practice yoga.
For some, it’s a way to improve their fitness and strength. Or perhaps you are practicing yoga as a way to relax.
My own reasons for practicing yoga are a bit different, and might give you insight as to the deeper benefits of practicing asanas.