Yoga For Meditators

Yoga and meditation go well together. In this post we'll take a look at how meditators can benefit from basic yoga exercises. Let's explore the possibilities...

In the fall of 2001, I spent a month in a Zen temple. It was my first stay in a Zen monastery so it turned out to be an enlightening month full of new experiences.

One of the Zen monks was really good at yoga and showed me the basics over a few weeks, that's how I was introduced to yoga.

In fact, many Buddhist monks practice yoga. I've been reminded of the popularity of yoga among monks time and time and again.

Meditation Practice

Why did Zen master Roshi Kapleau do yoga? Let's find out...

Meditation practice is more often than not a combination of sitting and walking. Sitting meditation makes for concentration while walking generates mental energy. Alternating like that makes for vital balance between energy and concentration. Ultimately, mental energy and concentration fuel the mind.

Walking meditation also offers you a chance to stretch your legs which relieves sore hips and knees.

I recall putting in over 14 hours of meditation a day while on retreat in the Japanese mountains. After a few days of intensive meditation practice the whole body felt like a giant bruise.

My body is incredibly stiff. If you're anything like me, intensive meditation practice is a real challenge. Now, that's where the yoga comes into the picture.

Even the most basic yoga exercises support physical and mental wellbeing. Not unlike physical exercise and stretching, yoga improves circulation, strength and flexibility.

Yoga effectively revitalizes the whole body and with some practice you'll soon sit more comfortably in meditation.

It's my firm opinion that those who have yoga as their main discipline tend to overlook the mind, while meditators have a tendency to ignore the body all together.

It's natural to practice body awareness during yoga sessions.

So, one of the beauties of yoga for meditators is the chance to give the body attention. The body movements become your meditation object if you like. The body loves this kind of attention.

Gentle Yoga Practice

You don't want to push yourself. It's advisable to be really gentle in the beginning and to give yourself plenty of time to get to know your body and its limitations. By pushing too hard you'll only wind up hurting yourself and won't be able to practice for some time. So take it nice and easy.

It's much better to practice yoga for just a few minutes a day than the occasional power session. Why not make it a habit to center yourself with some yoga before and after meditating.

For some of you it may be difficult to find the time to practice yoga. If that's the case, you could always practice on a mat in front of the tv.

Again, be gentle on your body and follow every movement with your mind just like you give attention to a meditation object. The slower your movements are, the easier it is to be mindful.

Yoga is an indispensable tool for everyday practice and while in retreat. Remember that a flexible body is better prepared for intensive meditation practice.

Here's a link to a quality yoga site where you easily can pick up the basics.

Best of luck!

Related:   Meditation Retreats   Goenka Meditation   Meditation Music

axel g > Meditation > Yoga For Meditators

All Rights Reserved ©2008-2014

Design by OS Templates