Resources: Best books and websites to learn more about yoga meditation

You can deepen your understanding of yoga meditation by reading ancients books and scouring through various websites about this iconic Indian Philosophy. In your spiritual journey, you may come across some Sanskrit terms that can make you wonder on how it applies to modern life. Fortunately, some people have written books and came out with websites on how the basic principles of asana can relate to yoga’s transformation. People in ancient times have also written manuscripts for thousands of years to enable you to understand better on how an awareness of yoga can help you transform your life for the better.

There are two books and websites that are worthy of attention. They are a nice read to curl into one’s bed and learn about the ancient queries on the transformation of man and yoga, to wit:

—Best Books to learn more about yoga meditation

Bhagavad-Gita: A New Translation by Stephen Mitchell

The Bhagavad Gita is the sixth book of the Mahabharata, an Indian epic which tells the tale of a warrior princee, Arjuna , who lost his will to fight his relatives and friends in battle. With the help of his charioteer, the Lord Krishna, he was instructed to act accordingly and surrender the outcome of his acts to his destiny. The Gita is a manual on living – on what to do when faced with no great options.

Stephen Mitchell’s contemporary version is an enlivening read. It is lyrical and inspiring to read about the story of good and evil. Arjuna is an epic character who is so human that you understand his fears, confusion, and his inability to take action right away. But his companion, Lord Krishna, is an able companion who speaks the truth which the reader can see clearly from the heart.

Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by by B K S Iyenga

BKS Iyengar’s translation of the ancient yoga sutras has oftentimes been said to be the bible of yoga. These ancient yoga teachings by Patanjali is one of the most revered holy teaching written about 2,000 years ago. The sutras are short and straight to the point. It consists of one or two lines, which B K S Iyenga translated to make it more understandable to modern readers.

The Sutras teaches about transformation through yoga. It delves on developing the mind, body, and the emotions to uplift the spirituality of man. The sutras are an interesting read since it introduces the reader to deepened spirituality, which is the foundation of yoga.

—Best Websites to learn about yoga meditation

http://www.dhamma.org/en/about/vipassana

Vipassana is an ancient meditation technique in India, which was taught by the Gotama Buddha as a universal cure for all universal ailments. Vipassana means to see things clearly. What these techniques aims to do is to eliminate all impure thoughts to attain the highest form of happiness through self-transformation.

The transformation focuses on the interrelationship between the mind and the body. The belief is, that through a strict discipline of all physical sensation of the body, can the mind be conditioned to remove all mental impurities. A pure mind is a balanced mind that is full of love and compassion to all life forms.

http://www.ishafoundation.org/?global

Isha Yoga means formless divine, with its masthead being the Isha Foundation. The program teaches meditation, pranayama or the control of breath. The prana is the life force and the ayama means control. So Pranayama is the Control of Breath. One other program that is taught is the Shambhavi Mahamudra.The Shambhavi Mudra is otherwise known as the “Eyebrow Gazing Mudra.” It is a technique on eye focusing that stimulates the Third Eye or the invisible eye that allows vision beyond the physical realms of the senses.

The Shambhavi mudra technique came from the ancient sacred texts which yogis believe could heighten a person’s level of insight. The Isha Foundation offers yoga classes to corporate leaders to introduce the concept compassion and inclusiveness in today’s corporate setting.

 

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How Yoga meditation became popular in the East

Yoga Meditation began in ancient civilizations. It is the process of connecting your body and mind and learning how to hold it. It’s known to be beneficial to the brain as way of positive thinking since it focuses on a single point of awareness. It’s roots travel back to ancient times. It is believed that it originated from the East more than 5,000 years ago. Archeologists excavated stone seals from the Indus valley with artifacts and evidence of Yoga existence on it, as they found figures of people doing different Yoga postures. They also found yogi-like figures engraved on soapstone seals which made them more certain that yoga originated from the East.

The Indian scriptures has shown the different meditation techniques which evolved into a structured practice. Through influential civilization, the sophisticated culture developed around the Indus River in northern India. It is believed that yoga meditation is the product of a mature civilization. It’s well known that India has one of the oldest civilizations in the world. It’s still relevant today as it was during those days. This made it gain popularity in the east. It was based on the collective experiences of people over many years. It is believed that an Indian Sage named Patanjali,he created one of the first comprehensive guides on yogi. He actually defined the practice as different ideas, beliefs and techniques where he outlined the different limbs of yoga. He further confirmed that Raja yoga as one of the limbs focused on meditation. Several countries adopted different forms of meditation. Patanjali is well known as the father of yoga meditation. It’s believed that between 200 BC and 200 AC; he established the guidelines for this science through his book the `Yoga Sutras’. For more than 2,000 years, many people have gained more insight into a wealth of knowledge arising from ancient Vedic scriptures. Thanks to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

Other scholars believe that it originated out of Stone Age ‘Shamanism’. It’s primary goal was to heal the members of the society. It was very beneficial for religious mediators. Further,others believed that it began during the period of Sat Yuga which was referred as the golden age in India. It was a time of everlasting peace and blessings to the Indian community. Originally, Yoga meditation focused on understanding the world. Then it stated being passed from teacher to student through oral teaching and practical demonstrations.This made it gain popularity in the east. It originally focused on understanding the world. Later, it changed to be for self-enlightenment as the ultimate goal.

However, today it’s more popular in the West than in the East. This happened thousands of years after it was adopted in the east. It became popular in the west during the mid of 20th century. It was passed down orally and has gone through much evolution. Later in the 1970’s an intensive research was done and the effects of the meditation were done. Surprisingly, there came a multitude of benefits. The history of yoga has changed over the years and has become more modern. This has helped people adapt their lifestyle around this practice. It continues to enrich our lives at whatever level we choose to approach it.

 

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True Yoga Meditation Vs Yoga Practiced In The West

The perception about yoga is somehow significantly shifted over the years. This shift has made the traditional yoga a lot more different than that of the modern yoga practiced in the West. The origin of yoga can be dated 5000 years back in Northern India. This yoga was first mentioned in a old holy book called ‘The Rig Veda’ in India. According to a recent study in 2012, it has been seen that almost 8.7 % of the adults in United States practice yoga. So, as much as it is popular in its native country India, yoga has also become famous in the West. But the main question is how the yoga practiced in the West is different from that of the traditional yoga meditation.

Changed Perception About Yoga

As mentioned above, the typical perception of true yoga (the traditional form) has been changed a lot and shifted to the modern view point. This change in perception is mainly due to the western influence on Yoga. The yoga that is practiced in the West i.e. United States is more of the modern one. The true perception of yoga is that it is a spiritual system with a physical component. But this perception has shifted in the recent years. Now the yoga in the west is considered as the physical system with spiritual content. So, the main change or shift in perception is from spiritual system to a physical system. It has become more of a physical exercise than that of the spiritual meditation method.

 

Traditional Yoga Vs Yoga In The West

The term yoga has been misused unfortunately by many people. Due to the latest preaching, books, blogs and many other sources yoga is termed as one of the physical exercises. The youth specially has a very wrong conception about yoga. They use it for their physical health i.e. to lose weight, get into shape and increase flexibility or stability. But the traditional yoga is more about the spiritual component that comprises of meditation. Vipassana meditation is considered to be one of the oldest forms of meditation. It is done to achieve the peace of mind.

 

Some of the notable differences between the true yoga and the yoga practiced in the west are –

 

The traditional yoga is more for the peace of mind and body with spiritual connection. But in the west it is done for staying fit and toning the muscle.

The true yoga meditation concentrates on the posture and breathing of a person but the modern yoga in the west is about the practice of different positions to tone muscle.

The true yoga is strictly about spiritual discipline involving physical components but the yoga of the west is all about fitness and weight loss.

 

Conclusion

Though the meaning and perception of yoga has changed a lot in last few years but still there are some yoga retreats that hold the traditional and true form. No matter how much people have become oriented to the newer version of yoga, the true yoga is really the best way to heal from inside and become a better person every day.

 

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Undestanding Yoga Meditation and Its Importance

We live in a hectic world. The way of life in the west is spreading all across the world, and there are fewer places to find the tranquility and peace of mind we seek. The hustle and bustle, the rush and get there on time is causing humans to stress not only in their bodies but also the environment.

No wonder the environment is facing problems. As humans, we began by laboring and then thought we would win life with getting faster and having technology to help us. This has not been the case although we have come to a time when all this technology is making us work faster and not be able to calm down. Where is the peace of mind gone, and can yoga meditation help humanity?

People need answers, and in a world where we don’t have time to give to ask questions and find answers we have created ourselves a confinement with no freedom. The major religions in the world are having a hard time keeping up. There is one wisdom that may help humanity and provide us with that peace of mind we need and seek, and that is meditation or more aptly yoga meditation.

Yoga is a form of meditation which has been practiced in Asian countries for centuries, even millennia! You just seem to have so many. You may even be saying you don’t have the time to meditate. Some might think that yoga meditation is very time consuming. In fact, to some it may appear as though you don’t have a chance to spend 5, 10, 15 minutes to meditate every day, but without it, the chaos will always be there. No order in the mind will mean no order in the world. You must first find peace inside you. Gradually you will find your world will change.

Your thoughts become your beliefs, you beliefs determine your character, and ultimately your character and all these elements will determine what actions you will take. Whether you will regularly go for the job in a busy location, buy the house where trucks often pass, etc. Your mind can become like a cluttered crawlspace, always packed with junk that takes up valuable storage space. Meditation is like a way of automatically organizing or even defragmenting your mind.

With yoga meditation, you not only get peace of mind, but you also center yourself. You find that you can be calmer, and problems don’t affect you as wrong. Anger management is another way that yoga meditation can serve you. You can relax, and find that you are better able to handle the challenges of life.

This does not mean that you have to become some a mystic for doing yoga meditation! Though many people would have looked and laughed at yoga meditation in the past, the benefits to you are immense. More and more people realize that today and yoga meditation in the West is becoming very popular.

Relax, and free your mind. Take a time out, and spend it with yourself. Focus on your breath, and forget your thoughts. Forget the passage of time, and enjoy where you are at now. More peaceful people in the world will allow us to have less stress, need fewer hospitals and live longer and happier lives.

Swamis and Yogis and Gurus, oh my! What do these titles mean?

When it comes to yoga meditation, there are important terms that you need to learn, but all you need to do is stick to your meditation. There are a lot of people that are worried about not knowing all these terms that are associated with yoga when they really shouldn’t be. These are just terms, and you need to focus on your training and getting fit as it should be. Terms like swamis, yogis and gurus are just some of the terms that a lot of people are confused with, but you need not worry about that anymore as you will get to learn about these below. You should know that the knowledge of these terms is not that relevant to your training, and you should not lose focus in wanting to know these titles. However, it is [prudent to learn a little bit about yoga since you have decided to take it seriously as a form of not just meditation but also working g out. So, below is an explanation of what a yogi, swami, and a guru are in yoga and what you can expect from each.

Yogi

This is anyone that is dedicated top the practice of yoga. There is not much into it that is complex, and you can be a yogi if you dedicated yourself to this practice. Therefore, as you have seen, you might be a yogi by now if you have been serious about it for a while. It is imperative that you learn this term so that you are not confused the next time that your teacher calls you out like this. Talking of teachers, the next term is what you should learn as it is imperative.

Guru

This is defined as a teacher or guide or an expert in a certain field, and this can be yoga. So, if you have come across someone that is excellent and dedicated to this practice, then that is a guru. However, you will come across few of these across your lifetime as your yoga teacher in your gym is not a guru. In India, this is more than a teacher actually and is more like a guide and someone that you can look to for counsel. He is the source of inspiration in one’s life, and if you ever have anyone like this then they might qualify as a guru, but they will undergo a more rigorous process in India.

Swami

This refers to some order that was founded a long time ago to honor those people that have dedicated a lot of their lives to yoga. This is a yogi who has been initiated into what is a monastic religious order that was founded by a particular religious teacher. It is a rare honor, and there are high chances that you might never get to experience it, but you can always try.

Knowing these terms, however, dopes not mean much to you during your meditation as the only thing that you need to focus on is your training. It is however very crucial that you get to learn who these people are so you do not confuse them.

 

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