Crash Course on Meditation-Dhyana Yoga-Sudhakar V.Rao MD
Meditation, also known as Dhyana yoga is best achieved in eight steps. These eight stepsdescribed by Sage Patanjali constitute Ashtanga yoga. They are considered as the eightrungs of the ladder to reach the pinnacle of meditation called Samadhi.The eight limbs as described in the Yoga sutras (aphorisms) of Patanjali are: Yamas(universal morality towards self,) Niyamas (morality towards others), Asanas (physicalyoga poses), Pranayama (control of prana through breath), Pratyahara (control of senses),Dharana (concentration and stillness), Dhyana (meditation), and Samadhi(enlightenment).Yamas and Niyamas are a way of behavior modification, necessary for success inmeditation.
The five yamas are
:Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (Truthfulness), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya(celibacy), and Aparigraha (non-covetousness).
Niyama (universal morality towards others) consist of
:Shaucha (purity), Santosha (contentment), Tapa (Austerity), Swaadhyaaya (self-education), and Iswara Pranidhaana (meditation on the Divine).
The first step is to decide the exact place and time for meditation in your own homes. If any of you need any assistance I shall be glad to assist by visiting your home (free!!!!!No charge!!!!!!!) Please do practice what we learnt in the class. Fix a place, fix a timeand stick to it! This is the first step for success in meditation.Here is a brief recapitulation what we learnt in the first session.Light up a diya or a candle. If you wish, you can choose a picture of your ishta devata(favorite form God) or any picture as the object on which to meditate. This helpsconcentrationThe steps we talked about and practiced are as follows:1. Sit down and relax all the muscles starting from head all the way down the feet. Closeyour eyes and breathe deep and slow. Inhale slowly, hold the breath for a few momentsand exhale slowly
, the way we learnt in the first session
. Do this about five timesconcentrating on the breathing. Let all the muscles relax. You will feel and hear your heart beat slow down
2.Stand up and do the stretching exercises we learnt. Do not push yourself to the point of pain. Do only as much as you can comfortably. The idea is to stretch the muscles.Gradually you will be able to increase the stretching, the key is persistence and stickingto the routine. If you need to you can hold on
to some sort of a support like the arm