Calming the modern mind
This article started out as a relaxation / meditation guide, but turned out a sliiightly different one. We decided to tell you something more about our personal experience and what it really means, through our eyes, to meditate and to free your mind in this intense reality, that we live in.
We truly believe, that Yoga is not some universal math equation, which you apply and wait for the wanted results. This is impossible even for the simplest reason, that not everyone likes doing it. Those of you, who fancy it, have for sure tried attending a meditation class. We have never been keen on “forced” relaxation. We do not share the common belief, that if you go on Monday, at exactly 7p.m in a group meditation hour, you will receive any positives at all. If you’d lived in an ashram in India, have strictly followed the Yoga philosophy and practically religion- so yes, but in our world this is a twisted reality…
We like to look at the human mind as a tangled knot, which has to untie itself naturally, and forcing it just makes it even tighter. Meditation and relaxation have a bit more personal meaning to us. The human mind has it’s own function of turning itself off and restoring, you just have to put it in the correct conditions.
This is why we got so attached and enchanted by the Ashtanga Yoga. It’s philosophy is “practice, practice, practice”, and in the process is where you find control over your senses and mind. They say that there are passengers for each train – so of course you can find the type of Yoga, suitable for your personality, and there are many 🙂
Ashtanga Yoga is physically exhausting. This is the “sportiest” kind of yoga. Here you break yourself, as well as your body and fears and you accept your pain for what it is. This is the moment where you stop fighting reality and simply accept it for what it is. This makes you feel calm and happy, at the same time, realizing and appreciating the present moment.
The Breathing techniques are essential in order to reach this state of mind. Ayengar’s book “Light on Pranayama” is irreplaceable. We will soon post an article on the exercises we include in our daily practice. By learning to control your breath, you slowly become master of your own soul. Of course mastering these techniques takes years of practice and you never really stop learning…
We like to include a short meditation at the end of our practice, usually in lotus, half lotus or in a simple seated position. This is the moment when we become fully aware of our body. We usually hold our fingers in a specific mudra. You can read all about mudras on the Internet. Each one has it’s own meaning. Our faves are the Aerial Gyan mudra, also know as the wisdom mudra, which grants peace and calms the mind, and the Akaash mudra, which centers the body’s energies. It’s important to always put something personal in everything you do, not do it by textbook, so find some mudras that YOU like and suit your personality and wishes.
Relaxing in Shavasana. If you have a little bit more time after your practice, you can lie down in Shavasana- on your back, arms relaxed beside your body, palms facing up, legs hips width apart. We use it as a type of mind training, as we intentionally focus our attention on different parts of the body. If you are at home, best case scenario is to make your own playlist, not use some online meditation music- individualize the process – use the songs that make YOU happy! You can lie down on the sofa, on the mat, on the ground- wherever you like and just enjoy!
Final thoughts – Yoga is not the only way to relieve stress. Each sport brings great pleasure and relaxes the mind. Jog, swim, ride a bike…there is a specific moment, where your mind switches off and you are all by yourself. When you start to enjoy this moment, not fight it and even intentionally seek it, only then will you have truly touches your essence and loved yourself for who you are. This breath of fresh air is you personal meditation – no matter how you’ve reached it, no limitations and prejudice, no instructor needed…You have found yourself!