A moving meditation?


#1

Hi, my name’s Jason and I’m new to this community- in fact it’s the first forum of any kind I’ve signed up to. I live in Leeds, UK and have been practising yoga (mainly ashtanga yoga) for about 8 years now.
I have a fairly regular practice now of about 5 days a week, but as the years have gone on I find myself drawn more and more to approaching my practice as a “moving meditation”- maybe the only thing that separates yoga from other forms of exercise- or else surely it’s just stretching, strengthening and keeping fit. (Obviously nothing wrong with that in itself.)
And it’s very challenging to do, this moving meditation!- to keep the attention tuned inwards to the breath, to keep constantly coming back to the breath when the mind wanders. . . and wanders. To keep coming back to the breath through challenging postures, or when we feel restless, or when something’s on our mind.
There must be 20 different types of yoga now- hatha yoga, kundalini yoga, power yoga, ashtanga yoga. . . . but I really like the idea that this moving meditation links all of these styles of yoga.
So I guess I was just curious to see how other yogis thought of their practice in terms of this quality of mind while moving through the postures.
Ok, first post of any kind ever completed; thank you if you’re out there reading this.


#2

Meditation is possible in steady and moving states both. So keeping this in mind, one can seek for any method that helps achieve it.

Few words about meditation:

“Meditation” word is the most misunderstood or misinterpreted word that I have seen in the world of yoga and always get confused with “Relaxation” or “diversion” of mind. “Meditation” and “Relaxation” are different. Diversion is something more different.
If we go deeper into the science of yoga then meditation is kept in the following sequence:
Asana > Pranayama > Pratyahara > Dharana > Dhyana > Samadhi. First three are called Bahirang and later three are called Antarang.
For contemporary people, following this sequence helps a lot because there are so many layers of ignorance that we need to shed before we reach Antarang side where Dhyana or meditation can be experienced.

In short, a meditative person will always be relaxed but a relaxed person may not in meditative state.

So as an individual, one should consider that the practice (steady or moving) is an experience of a meditation and not diversion of mind or simply act of relaxation.


#3

Hi, nice to hear from you and read your response.
Do you think “mindfulness” (or Vipassana) might be a better word to describe what I am talking about?- I agree the word “meditation” is very broad and can be confusing in relation to yoga.


#4

Do you think “mindfulness” (or Vipassana) might be a better word to describe what I am talking about

May be , but everything comes with a catch that person should actually be aware while moving or sitting still.

Say when I tell my students to be aware when doing anything (on mat or off mat) then many of them simply get lost in the activity without being aware. Very few of them are able to try to be aware but that is fine because that is the way it is.

And exactly for this reason, sequence (given in earlier reply) of all the practices are placed so that a person can to be pushed gradually towards awareness either intentionally or accidently (unintentionally). Once awareness is developed then they can be aware of very naturally in any activity. It is little abstract but it comes, if someone is seriously seeking for it.


#5

Truly believe in moving meditation in one practice. Still hard to to in class settings. Iyengars use still poses and supported inversions for 5+ minutes each gives such a blissful state of mind.


#6

simple walking can be a moving meditation


#7

I only like yoga routines that make me focus on my breathing and link the movements some of them are just like doing an exercise routine and I hate it. If you’re interested in meditation I’d recommend a book called mindfulness plain and simple. I do that too as it helps to practice meditation


#8

Blessings Onyouryogamat,

There is a difference between being aware of
and getting lost in, an experience:
the later often leads to thought filled roads.

It’s nice to hear that you have deepened your yoga by inviting awareness into your practice. I agree with you, yoga is more than just stretching, strengthening, and keeping fit ? though, it is those things as well.

As to your difficulty in keeping attention on the breath while you practice, that is something I have struggled with as well. One thing I have learned is that focusing on the breath is not the only way to deepen our yoga, or for that matter, for meditation in general. In fact, I spent years struggling with focusing on the breath as a meditative technique until I found what worked for me.

The truth is, breath meditation is not for everyone. For me, touching in with the sensations of the body is the most effective way I have found for myself to invite a meditative state. Through this technique i have, over the years, come to experience Samadhi on a regular basis ? and that is while moving from one asana to another.

We do not have to be still, sitting on our butts, doing special breathing techniques in order to meditate. The key in my experience is to find something you naturally rest your attention on. If you are a visual person, than visualize the energetic qualities of the asana. In other words, if you are doing the cobra, be the cobra.

If on the other hand you find yourself attending to sound, then be with the sound. If that is a fan, the sound of your breath, mantra, or whatever else, experience the vibrations.

If you are into touch, as I am, then feel the energy. Let go of the posture, the thoughts, and everything else and sink the attention onto the feeling sensation. Subtly tweak the postures to feel the differences in energy.

That’s my experience.

Be Blessed,
Suba


#9

I am also a beginner at the forum of yours, as well as the beginner of yoga practice. I believe that in order to achieve the level of Moving Meditation in my life, I should probably doing Asanas every morning after making yoga and one day I will reach the level of Regular Awareness. But the problem is that I am doing those things for almost a year and I am still feeling my Ego very strongly. It irritates my spirit and obstructs the growing of my Inner Piece.
Sometimes I can even smoke a cigarette, or yell at people.
What am I doing wrong on my way to the Moving Meditation Level?
I would be grateful for any piece of advice.


#11

I've practiced Tai Chi and Chi Gung since 1979, both are said to be moving meditation Chi Gung more so.

Tai Chi is more martial art - Kung Fu.

Chi Gung is stand in one spot and moving to the breath.


#12

Hi onyouryogamat,thanks for discussing about moving meditation being a meditation enthusiast it's very good for me to get a chance to learn about a new term i.e standing meditation .I'll definitely perform this moving meditation.


#13

Meditation does not need to be stationary, it can be incorporated into Yoga. When doing your asanas, just tune into your breath, feel the air coming in and out of the glottis.

This raises an interesting question though: why do our minds wander when we try so hard to meditate? If you want to understand the underlying reason, feel free to check out this link: http://www.loveenki.com/enki_gb/when-body-and-mind-rebel-and-the-4-stages-of-kundalini/