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

Welcome Jason.

There is only one Yoga

It’s quite lovely that you’ve found a method to cultivate some control of the mental force.

I’m not aware of any true meditation that is “easy” to do. They all come with a level or degree of challenge. The practice of asana provides many opportunities to cultivate qualities in small measure and, hopefully grow them for use off the mat.

In other words my cultivation of the ability to be present in my asana practice (regardless of its gross or fine movement, flow or no) is for my use in being present with my family, partner, co-workers, etc. My cultivate of feeling the residue of my practice after each posture allows me to also cultivate the skill of discernment - a skill used on the yogic path all day, every day.

I would only add that there are many ways asana is different than exercise, but asana is not Yoga. Asana is contained [I]within[/I] yoga.


#3

Thank you for your welcome, it’s lovely to be part of this community.
Yes, despite all the varying types of yoga, it’s a nice way of thinking there is only one Yoga.
And thank you for sharing your thoughts with me- I concur that meditation is not easy to do- in fact I think it’ seems more challenging than anything else!