14 June 2021
As a Yoga teacher, I’m always trying to find ways to get students practising between classes. And as we know, yoga is a practice which requires both consistency and balance, meaning that whilst asana practice (i.e. doing yoga poses and movement) is an important element of this, we must also pay regular attention to other parts of our practice, such as pranayama and meditation.
Meditation in particular seems to be an area where many students struggle. I think there’s a perception that it’s too difficult, that you have to practice it for large chunks of time, and that it’s only for the “spiritual” (whoever they are!). These perceptions are not surprising, given the amount of traffic the mind receives on a constant basis; it is perpetually disturbed by an avalanche of information and external stimuli. No wonder we find it difficult to navigate to a place of inner quiet and stillness.
Enter a superhero of meditation, Dr. Deepak Chopra MD! A veteran of the meditation circuit, Dr Chopra has demystified and simplified meditation, particularly meditation for beginners, in a four-step process which can take just a couple of minutes at a time to practice! Here’s what he says about Total Meditation:
“The technique is simplicity itself. Anytime during the day when you catch yourself being distracted, overwhelmed, worried, tired, or stressed, immediately deal with this imbalanced state."
Want to know more? Here's how to do it:
Find a quiet place to sit and close your eyes.
Take a few deep breaths.
Place your attention in the middle of your chest and breathe easily.
Continue until you feel calm and centred.
"The essence of total meditation is frequency and repetition. It’s a technique that improves your mind’s tendency to return to a restful, alert state the more you use it. A couple of minutes a dozen times a day (which would be typical for most of us) accustoms the nervous system to experience what restful alertness feels like. In turn, the tendency to return to a balanced state becomes more automatic.”
It's that simple! There’s also an accompanying book of the same title if you fancy diving a little deeper into how it all works.
So now, no excuses … just try Total Meditation! Of course, you should bear in mind that anything worth doing needs working at – but if you’re short on time and haven’t “gelled” with meditation in the past, this is definitely worth a try.