To me Yoga and Meditation go hand in hand. Yoga meditation is not only about physical postures! Our modern day yoga class tends to focus on postures only. If a little deeper study of yoga meditation is applied then it will become apparent that postures are only a small part of the practice. Postures are necessary to learn, but yoga meditation is essentially to eliminate feelings of incompletion and limitation in order to connect with our true Self.
Traditionally there are four paths of yoga. Jnana, Bhakti, Karma and Raja. These paths are not separate, they all work together in forming the art of yoga. Only a Yogi or Yogini will concentrate on perfecting the art of one of these paths only. Most commonly all four paths are blended together to balance out yoga practices. Most meditators will have preference for one or two of the paths. This is natural, but even so, it is impossible to abandon or ignore the other paths.
Jnana explores the nature of our being. It’s focus is on knowledge and wisdom.
Bhakti concentrates on services to God, love, compassion and devotion.
Karma is service to others, mindfulness and actions.
Raja emphasized meditation. It deals directly with our mind’s thoughts.
Even though these paths are all integrated, it is helpful to understand which one is mostly aligned with your objectives. This path will be your main emphasis and the others will be used to enhance your chosen path.
In yoga meditation train your mind to be one-pointed. There will be many obstacles along the way. Some of these may include doubt, laziness, fear of failure etc. Getting around these obstacles and not letting them interrupt your journey can be achieved by training your mind to stay focused on your objectives. A mantra or short prayer can also assist you in achieving this. Virga means the energy of conviction and persistence. Make sure that you are firmly aware of your convictions. Develop a determination and a strong attitude to succeed in your yoga meditation.
In practice one will focus on the use of the body, senses, breath and different levels of the mind. An awareness of these will be developed and intensified until the center of consciousness is attained.
Contrary to some beliefs, yoga meditation is not a religion. It does, however, contain principles that can be related to certain religions. It is also holistic, dealing with a wide variety of practices including meditation, contemplation, prayer and mantra.
Yoga and Meditation are an important part of the lives of many people.