Can You Practice Yoga Without Meditation? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Can You Practice Yoga Without Meditation?


Most yoga teachers and experienced practitioners will agree that to receive the full benefit of yoga, the act of meditation is required. In fact, many would contend that without incorporating meditation in some form, the practice is not really yoga. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Can You Practice Yoga Without Meditation?

Can You Practice Yoga Without Meditation?
  • Most yoga teachers and experienced practitioners
    will agree that to receive the full benefit of
    yoga, the act of meditation is required. In fact,
    many would contend that without incorporating
    meditation in some form, the practice is not
    really yoga.
  • To less experienced practitioners, this may be
    confusing or controversial, so lets take a
    closer look at the full spectrum of the yoga
    tradition to better understand it.
  • Hatha yoga
  • Hatha yoga is one of the most popular forms of
    the practice here in the west and its aim is to
    create a union of the mind, body, and spirit.
    Hatha yoga utilizes a

  • variety of postures (called asanas) to engage and
    challenge the physical and energetic body of the
    practitioner. Asanas can be sequenced to promote
    flexibility, strength, balance and other physical
    benefits. A well-sequenced practice can heighten
    our awareness, relax us, and assist us to
    concentrate better. However, asanas are merely
    one branch of classical yoga that is, in fact,
    comprised of eight separate limbs
  • Yamas ethical code and morality
  • Niyamas personal observances
  • Asanas body postures or positions

  • Pranayama breathing exercises and control of
    internal energy
  • Pratyahara control of the senses
  • Dharana concentration and cultivation of inner
    perceptual awareness
  • Dhyana devotion and meditation on the divine
  • Samadhi union with the divine
  • When integrated with one another, these eight
    limbs serve as a comprehensive guide to a healthy
    life on multiple levels - physical, mental, and

  • So, which is more important, Asana or Dhyana?
  • For those who want to practice yoga and get the
    most out of the experience (and this mainly
    applies to those who practice it regularly, since
    practicing yoga infrequently will not allow you
    to reap the full benefits), its advisable to
    focus on all eight limbs of yoga, and certainly
    upon both Asana and Dhyana. In fact, many say
    that Dhyana, or meditation, is one of the most
    important limbs, but a comprehensive practice of
    yoga will incorporate all of them.

  • Why is meditation such an important part of yoga?
  • Meditation teaches us how to quiet our minds and
    reside only in the moment, seeing things as they
    are in the here and now. Once you have mastered
    the art of meditation and it can take many
    months, if not years, to feel adept at the
    practice it will create meaningful
    repercussions throughout your life. While
    practicing asana helps to prepare you for
    meditation, meditation will also improve the
    quality of your asana practice. Asana assists us
    in improving our flexibility and developing our
    physical discipline, both of which can useful for
    our meditation practice. Conversely, meditation
    sharpens focus, heightens concentration, and
    develops mental discipline all of which
    complement our asana practice.

  • Does it really matter if you practice only Asana
    and dont practice Dhyana?
  • Though asana is more physically challenging, most
    people find that meditation is actually the more
    difficult of the two. In our busy lives with
    hectic schedules and many demands on our time, it
    feels nearly impossible to quiet the mind. Even
    just dedicating 10 minutes to seated meditation
    at the end of a yoga practice can be enough to
    make a significant difference. It will create a
    sense of clarity and relaxation in ways that the
    physical practice cannot.

  • If you simply cant spare the time or find
    yourself frustrated by meditation to the point
    that it detracts from your experience, then you
    neednt force yourself. As your practice
    progresses and you begin to seek the deeper
    levels of understanding that yoga offers, youll
    eventually be drawn to the power of meditation
    and the clarity that it provides. Though it may
    feel difficult or awkward initially, eventually
    it will become clear that meditation is an
    important and integral part of the yoga practice.
    To gain the full benefits yoga, youll want to
    make sure that you dont skip out on such a
    crucial aspect of the practice.

  • Though meditation is rarely an act that comes
    easily at first, it is worth the patience and
    discipline required to master it. The physical
    asanas of a typical yoga practice were originally
    designed by ancient yogis to prepare the body for
    meditation. The stillness of meditation is where
    the external layers fall away and we are left
    with a genuine experience of the present moment,
    guided toward a deeper understanding of our true
    selves. Certainly, the physical aspects of yoga
    can be practiced without incorporating
    meditation, but only by integrating meditative
    practices can the full potential of yoga be

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