Please join me in this meditation with a calm mind. Take a deep breath and come into a comfortable seated position. On your exhale, notice your breath as it moves out.
When your awareness is focused on something so specific as the way your breath feels on your upper lip, you will always be able to cultivate peace of mind.
That is a goal of meditative practice. When you practice Anapanasati, you are training your mind to focus on a single point of attention: the ingoing and outgoing breath. In order to reach true mental awareness, you have to focus on your breath without judging it beyond the realm of what it is.
Your breath is your breath no matter how it sounds or what it may feel like. Whether it is deep, smooth, shallow, or erratic - simply observe the quality of breath as breath. Every time your mind wanders, bring it back to the breath. No matter where it may go, you can always bring it back to the breath.
Every time you bring your mind back to the breath, you’re getting stronger. Consider this a form of mental exercise, a practice in the art of forgiveness, especially toward yourself. The more your mind wanders during this meditative practice, the more opportunities you have to train your tumultuous thoughts to relax and return to the breath, and the more chances you have to forgive yourself for past mistakes.
To get the most out of this meditation, I want you to observe your reactivity to different types of distractions. Thoughts in your memory, the sounds happening around you, limbs falling asleep, and so many more annoying discomforts can interrupt this practice. Don’t let them!
If something triggers a high response in you, make note of this reaction and then bring your mind immediately back to the breath. Your breath is the anchor of this practice that tethers and trains the mind so you can practice equanimity.
During this meditation, I will ask you to bring your awareness and the focus of your breath to different levels of the body to help establish the mind-body-spirit complex. Balancing this can bring your body into harmony, and you can take this harmony with you off the yoga mat and into your waking world.
Your spiritual journey goes beyond the yoga mat, but the things you learn here - how to observe breath and cultivate equanimity - is a skill you can take with you. It is good mental practice for the challenges to come so that you can keep a clear mind and an open heart in the face of adversity.
I created this series to inspire you to get on your yoga mat every day. Send an email at email@example.com and tell me - what does yoga mean to you? You could be invited to guest spot on The Yoga Inspiration Podcast.
Stay connected: @kinoyoga and @omstarsofficial
View my teaching schedule, blogs, etc on Kinoyoga.com
Get your free 30 day membership on Omstars.com& use code: PODCAST