The Yogic views on consciousness goes back to the time of Patanjali and Sankara’s Advaita Vedanta. The relation and impact of yogic methods on the mind, body and soul have been practiced and propagated since ages.
However, in the contemporary time, when people are surrounding themselves with psychological distress, anxiety, and other stressors, it is important to introduce beneficial techniques into the lives of those who experience such trauma and daily life tension.
For the aforementioned and other submissive reasons, three yogic aids have been developed and proved empirically to effectively practice meditation. The three aids are deep breathing, deep relaxation, and deep contraction, and as being aids to meditation, these practices can effectively help one to learn meditation quickly, easily, and effectively.
In the following article, you will be briefed about these three aids and how to practice them.
As you might have learned and expected, breathing is the primary ingredient while cooking the recipe of meditation. Given its pivotal role, deep breathing has been classified as being the first of all the three aids in meditation.
Breathing involves a basic element of surviving, however it is surprising to know that not many people know how to perform it correctly. The foundation of deep breathing becomes from your nostril, and not your mouth.
Due to lack of awareness or other unknown reasons, many people are not aware of the importance of breathing correctly, and do not feel the need to practice or learn. Incorrect breathing creates home for multiple diseases including obesity, body aches, rheumatism, and neuritis.
You can inculcate the habit of breathing deeply in an unconscious manner through the use of two approaches.
The Pavlov Method
Named after the Russian physiologist, Ivan P. Pavlov, the Pavlov method uses the technique of conditioned reflexes to channel the adoption of deep breathing in an individual.
For this method, you have to pick any one activity that you practice daily. It can either be eating, walking, dancing, or exercising. Now, you have to associate deep breathing with that activity. In doing so, whenever you will perform that particular activity, you will only breathe deeply.
The Pause Breath Method
This method is widely known to be the easiest and most efficient method to breath deeply. In order to apply this method, you just need to practice the process of observation. Apparently there are two pauses when we inhale and exhale breath.
In order to breathe deeply, we need to focus on those two pauses and acknowledge their presence.
As simple as it seems, it is not so. Whenever you are into a fight, or an argument, people tell you to ‘relax’. However, it is not really this easy. How do we practice deep relaxation as an aid of meditation? Let us find out.
One should bear in mind, that everything demands time and patience, so do not expect your relaxation technique to affect you immediately after you start practising.
Steps to follow
- Lay down in Shavasana on a flat surface (preferably floor).
- Any type of movement or tension will not be beneficial, so make sure you are lying comfortably.
- Breathe deeply 2-3 times, followed by normal breathing.
- Start clenching and relaxing your body muscles one by one starting from the bottom.
Deep contraction has shown the effects similar to that of a physical exercise. It provides an impetus for our body and helps it remain fir, active, and disease-free. In fact, we usually practice deep contraction in our everyday lives, without knowing.
Deep Contraction exercises
The following exercises should be practiced for 15-30 mins daily early morning for best results.
- Stretch your legs, arms, toes, fingers, as far as you can, several times during the day.
- Try stretching exercises like touching your hands to your feet, stretching sideways, forward, and backward.