How to practice

The yogis teach that regular practice creates a calm and peaceful mind. Whatever practice you adopt, do it regularly, ideally daily at the same time and in the same place. Having a set time can help your thoughts to settle down when you are ready to meditate. Choose a time that you can comfortably do on a regular basis. It’s more beneficial to meditate ten minutes every day versus an hour only every few days.

It’s fine to build your practice slowly. Don’t worry about how long you meditate. What matters is that you put in the effort and that it is something you look forward to doing.

To prepare to meditate, some people find that doing hatha yoga helps them to be able to sit in stillness, not distracted by bodily discomfort. As you sit, silently reciting a simple mantra like Om or Ram can help settle the mind. Focusing on your breath or doing deep breathing also quiets the mind and activates your spiritual energy, the kundalini.

If possible, dedicate a room or part of a room solely for meditation and sit in the same spot every day. The best direction to face is east, with north as a second choice.

It is best to sit with your spine and neck in a straight line. To support your posture, you can use a meditation pillow (zafu) or a folded yoga blanket on top of your asan (see more about asans here).

If you cannot sit on the floor, you may place your asan on a chair. If you have physical limitations, lying on your back with your spine straight is acceptable.

When you practice regularly, the mind, regardless of how stubborn it may be, will be brought under control. That control will manifest not only in your meditation but in your daily life as well. You may also find that meditation opens your heart, increases your creativity, and brings spaciousness into your mind.

Finally, while home practice is essential, group practice is also extremely valuable. Shri Dhyanyogi wrote that when we meditate in a group, “the radiation of power from the group’s single-pointed concentration gathers and accumulates, and this store of power helps everyone in the room.” So please join on us on Sundays whenever and as often you can.