When most people think about meditation and yoga, they often conjure up images of someone sitting cross-legged with their eyes closed, chanting in a shroud of incense, or bent into some unbelievable contortion. It can seem difficult and perhaps a bit intimidating. In fact, just the opposite is the case; not only can anyone meditate and practice yoga, but the incorporation of meditation and yoga into your life—no matter how small—can dramatically improve your body, ability to focus, and overall sense of wellbeing. And it’s so easy to start, there’s really no reason not to try.
In order to meditate, begin by sitting either cross-legged or in a chair. It is important to be mindful of sitting up straight and avoid slouching. Next, close your eyes and notice that your body is relaxed and comfortable. Try to relax any tension you sense. Bring your attention to your breath. Notice as it flows in and out of your body and becomes even. Continue to concentrate on your breath. When you become distracted by your thoughts, or the cars in the street, or the grocery list running through your mind, gently bring your focus back to your breath. These distractions are normal and to be expected. With practice, however, they will become less intrusive and you will find yourself more able to remain focused despite them.
You may notice that it is uncomfortable to sit up straight for any extended period of time, and this is where meditation and yoga connect. The movements, stretching, relaxation, and controlled breathing in yoga practice are the best preparation for comfortable and sustained meditation practice.
Yoga and meditation are two powerful ways of fortifying and enhancing the mind-body connection, and it is as simple as being mindful of your breath linking the two. Our breath allows us to keep our focus in the present moment. By consistently focusing our minds on our breath and away from our thoughts, we can strengthen the mind-body connection. This is referred to as Mindfulness, and its practice will vastly benefit every area of your life—both personally and professionally.