An unstable mind causes immense trouble. Luckily, the ancient science of yoga offers Dhyana yoga, a calming and soothing tool to tone down the dark thoughts of your mind.
There are various ways to cushion your brain and help it perform better. Dhyana yoga is the best among them enabling you to focus and concentrate better.
Figuring out the ways of Dhyana yoga is a tricky affair. So, we decided to help you out and consulted yoga experts to put together the perfect Dhyana yoga guide.
You can find the guide below. Have a look.
What is Dhyana Yoga?
I am sure you have heard the term Dhyana before. A common term used in many Asian countries, it is derived from a Sanskrit word ‘Dhyai’ which means ‘to think.’
Dhyana yoga is referred in the Bhagavad Gita as the yoga of meditation. It trains you to keep your mind off the unnecessary things and concentrate on what you need to do.
Dhyana yoga enables you to find the truth. It helps you separate illusion from reality and see things for what they are. Deep concentration leads to self-knowledge which provides the answers you need.
In the highest level of Dhyana, the mind is aware without focus. There are minimal or no thoughts that occur to bother the mind.
Staying still with nothing to concentrate on is not an easy task and takes time. You need to build the strength and stamina for it through asana, pranayama, and dharana.
Let’s check some asanas that are practiced commonly to train for Dhyana yoga.
Calming Dhyana Yoga Poses
- Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
- Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
- Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
1. Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
About The Pose- Padmasana or the Lotus Pose is a meditative pose that reflects the spiritual and enlightening connotation that a symbol Lotus carries in various cultures. Padmasana is an intermediate Hatha yoga asana. Practice it in the morning on an empty stomach and sit in the pose for 1 to 5 minutes.
Benefits- Padmasana restores the energy levels of your body. It calms your brain and increases awareness and attentiveness. The pose keeps the spine straight and helps develop a good posture.
To know more about the pose and its procedure, click here- Padmasana.
2. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
About The Pose- Bhujangasana or the Cobra Pose is an asana that resembles the raised hood of a snake. It is an energizing backbend. Bhujangasana is a beginner level Ashtanga yoga asana. Practice it in the morning on an empty stomach and hold the pose for 15 to 30 seconds.
Benefits– Bhujangasana invigorates your heart and elevates your mood. It relieves stress and fatigue. The pose helps in increasing the circulation of blood and oxygen throughout the body.
To know more about the pose and its procedure, click here- Bhujangasana.
3. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
About The Pose– Paschimottanasana or the Seated Forward Bend is an asana that is a forward bend and gives a good stretch to the entire body. It is a beginner level Hatha yoga asana. Practice it in the morning on an empty stomach and hold the pose for 30 to 60 seconds.
Benefits- Paschimottanasana removes anxiety, anger, and irritability. It relieves stress and calms your mind. The pose regulates blood pressure and improves blood circulation.
To know more about the pose and its procedure, click here- Paschimottanasana.
The next step is Pranayama, the yogic practice of controlling your breath.
- Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellows Breath)
- Kapalbhati Pranayama (Skull Shining Breath)
- Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellows Breath)
1. Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellows Breath)
Bhastrika Pranayama or the Bellows Breath is a powerful yoga breathing exercise. It is a cleansing kriya that clears your nadis, nostrils, and sinuses and prepares you for deep breathing. It is also perfect for energizing your body.
How To Practice Bhastrika Pranayama
Sit in the Lotus Position with your back straight. Take a deep breath through your nose, filling your lungs with air. Then, breathe out in the same manner. Do this a few times to settle your head.
After that, begin to exhale quick breaths through your nose forcefully. Follow it up by inhaling in the same manner.
Your breath should come from your diaphragm, and your belly must move in and out as you breathe. The rest of your body should be still.
Do a round of bellow breathing, following it up with natural breathing, and then go for the next round. As you breathe naturally, observe the sensations in your body and mind. Do at least 3 rounds of Bhastrika and end the session.
Benefits Of Bhastrika Pranayama
Bhastrika Pranayama strengthens your lungs. It calms your mind and purifies your breath.
The breathing exercise brings tranquility and peace to your mind.
2. Kapalbhati Pranayama (Skull Shining Breath)
Kapalbhati Pranayama or the Skull Shining Breath is a breathing technique that will give you a shining head and a bright intellect with regular practice. It is a ‘shat’ kriya that flushes out toxic air from your body. The word ‘Kapalbhati’ means shining head. ‘Kapal’ means forehead and ‘Bhati’ means shining.
How To Practice Kapalbhati Pranayama
Sit in Sukhasana and place your palms on your knees. Focus on your belly region.
Inhale deeply through your nose, filling your lungs with air.
Breathe in calmly and consciously. Pull your stomach in towards your spine. Place your hand on the stomach and feel the muscles contracting.
As you relax from the contraction, exhale in a short and quick burst. There will be a hissing sound while you do so. There is automatic inhalation following that.
Practice one round of Kapalbhati that consists of inhaling and exhaling 20 times. After one round, close your eyes in Sukhasana and observe your body.
Benefits Of Kapalbhati Pranayama
Kapalbhati calms your brain and rejuvenates your body. The breathing technique improves your memory and concentration power.
To know more about the breathing technique, click here- Kapalbhati Pranayama.
The next step is Dharana or single-pointed concentration.
The Method Of Dharana
Dharana is training the mind to concentrate on a single energy center by either focusing on a single object, sensation or mantra. Whenever you mind wavers, you bring it back to the object, sensation or mantra.
For example, when you hold prayer beads, with each bead you touch, you bring the concentration back to the present moment.
Our mind is abuzz with many thoughts and ideas. To be able to control them and not let them affect your focus is a challenge you should take up through Dharana.
How To Do Dhyana Yoga?
Once your body has been made receptive with asanas, the mind refined with pranayama and your entire being trained to focus repeatedly by dharana, you slowly slip into dhyana or the state of being aware of the existence.
The awareness in dhyana is like a river which flows without a pause. As you focus your mind on returning to the present moment, again and again, it eventually stays in the present without any pause which is when you experience Dhyana or pure and complete awareness in the present.
Now, let’s answer some common queries on Dhyana yoga.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
How often do I practice Dhyana yoga?
Dhyana yoga is a continued process. You need to practice the Dhyana yoga poses, pranayama, and single-pointed concentration on a regular basis to be able to reach and stay in the Dhyana state.
Where can I learn Dhyana yoga?
Many certified yoga institutes across the world train you in the process, but eventually, it all comes down to you to strive and reach a better state of being through dhyana yoga.
There is nothing like staying in the present moment and being completely aware of it. Many of our problems arise because we get bothered and bogged down by our past or over thinking about what might happen in the future. Dhyana yoga is a path that will help you shun in the past and enjoy the present. Go ahead and take up this process because it will help better your life.