Meditation: A Bicep Curl For The Brain

I often have people disclose to me that they cannot meditate, because they are unable to clear thoughts from their mind. This is an understandable, but common misconception about meditation.
brainNo one can clear thoughts from their mind. The purpose of our mind is to think; process information, look for threats, etc. It’s what the mind does, it’s what it’s supposed to do!
Think of meditation as a bicep curl for the brain. For example, when practicing “mindfulness” meditation, one focuses on a single point; such as, the nostrils. Focus is directed at the sensation of the air coming in through the nostrils and out of the nostrils.
When your mind wanders, and it will, simply notice it has wandered and bring the focus back to the single point. In doing so, you have just created stronger neural connections in your brain and increased gray matter. This is how meditation is a bicep curl for the brain.
So, each time your mind wanders look at it as an opportunity to strengthen neural connections, increase gray matter creating a healthier brain.

All Rivers Lead To The Sea; The 8 Limb Path

The core of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra is an eight-limbed path that forms the structural framework for yoga practice. Upon practicing all eight limbs of the path it becomes self-evident that no one element is elevated over another in a hierarchical order. Each is part of a holistic focus which eventually brings completeness to the individual as they find their connectivity to the divine. Because we are all uniquely individual a person can emphasize one branch and then move on to another as they round out their understanding.

This ideology encourages one to continue in the spiritual/religious path that they have chosen or were born into, while applying these principles.

       In brief the eight limbs, or steps to yoga, are as follows:eight-limbs

1. Yama :  Universal morality

2. Niyama :  Personal observances

3. Asanas :  Body postures

4. Pranayama :  Breathing exercises, and control of prana

5. Pratyahara :  Control of the senses

6. Dharana :  Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness

7. Dhyana :  Devotion, Meditation on the Divine

8. Samadhi :  Union with the Divine