Meditation or Dhyana is a way to tune oneself with the reality-The supreme Bliss. In other words, meditation is a sustained concentration practice which gradually helps the meditator focus inward eliminating all conscious thoughts and finally attain that unique state of expanded awareness or “one-pointedness of mind”.

For spiritual wellness, one should meditate at least once a day. As meditation is an easy way to de-stress yourself, it can be done anywhere at any time.

Early morning before any activity is the best time to meditate. Whatever be the time, for better results it is important that one should meditate at the same time at the same place every day with proper preparation.

How to prepare yourself for meditation?

Step 1: Make sure that at least 2 hours have elapsed since your last meal.
It is always recommended to meditate on an empty stomach. But if you were fasting and hunger is distracting you, have something light.Otherwise, your meditation will not be satisfactory. If you meditate after having a heavy meal, all of your energy is going towards digestion; you may feel drowsy during meditation.
Step 2: Wear Comfortable Clothing
Be comfortable. Depending on the climatic conditions, wear some loose fitting comfortable clothes that allow you to relax and sit for a while.
Step 3: Set up the Meditation Space
Choose a clean and comfortable platform which is neither too low nor high, and neither too hard nor too soft. Placeagrass mat (mat weaved out of dried grass strips) or yoga mat with a woollen blanket or silk cloth on top of it.
Meditation creates vibrations, which is absorbed by the place and the mat. These vibrations give a trigger to your subconscious mind to meditate whenever you come across that place and also help your meditation to be more effective. So always try to meditate on the same place and use the same mat every day.
Step 4: Prepare your body for meditation
It is highly beneficial to do some light stretches or some simple yoga postures before meditation as it harmonizes all the energies of both the body and mind.
Sit up straight. This will maximize your lung capacity and allow you to breathe deeply. While meditation, the spine should be straight and erect.Padmasana or Lotus position is recommended as it helps keep the spinal cord straight and erect.Also, your body should be relaxed for a smooth energy flow.
Any comfortable leg position can be chosen which allows you to relax and stay in for a while. For example padmasana,vajrasanasugasanaardhapadmasana or whatever works the best for you.
Make sure that your hands are supported. The “Mudras” or the way you position your hands are used to stimulate different physical and psychic areas of yourself thereby affecting the flow of prana or energy. In other words, mudras are used to give clear messages to your mind-body energy system. So this deepens your focus and helps you maintain your posture during meditation.

The most commonly used Mudras in our holistic yoga practice are
Jnana Mudra: Hands placed on the knees with palms facing up and the tip of the thumb and index finger touching each other forming a circle.Jnana mudra is the psychic gesture of knowledge, wisdom, receptiveness and calmness.
Dyana Mudra: Hands resting on the lap below the navel with the back of the right hand on the palm of the left hand.
Meditation can be practised with open or closed eyes(whichever allows for greater one-pointedness of mind)either by focusing on the breaths or the chakras.
The common practice with open eyes is looking at the eyebrow centre(SambhaviMudra )or tip of the nose( Nasikaradhristi) and chanting AUM.
Proper breathing is very important in meditation.When breathing, try to inhale and exhale as slowly and quietly as possible.

How to meditate?

Once you are seated comfortably will your spine straight, hands supported and closed eyes, try to focus on your breathing. This is the easiest meditation.
When your mind wanders slowly bring it back to your breath. Keep doing this for a minimum of 10 minutes.Before coming out of your meditation practice, do Shavasana for five minutes.Then come back to sitting position and slowly open your eyes after palming. You will feel a special transference of energy in your body after that. It is extremely relaxing and stresses relieving.
With daily practice, slowly increase the duration to 20minutes and so on. As you enter deeper and deeper level of awareness and consciousness, the gap between the thoughts increases and finally the mind will be devoid of everything else and the entire focus will be directed inwards. In our holistic yoga practice, we try different meditation so that everyone can find out which works best for them.

What are the benefits of meditation?

Meditation heals both body and mind. Hence enhances physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.

Physical benefits include:
Enhances the immune system
Lowers oxygen consumption and decreases respiratory rate.
Increase in energy, strength and vigour
Decrease the ageing process.
Relaxes nervous system and leads to a deeper level of physical relaxation.

Mental Benefits include:
Increase in focus and concentration.
Improve the learning ability and memory.
Increases Productivity

Emotional Benefits include:
Improve your powers of empathy.
Develop a new perspective on a stressful situation.
Reduce negative emotion.

Spiritual benefits include:
Develops Intuition
Attain harmonious state with positive qualities.
Attain enlightenment.

Long-term, daily practice helps you to achieve these.Start doing daily meditation and watch your progression!!!