Dosha Blog Get started
iUVeda Dosha Blog Get started


Seeking True Meditation

Meditation advice
1 min

Both yoga and Ayurveda consider the functioning of the human brain the reason for all our suffering. And what does the brain do? It thinks. It takes in impressions from the outside world and compares them with whatever is stored as memory, personal convictions or beliefs, and then decides “This is right, this is wrong, I like this, I do not like that.”

We are intelligent and we keep hold of much of what pass through our conscious mind, as well as the subconscious. This is only our conditioning as human beings. Adding past conditioning from previous lives to the mix we get the “samskaras”. In yogistic knowledge as well as in Ayurveda it’s believed samskaras is the reason for our wrong judgment, thoughts, behaviors and consequently ill health.

What is “true” meditation?

Yoga masters say we cannot really “do” meditation as it appears spontaneously when awareness is not controlled or manipulated. If you have tried to meditate, you know that your mind is constantly drawn away from “what is” - thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, memories, sounds, smells...There are so many things that emerge in the midfield when you decide to sit down and do nothing.

That is absolutely normal. The mind is conditioned to chase after the objects of the senses since it is through the senses that we communicate with the outer world.

The point of true meditation or dhyana is to let all objects be it feelings, memories or fears, be as they are. There is no manipulation, no controlling, no suppressing of whatever comes up. We can say that pure awareness is the process, the goal and the result of meditating.

What is the connection between yoga and meditation?

But then, why do they say that hatha yoga is only a preparation for meditation? What does physical exercise have to do with pure awareness?

Physical exercise especially practiced in a mindful way as in hatha yoga, disciplines the body to be steady, yet receptive. Focusing on proper form and breath we train the mind to be more steadfast and one-pointed. We also prepare our senses to be more disciplined and non-reactive.

Of course, you can start meditating without the preparation of hatha yoga, but people are with different levels of awareness and readiness for mindfulness that for many, jumping into meditation may not work as advertised. Without proper preparation and guidance, you may get confused, disappointed or become even more enmeshed in your own arrogance and ego. Which is not what meditation is about.

Hatha yoga trains you, most importantly, to be grounded as without proper grounding you can get easily lose balance. It also teaches you to be still even in the face of great challenge. Once you can be still on a more profound level, awareness becomes free of the mind’s conditioning and control.

Does it mean, then, that all that is offered as meditation today has no value?

Certainly not! Our minds and senses today are so bombarded with information that it would be very difficult to still them without an intense yoga practice or other techniques like guided meditations or visualizations. But any true seeker should keep in mind that it is only a preparation for dhyana. If true self-realization is your goal, then sooner or later you will have to let go of all that and just sit still with what is.

About the author

Irina Bachvarova

Yoga Guru

Master in Sports Pedagogic and director at Bulgarian Ashtanga Yoga Academy.

Irina is the author of the first Bulgarian book for Ashtanga Yoga and trusted Yoga Guru for TV series, produced by Bulgarian National Television.

Recent posts

Take a look at out most recent posts related to routines, nutrition, yoga and a lot more

May 2020

Ayurveda and Chronic Pain

“You are what you eat” is an old adage but it’s definitely true when it comes to chronic pain. 
A lot of chronic pain is the result of chronic inflammation.

May 2020

The Benefits of Golden Milk and How to Make It

Golden milk is a traditional Indian drink that people make with turmeric, which gives it a yellow or gold hue. People also call golden milk “turmeric milk.”

May 2020

Top 10 Tips for a Guilt-Free Coffee

You cannot do without your morning cup of coffee, but you know coffee isn't good for you? Or actually, thy just discovered that xoffee is good for you but not on an empty stomach? But then, you also practice yoga in the morning and cannot eat before practice and  coffee after practice is out of the question?

Here is what will make your coffee quilt-free and even a heathy enjoyment.

April 2020

Habits of Mind and Habits of Body

Yoga, as a science and discipline of mind and body, is incredibly rich, diverse and complex. This complexity tends to get quite lost on Western practitioners, focusing mostly on Hatha Yoga as a physical practice of body and sometimes breath. Hatha is, in fact, only the first step, although it lies at the heart of the psychological transformation which is the true fabric of an authentic and transformative yoga practice.

April 2020

The Healing Potential of Stopping

As the world slows down, is there a way you can stop and let go to support your Prana? This too will pass, you know. Spring and summer will inevitably come, and the buzz of the world will resume. Right now though, is there a way to stop pushing forward and rest in the utter darkness?

March 2020

Seeking True Meditation

Meditation has become very popular today. Most people I know say they meditate and some do it daily. We all meditate on just about anything - better health, relaxation, better sleep or wealth. Yet, true meditation as practiced in traditional yoga and Ayurveda has no direction and no goals.

March 2020

Spices That Heal - Asafoetida

Asafoetida, also known as hing, is a latex gum extracted from several species of a perennial herb, Ferula. It is part of the celery family and is most widely grown in Iran and Afghanistan, where it is known as “badian” or “gas reliever” for its use for relieving stomach gas.

March 2020

Let's ask Krishnamacharya

In today's yoga, everybody seems to have an opinion of how things should be done. For a beginner it might be quite confusing to make their way through the various types of instructions which often are quite contradictory.

March 2020

Why you can't touch your toes & how to do it

Not being able totouch your toes may not be the worst tat can happen to you, yet it can be annoying when you are faced with tasks like tying shoe-laces or picking a dropped object from the floor. It is even more disturbing when you are seemingly the only one in yoga class who is sweating her guts out in vain attempts to reach forward in Paschimottanasana or have to stick your butt in your neightbours nose in orer to be at leas a little close to Uttanasana...

0 comment(s)

Leave a comment