Yoga and Loving Kindness

Yoga and Loving Kindness

200 hour yoga instructor certificationBy Kimaya Singh

Do Yogic methods bring about states of loving kindness? Are Yoga teachers good examples of compassion or is it too much to ask? What about instructors who teach with their egos and go out of their way to treat students poorly? As there are many different Yoga schools, styles and teachers, we know that loving kindness does not exist in all classes or within the hearts of all teachers. I learned loving kindness meditation techniques from Paulji at Aura Wellness Center and have been able to apply them to real life. In fact, I will teach you one of his techniques and you can apply it to your life today.

Practical Methods for Everyone

Variations of loving kindness meditation may involve a specific series of sitting, standing, supine, and prone asanas to release physical tension within the body and to calm your mind. This is not a prayer, but can be spiritual, not a game, but can be physical. In short, it is what improves the state of overall well being within you. If you think you won’t be able to get out of the stressful life because you are already irritable over the years, haven’t sat in a peaceful environment without getting distracted by the slightest sound, you are the perfect candidate for loving kindness mediation.

Honest Self-Evaluation

However, my suggestion to most people with chronic stress and irritability is to practice supervised asanas before attempting meditation. Depending on one’s level of fitness, the activity may be gentle or vigorous. The person who starts a Yoga training program should do a self-evaluation before taking a class. This is why no prospective student should be allowed to take a class without an honest talk (interview) and evaluation process. Some styles and teachers will challenge students to their physical limits, while others will nurture them mentally and physically.

Goal Of Loving Kindness Meditation in Asana Practice

The goal is to be able to sustain for a few minutes with calm posture and gradually improve your state of mind from where you are now. Each pose can be adjusted to work with your physical and mental abilities later. As you practice these techniques, you can easily expect to be able to go deeper and deeper into the calmness and each pose to increase the range of motion.

According to some teachers, men and women have the ability to bend their spine to much more than when they initially start Yoga training sessions. There is a saying that you are only as young as your spine feels. Yoga can make you feel younger than you really are. And most of all, Yogic practices can make you calmer by loosening up the tension in the muscles throughout the body and make it relaxed. This practice transcends the body and brings about states of relaxation within the mind.

Breath Awareness Meditation for Loving Kindness

In many forms of yoga, there is a need to pay close attention to breathing. Breathing deeply or Pranayama by inhaling through one nostril and exhaling, opens your airways, fills the lung and heats up the whole body from the inside out. This improves oxygen supply through the body, which in turn nourishes the cells. As a bonus, breathing exercise can help you reach states of complete relaxation. The deeper you breath, the more you lose unwanted feelings of frustration, stress, and negative thoughts. The breath awareness meditation makes you stay within the present and put aside all types of distractions that are troubling you during the day.

Practical Application

Carry this positive energy with you and people around you will start to change. You may ask: How is this really possible? If a woman hates me, but I keep smiling back at her, does she have enough negative energy to keep scowling? It is a test of negative and positive energy, but I have an infinite well full of positive energy! It is called pranayama and you can always weaken negative people with loving kindness by exhaling slowly and smiling right into their eyes. A smile is free, harmless, and it will protect you like a shield.

Conclusion

Typically, Yoga is a well-known form of exercise that is excellent for increasing strength and loosening tight muscles. With other workouts and strength training exercises, it supposedly works well for shaping the body. Well, that is part of the picture and physical results depend on age, metabolism, health and the regularity of practice.  

Yoga is also being used as a form of exercise to promote relaxation, enhance self-awareness, and increase the quality of life. The breath awareness for loving kindness meditation technique improves sleep, digestion, and other functions associated with body and mind. Let’s face it, if you feel better about yourself and people around you, the end results will be good overall health.

© Copyright 2013 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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Leave a Comment

3 responses to “Yoga and Loving Kindness”

  1. Gillian says:

    Beautiful article — thank you! I particularly loved the concept of using the breath to open the body from the inside out. I am always trying to find new ways to bring a different understanding to my yoga practice — to keep it (and my teaching) fresh and new. Thank you for using your lovely mind and spirit to benefit us all. Namasté.

  2. Vernon says:

    I saw ways that my yoga practice had been reinforcing and refining my ability to criticize myself, rather than training my capacity to wish myself well. I think of both teachings as the loving-kindness point of view. THANKZ!

  3. Leorge Smith says:

    Thank you so much for sharing these amazing article, I found some very helpful. Love and Light to you and yours!

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