Yoga & Meditation

Yoga and meditation go hand in hand, as they probably have done since they both came about at the dawn of history (or before?).

I find it far easier and more comfortable and attractive to practice meditation following a yoga session, whether it is Indian or Chinese yoga or other body-oriented practice such as Breema (self-Breemas). It helps settle the mind, brings awareness to the body, and creates a sense of fluidity and comfort. All conducive for sitting practice.

During times where I engage in both more regularly, there is also a very tangible experience of the whole of my human self, beyond and including psyche and body – the Centaur level in Ken Wilber’s terminology.

It is almost surprising that the two are not taught together more often. Many instructors and traditions do, of course. But maybe more do not. Meditation instructions may give advice for stretching, and yoga instructors may throw in a brief meditation period, but in each case, they seem to give the complementary practice short shrift.

With various forms of more integral practice becoming more popular, this may shift. More and more, we may see more equal emphasis on diet, exercise, yoga, meditation, relationship work, engagement in the world, and so on. It is certainly needed, on both individual and collective levels.

The health of the whole Earth system – including ecosystems, social systems and individuals – is rapidly going downhill, partly due to disconnections and fragmentations in worldview and lived life. And an integral practice is one of the many ways we can begin noticing and living these interconnections more, experiencing ourselves as a body/mind whole embedded in the Earth whole. Through this, we may also gradually expand our identity and our circle of concern, care and compassion to include the Earth as a whole.

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