Your yoga teacher training is coming up and if you’re like most, enrolled in a vigorous one-month immersion, you may be nervous or have some questions. The best way to prepare yourself for this experience is to breathe and continue to acquaint yourself with the 8 limbs of yoga.
Having a physical (asana) practice daily, will indeed, prep you for what’s to come but the asana component of yoga is only one limb and there are seven other limbs and if you are part of an all-encompassing yoga teacher training, then you have to be prepared for more than just an asana practice.
An asana practice prepares us for meditation, working the muscles and creating space and flexibility so that we can sit comfortably for an extended period of time. It is within our meditation practice that we explore our inner-workings and are able to face conflicts in life, and this is where the juiciness of yoga really comes to play.
Meditation is something that our society, right now, is in dire need of. People are looking for quick-fixes to feel grounded and sort out their thoughts, which is why the yoga industry is booming and continues to explode. People all around the world are signing up for yoga classes and jumping on the mat, in hopes of a better physique and clearer mind. And while yoga poses look beautiful and make us feel great, it’s only a small component of yoga as a whole.
Meditation is perhaps one of the most important ways you can prepare for your yoga teacher training. Through meditation, you will be able to clear your mind, decipher areas of needed self-growth, and set focused intentions for your yoga teacher training. To help you get started, I’ve reached out to YouTube and Gandhi to put together a kickstart meditation practice that you can acheive in less than 10 minutes a day.
11 Powerful & Easy Meditations to Kickstart your Training and Meditation Practice
Keep in mind, there is no right or wrong way, it’s just about showing up and being present. If you need to sit in a chair or lie down because you’re too achy to continue, then do it! Just remain with the breath as best as you can so that you can experience life in a fuller, more purposeful way.
To lose patience is to lose the battle.
Be patient. People have these grandiose ideas that if they meditate everyday, they’ll be fitter, happier, more productive people. This MAY be the case, but don’t put too many expectations on your meditation practice. Have the patience to let it happen and let it progress organically.
Also, be patient with yourself. Like mentioned earlier, meditation is not easy so if you’re fidgety, feeling tension or slightly overwhelmed with the practice, that’s OK. It’s normal and it’s all part of the change. For serious Gurus, sitting for hours on end is the “ultimate goal” but that doesn’t have to be your finale, especially when you start meditating. Set small goals, meditating for 2-5 minutes at a time and then increasing the time as you move along.
Anything that’s worth it, is going to take time. So take the time to develop this practice and if you fall out of it, no worries. Be mindful about it and allow itself to unfold naturally.
Patience takes time, duh. But there are easy ways to nurture this all-too-powerful virtue.
The future depends on what you do today.
What we do in this moment transforms us into who we will be and what will come. All we have is the present, there is no guarantee of the future but we can, in the process, create something to help our future selves.
Meditation For Being Present
An ounce of practice is worth a thousand words.
Meditating for even just a few minutes a day can make all the difference for someone new to meditation. It allows you to carve out a special time for yourself, allowing the thoughts to come freely but not getting caught up in them. Once we are more mindful of our thoughts, we create a new awareness that helps us in life when we are and aren’t meditating.
Meditation on Mindfulness
The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problem.
I think it’s hilarious when I have jobs that I feel I’m so ill-equipped to do. But that’s just the thing, I’M the one saying I CAN’T DO THIS, no one else. When given a task, I feel I was given this task for a reason and whether I am capable of doing it is one thing, but there is at least one person out there who thinks I AM CAPABLE of doing it. Whatever IT is, is up to you. The point is, you can do whatever it is you set out to do. Stop placing limitations on yourself and manifest what it is you want.
We can do this with meditation and positive thinking. Yes, it’s a bit of a broken record, but we attract what we think. The energy that surrounds us invites that same energy in. If we’re in this bubble of doubt or grief, then we will attract doubt and grief. Call it the law of attraction or whatever you will, what we project is what we get. Plain and simple.
Meditation for Positive Thinking
You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.
Whenever we try something new, there’s sometimes doubt and vulnerability plaguing us, telling us that we CAN’T do it. That’s the ego talking. There’s this fear that we won’t be good enough at what it is we’re setting out to do. Try to rid yourself of this fear. Practice makes perfect, but if we don’t practice there’s no knowing what it is we can fully achieve.
Let’s break down these fictitious barriers that we set up for ourselves and give it a go. If nothing is tried, nothing is lost, right? Wrong. When we challenge ourselves, that is where most of the growth happens. Without it, there’s no change and we remain the same.
Meditation on Transcending the Ego
Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
We are free to do what we want and part of that path of freedom is making mistakes. Like mentioned earlier, nothing worth having is easy to get. We need to create and be innovative about what it is we want and how we can achieve that. It’s OK to not be perfect and to make a few mistakes along the way, that’s the beauty of being human and of having this said freedom. Cherish and love your freedom to not be perfect, because even when we take the perfection out of perfect, perfection still remains.
Meditation on Making Mistakes
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
When you sit down to meditate, it allows you that special time to set an intention for the day. Your intention is going to, most likely, be something positive. This slice of positivity is something you can take with you once your practice is done.
Starting your day with meditation is an excellent way to pave the way for the rest of your day. It will create more awareness for your day, hopefully bringing your attention back to your breath and thoughts. Being more aware of our thoughts, leads us to be more aware of our actions. Once everything is in sync, nothing but good will prevail.
Meditation on Happiness
God has given me no control over the following moment. I am concerned about taking care of the present.
Let’s face it, there are things that are out of our control. It’s up to us to do what we will with whatever it is life decides to throw at us. People will be rude, accidents will happen, life will not always be perfect and we cannot control that. The best thing to do is surrender to it, allow it to happen and come back to the present moment.
I am a huge advocate for the expression, “everything for a reason.” Whether that’s the flat tire that made you late for an important meeting or a customer who was exceptionally rude to you, these are little tests. Will you get caught up in the anger or will you be able to let whatever it is your feeling happen, and let it go. The point is, is that it’s happened. It’s over, now it’s up to you to decide how you’re going to approach the situation.
We are human, thus we have these emotions, and trust me, these emotions will ALWAYS come up if you live in the real world. Yes, if you spend the rest of your life meditating in an isolated cave, than that’s a bit of a game changer. But, if you’re living in the 21st century, then odds are these emotions will continue to float in an out of your everyday life. We can either get lost in the emotion and allow it to overtake us, thus losing sight of the present moment, or we can choose to not react. Meditation can definitely help with the latter.
Meditation on Letting Go
Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.
Yup. Any questions?
The 5 Minute Miracle Meditation
Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.
We can start this purification with meditation. It goes back to the energy we reflect which in turn goes back to thoughts. When we meditate we acknowledge these “dark” thoughts and the more we acknowledge them, the quicker they will pass. It gets easier with time, trust me.
To start, think of an emotion that you’re struggling with. Maybe it’s jealousy, greed, anger, forgiveness, whatever it is, hold it in its space. Feel whatever it is your feeling, without judgment, and literally acknowledge it with a greeting, “hello, anger.” Odds are you’ve felt anger before, and odds are it will continue to come up. Point is, once we accept the emotion, without allowing it to consume us it becomes easier to move it along. It takes practice, yes. It takes time, yes. But it is absolutely possibly. Remember, perfection is not the goal here.
Meditation on Bringing Harmony In
Peace is the most powerful weapon of mankind.
When we take part in a meditation practice, we cultivate peace. Meditation is a practice on mindfulness. When we are mindful we are able to rid ourselves of that which ails us and in turn become advocates of peace. This doesn’t mean we’re perfect, but it does mean that we’re able to take on life’s challenges with a new perspective and in a gentle manner. Let peace be the answer.
Meditation on Peace
And that’s it, you’re ready for your training and to meditate with a little help from our friends, Gandhi and YouTube. Keep in mind that meditation does not mean you need to contort your body into lotus position, nor do you need a fancy cushion or a clear mind. All you need is to be present, observe your thoughts, breathe and let go. Trust that you have all the tools you need to succeed at this practice and continue to cultivate it everyday. Remember your intention and allow your imperfections to shine through. It’s not about doing it right, it’s about making the most of the very moment we are given, because that is the only thing which is real.
About The Author
Tara DeAugustine is an elementary school teacher, presently taking a much-needed break from teaching, and in turn dabbling in and out of different job roles. Her travels have taken her all over the world, previously living in Thailand, Taiwan and Cambodia. Currently, she’s a volunteer writer and yoga instructor at Blue Osa Yoga Retreat & Spa in Costa Rica. When she’s not busy at work, you can find her doing what she loves, which is included but not limited to: lazing about in hammocks, eating salad, watching sunsets and reading.