Mind and body together is the key to relaxation and concentration. The mind is like a donkey, which does not want to be tamed. Joining both, mind and body, as a one is a great secret to achieve deep relaxation and deep concentration. This is possible when we unify to techniques: Visualization and attention. We will study on this article not just how to develop relaxation and concentration, but why we need to do so.
Modern life pushes us to pay attention to our problems, economy, a possible war across the planet, children, our job, etc. Where is our attention pointing out?
WHY THE INNER WORLD MATTERS?
People are more attracted to physical things than to values. Nevertheless, what we really are is within us. The truth is this: We have an inner world and an outer world. We need to live with both worlds. When this does not happen we cause chaos in our life. The balance between both worlds is important. When we pay too much importance to the physical things and we forget our inner values then we create problems for us and for others.
We need action, movement, adventure, etc. But we need relaxation, inner peace and solitude. Sometimes just being alone with ourselves is all we need. A peaceful day, alone in the room listening music; that is it!
WHY DO WE LACK CONCENTRATION?
Looking for happiness in the outer world pulled our senses toward the exterior world. Our senses guided our mind and it got lost! Yes, we need to live in this planet and we have to have a life; but happiness, peace, and real freedom are not outside. Money cannot buy any of them.
We need to redirect our senses and our mind inward. It does not mean that we will forget to be alive; actually we will find the reason of our life. Bringing our senses and our mind inward and having them controlling outward creates the balance people are looking for. We need a balance between body, mind and soul. Actually the correct way to say this is: We need our soul to create a balance between the mind and the body.
WHAT CAN WE DO? MIND AND BODY UNIFICATION!
Mechanical practices are superficial; they do not have the power of concentration. Concentration should be understood as a power: The power of pointing one single thing with the mind: Attention! Distraction is totally the opposite of attention. When someone does not pay attention then he/she is distracted. Nobody can learn anything in << Distraction Mode. >>
Beginners should fight during the whole practice to bring their mind to the practice to pay attention to what they are doing. Sometimes this process brings frustration. Students, very often come to me asking me how to develop concentration or attention to avoid distraction. I always explain that it is a process and you cannot jump from one state to another state. You have to work on controlling yourself and learning how to develop concentration.
The matter is to practice over and over. A yogi needs to develop patience, perseverance, humbleness and a really good heart. Yoga and meditation are not matter of mechanical practices doing by the mind. Rather those practices need your good will, your courage and a genuine long for a real development.
So we need to focus on what we really want. Whatever you want a physical, emotional, mental or spiritual development then you need to work on and keep going. Nothing can be developed out of nothing. Effort is needed for everything; why should yoga and meditation be so easy? Everything has a price in life. So, keep in your mind something very simple: If other did it then you can too! So the advice is always this one: KEEP PRACTICING, DO NOT STOP AND DO IT HAPPILY WITHOUT ANY HURRY!
This is a very simple practice, but it requires attention. Do not worry if you get distracted, do not worry if you get distracted several times. The matter is to do it as often as possible. Every day? That is the best, if not possible at least five times a week.
The basic idea is to go through different parts of the body without any distraction. Well, that is what a person with a lot of experience can do; but a beginner will experience several distractions. So, in the beginning the person should avoid fighting with the mind. Usually they get upset or complaint because they find how often the mind distracts them.
TIPS TO DEVELOP << MIND-BODY >> UNIFICATION:
When you find yourself distracted just come back to the practice without any complaint.
When coming back to the practice jus continue as if nothing happened.
Always remember that you are learning, so mistakes happen.
Take it easy!
Do not complaint when you find yourself distracted.
Do not get upset or mad because you cannot focus or get distracted several times.
Do not give up. Developing the unification of mind and body takes time.
Avoid over-thinking before practicing. Over-thinking worry and/or upset the mind.
Now let us explain the practice. It is simple, but very good.
MIND-BODY EXERCISE FOR RELAXATION AND CONCENTRATION.
I suggest to use the color white (Peace and relaxation) or the color yellow (Mind control) or light blue (Love).
The practice is as follows:
1- Seat down with your spinal straight.
2- Close your eyes.
3- Breathe slowly, long and deep for a few minutes. Feel the movement of your body while breathing; be aware of the air coming in and going out from your body.
4- Now feel your feet and picture them getting relaxed. Do not think anything else. Imagine the selected color getting into the muscles, tendons, bones, molecules, cells and atoms.
5- Now feel your calves. Picture how they get relaxed while the selected color gets deep down into the calves.
6- Now you see how that color moves forward to the knees and thighs. It gets into the muscles, tendons, bones, etc.
7- Imagine how that color gets into the hips and buttocks and all around that area. Everything is being relaxed more and more.
8- Now the selected color gets into the abs and the inner organs: Stomach, liver, pancreas, etc.
9- The selected color goes to the chest and in the heart. Picture how that color gets into the muscles, tendons, bones, etc.
10- The color goes to your back and it gets into the spinal, lungs and chakras.
11- Now the color moves to your shoulders, then to your arms and finally to your hands. Again the color gets into the muscles, tendons, bones, etc.
12- Now do the same for your neck and throat.
13- Then do the same for your face: Eyes, nose, forehead and mouth.
14- Finally the selected color gets into the rest of the head. Yes, it goes into the muscles, tendons, bones, etc.
15- Picture your whole body with the selected color. As it was painted inside and outside with that color.
Your mind will bring thoughts; but do not worry it is normal. Just come back to the practice over and over. Your mind wants to think, it wants to reason, it wants to remember things, etc. It is like a donkey. It does not want to do the practice properly. It is always trying to distract you. Your task is to avoid thinking paying attention to what you are doing.
Do not fight with the mind. It is stronger than you. You just redirect its force toward the practice. The more you practice the sooner you will learn. It will take a long time though. But you will see how you will learn to do the practice without distraction of the mind.
Being present is really deep. Nobody can do that if he/she cannot do this practice. It is easy to talk about living the present; but when a person wants to do this practice then that person faces the reality: The mind does not let you to live the present. It brings memories (past), it thinks on tasks for tomorrow (future) and so on!
Suggestion: You can do breathing one two before this practice. You can find breathing one two on the article: Relaxation techniques and tips for beginners (Link at the bottom)
I have to point out that proper guide is better to do any meditation and/or yoga practice, especially for beginners. The environment and relationship between student and teacher helps a lot.