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meditation to reset and reboot !

How meditation can reset and reboot your mind every day

Lisa Edwards

For many of us with a yoga practice, meditation is something we slot in as an afterthought, separate from our asana practice, something not core to our daily routine. Our local yoga studio might run a 6.30am Meditation class that we sporadically fit in before work with a handful of enthusiastic early risers. We might make meditation part of another existing activity, such as walking, running, cycling, or even cooking – all things we believe we can do meditatively. But whilst these activities might be mindful, they are not meditation, because we are not sitting with our selves, with no distractions. This is the goal of meditation, which is defined as the art of living in the moment, helping us to develop balance, harmony and wellbeing in our lives.

In the West, we’ve done a great job of transforming yoga into a workout, which is exactly what it’s not. Yes, our asana practice maximises our health, in particular the passage of prana – energy or ‘life force’ – around our bodies, but its main goal is to prepare our bodies for long periods of sitting in meditation. Sudhir Rishi and Veena Sudhir, the directors of Sthira Yoga School reinforced this message on their Online 40hr Advanced Meditation course and in my personal practice, I’ve adapted my asana with this idea in mind. What do I need to do to help my body feel comfortable sitting in one position for a longer time? As a result, my meditation practice has lengthened relative to my asana one, from a few minutes to around ten to fifteen minutes and my asana practice is slower and more ‘held’.

In yoga studios, meditation is often taught before asana, as though it is the preparatory stage for the physical movement but the opposite is true. If we look at Patanjali’s ‘eight limbs’ of yoga in his ancient Yoga Sutras outlining the practice, there is a clearly defined path from asana to pranayama (breath work) and then onto various stages of meditation, to reach a state of pure joy or bliss, with no senses, thoughts, or other distractions to taint it.

I now find that I can’t practice asana without meditation, with pranayama in between. I use the Pancha Kosha meditation Sudhir taught me on the Sthira course most often, working inwards through its ‘five layers’: body, breath, thoughts, values, and finally the ‘bliss layer’ or the true self; the place where unconditional, uninterrupted love and joy resides within us.

Working with some of the ideas I learned on the Advanced Meditation course, I think of it as a closing-down of the tabs in my brain, as if it were a kind of computer (which of course, it is). I find it helps to visualise a blank screen, when I am in my ‘thoughts’ layer, with no tabs open. (It’s also a useful way of teaching the concept). I can begin to witness my thoughts as something that is not my self – they appear in my brain from my ‘values’ layer, where all my programming resides, especially from childhood experiences.

Recognising that your thoughts and the beliefs that give rise to them are not your self is an immensely powerful and liberating moment. Taking time to distance yourself from them in meditation each day allows you to reboot and reset your presence in the world, rather like you might restart your compute, purging all the ‘system junk’ from your mind. A morning routine that includes meditation gives you the chance to start afresh each day, with the pure joy and love of the core self freed from the constraints of all the complex programming we shield it with over the course of our lives (note that this concept is at the heart of CBT – cognitive behavioural therapy – yoga got there first).

Switching from a purely asana-based practice to one that includes pranayama and meditation isn’t easy – I was already finding it difficult to find a routine that included asana on their own. Under Sudhir’s guidance, I decided to give myself small goals – maybe half an hour of asana, followed by fifteen minutes of pranayama and fifteen of meditation. By giving myself a smaller hill to climb, I felt I could achieve it more easily, and I did. I’m now up to a two-hour complete practice, but I have a freelance lifestyle that can accommodate it.

Something Sudhir said stuck with me – you can’t teach meditation unless you have your own practice – so I’ve made sure I include it every time. It’s not easy for me to sit in sukhasana (I’m not very flexible) but I’ve given myself a high seat against a wall constructed from two blocks and positioned a cushion under the knee of my tighter hip. Every time I sit, making sure my spine, neck and head are in one line, it feels a little easier, but my foot is still going numb after fifteen minutes! But as Sudhir says, your foot will still be there afterwards. It’s not going anywhere.

The trick to including meditation in your practice is to tailor it to your own body and routine and don’t try and make it too ambitious. Start with small time frames and add on to them incrementally, minute by minute, as you go. Fit them in where you can – I practiced after work in the evenings for a long time – and do what feels right.

Sudhir and Veena’s course teaches a range of meditation methods, such as trataka (a steady gaze on an object such as a candle flame or an image such as a mandala); chakra (working from the root chakra all the way through to the crown); mantra (repeating a set word or phrase, such as a simple Om) or simply focusing on the breath. Again, the trick is not to make it too complicated: start simply and know that any time you spend with your self – even five minutes a day – is the reboot your body and mind need to function optimally, ending the mental chatter that is sapping your energy.

Study with Sthira – related courses:


7hr Ayurveda, Mantra, Mudra & Meditattion TTC

75hr Pranayama & Meditation TTC


60hr Pranayama & Meditation TTC

40hr Meditation (Advanced) TTC

Lisa Edwards is a freelance writer and ed

itor who completed her 200-hour YTT with Sudhir Rishi in Goa in 2019. She has since completed Sthira Yoga School courses in Yoga Philosophy, Advanced Meditation and Advanced Pranayama. She is the author of two books, containing the story of her yoga journey: Cheat Play Live and Dark Horses Ride. She splits her time between India and the UK.

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