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In Indian literature, Parmananda is the highest joy. Supreme joy it has no limitation. The whole mind is in the body but the whole body is not in the mind. When the mind flows in one stream, it is called meditation. During meditation, the mind is trained to focus on one point in order to meditate. The practice of yoga asanas is a prelude to your mind-body connection. The asanas train the mind through physical practice. The first four limbs of yoga are considered to be external practices of yoga. The last four are internal practices. In Hinduism, the body is considered to be the temple of God. The body is for one to search within.

Yoga asanas, in many ways, prepares the mind and the body for meditation. In order to achieve the calmness in the mind, one must first master the art of bringing the mind under control. Yoga asanas train the mind how to do that by first training the body to establish a connection with the mind. The yogic breathing techniques are used even during asanas to ease the practitioner into paying attention to the breath.

Yoga styles such as hatha yoga are created to cultivate balance and harmony in the body. Here, the asanas are held for extended periods of time to achieve stillness and balance in the body. Hatha yoga is a mental practice as it is a physical practice. In order to be comfortable in a pose, one must master the mental ability to focus without distractions.

Meditation practices such as Sushumna meditation focuses your attention to the nostrils in order to prepare the body and mind for meditation.

To begin Sushumna meditation, sit in a comfortable cross-legged pose and close your eyes. First, stillness in the body must be achieved. Once you settle down, start observing your body. Now start to become aware of the various body parts. Take a few moments to really create your body awareness. After you bring awareness to your body, bring your awareness to the breath. The aim is to bring the breath awareness to your navel center. You need to pay attention to the nostrils and make the connection all the way to the navel.

Once you have established awareness from the navel to the nostrils, bring your awareness to the left nostril. After you focus a few minutes on the left nostril, switch to the right one and repeat. After you have engaged both nostrils, pay attention to the center of your nostril. You will start to feel the breath entering the center of the nostrils to the eyebrow center. If you are able to bring awareness to this process, perhaps you can pay attention to the spine.

Sushumna meditation is a good practice to start your day-off with calmness. It will also bring awareness to your breath so you can practice mindful breathing as you navigate through your day.

AYM is one of the oldest yoga teacher training schools in Rishikesh. Considered to be the birthplace of yoga, it is surrounded by lush mountains. The presence of the holy Ganga brings and added serenity to the magical backdrop. AYM offers 200, 300 and 500-hour TTC throughout the year.

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