What is Breath Awareness?
The breath connects our body and the mind. By making the inhalation and exhalation long and including breath retention, we make the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system stronger. This removes lethargy and disinterest, and regulates moods.
This calms the body, relaxes the mind, and helps develop focus. A calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence.
“Breath is the bridge which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.” - Thich Nhat Hanh
What is Relaxation?
Relaxation involves the body and mind, along with the interaction between the two-- to let go of the thought patterns in the mind, and in turn, to let go of the tension that is being held in the body. Repeated practice leads one to be able to relax immediately, as and when required.
"Relaxation is the surveying of the body and other internal states." - Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
What is Concentration?
Allow the thoughts to come and go without giving it any new energy. Witness them objectively and through practice we realize that we are not the thoughts, that we are something more. The mind becomes more centered and loses interest in pursuing thoughts. It acquires a taste for concentration.
"We are so engrossed with the objects, or appearances revealed by the light, that we pay no attention to the light." - Ramana Maharshi
What is Mindfulness?
Jon Kabat Zinn defines Mindfulness as paying attention to the present moment on purpose, without judgment. The past is gone, and the future is yet to arrive. The present moment is the only moment any of us have for understanding, learning, growing, and healing. Mindfulness helps us recognize the distractions that arise in the mind, observe, and allow the distractions to pass without reacting.
"The past is past, and the future is yet to come. That means the future is in your hands - the future entirely depends on the present. That realization gives you a great responsibility." - Dalai Lama
What is Meditation?
The most important aspect of meditation is becoming an inner witness, a detached observer of the mind. With practice, meditation helps recognize, accept and inquire into our thought patterns. This leads us to stop identifying with the thoughts and feelings. Awakened by concentration, strengthened by nonattachment and nurtured by our daily practice, we begin to see a new vision of ourselves.
"Meditation gives you what nothing else can give you: it introduces you to yourself." - Swami Rama