How to Do Yoga Meditation

Three Parts:Creating a Meditative EnvironmentPerforming Poses Suited to MeditationFocusing on the Body, Mind, and Beyond

The Sanskrit word "yoga" actually means "union with the divine". The stretching exercises that we in the west associate with yoga were originally designed, thousands of years ago, to help the practitioner gain control of their own life force, a spiritual energy known as Kundalini. The stretches, however, are not the only aspect of yoga. Meditation is also a key facet of yoga. Ensure you choose the right location and prepare yourself adequately, and your yoga meditation will be a very beneficial experience.

Part 1
Creating a Meditative Environment

  1. Image titled Do Yoga Meditation Step 1
    Select a quiet environment. The location you select should not be cluttered or loud. You should feel at ease before starting yoga meditation. If the location is noisy, an advanced yoga practitioner may be able to deal with external influences, but beginners will find it distracting.
    • Ideal locations are either free from technology and machinery, or otherwise block the sounds our mind must make effort to filter out.[1]
    • Somewhere with a lot of natural light through windows is preferred over flickering electrical lighting.
  2. Image titled Do Yoga Meditation Step 2
    Choose a spot with natural heat, cooling, and fresh air. Aside from the sounds they produce being a distraction, the machines that produce our heating and cooling are not as naturally pleasing to the body as a cool breeze or the warm sun. If yoga meditation in the outdoors is not a viable option, choose somewhere with radiant heat like a wood fire or hydronic heat.[2] Create a cross-flow by opening a door or a window, so fresh oxygen is pumped into the location.[3]
    • Accentuate the location by selecting a location with minimal synthetic material. Wood floors with natural oils and waxes have less static electricity, and are conducive to yoga meditation.
    • If you live in a high pollution area, performing yoga meditation inside may actually be preferable.
    • Studios where large classes practice yoga can become stuffy, building up carbon dioxide and lessening the available oxygen.
    • A yoga mat can be used for added comfort.
  3. Image titled Do Yoga Meditation Step 3
    Time your meditation sessions around meals. If you have a full stomach, you could relax so much you’ll feel drowsy. And if you time it too close to meal time, the hunger pains could be too distracting. Attempt to schedule your meditation when you are comfortable, perhaps a few hours after a meal.[4]
    • An alternative would be to eat a light snack before mealtime and then meditate.
  4. Image titled Do Yoga Meditation Step 4
    Do some light stretching or exercising. With a brief warm-up, your body will be more limber, relaxed, and able to better focus on meditation. You’ll also likely be able to sit for longer periods of time if you’re more limber.[5] Focus on your core and back for just a few minutes, with various, light twists and bends.[6] A few of the following Sukshma Yoga exercises can also be very beneficial:
    • Use two fingers to lightly squeeze the eyebrow several times.
    • Roll your eyes in circles several times.
    • Rub your temples and jawline.
    • Grab your ears and pull downward softly.[7]

Part 2
Performing Poses Suited to Meditation

  1. Image titled Do Yoga Meditation Step 5
    Sit upright. You can sit anywhere that allows good posture, like the floor or a chair. Try not to be too rigid. Crossing legs like you see in many pictures about yoga meditation is not necessary, but if you sit that way, alternate which leg is on top each time you meditate.[8]
    • Being comfortable is critical when trying to focus on meditation.
    • Pull your chin slightly back to aid in the spine alignment.[9]
  2. Image titled Do Yoga Meditation Step 6
    Practice deep breathing techniques. Breathing deeply is a great way to prepare for a meditation session. Focusing on breathing helps ease the body and mind, as well as improve focus. One particular breathing method called the Nadi Shodhan Pranayama – a subtle breathing technique – involves alternating nostrils in the manner below:[10]
    • Place the index and middle finger of your right hand between your eyes, and the remaining fingers around your nose. The thumb will be on your right nostril.
    • Breathe deeply into the left nostril while closing the right nostril.
    • Alternate pressure, and exhale out of the right nostril.[11]
  3. Image titled Do Yoga Meditation Step 7
    Practice the Samasthiti. The Samasthiti is a pose that is similar to the traditionally military standing at attention. It's about being attentive to your own balance, your own steadiness. From there, place your palms together - also called Anjali Mudra - in what many recognize as praying. Breathe in while raising your hands over your head, and exhale as you return them back to your chest.[12]
    • Perform this step for a minute or two in order to really settle yourself.
  4. Image titled Do Yoga Meditation Step 8
    Try the cow pose. Get on your hands and knees, with your palms under your shoulders for weight support. Inhale deeply as you raise your head and upper body. Simultaneously lower your spine towards the floor. It should feel like your spine is getting closer to your stomach as this pose is being done. Complete the pose by returning back to an aligned back while exhaling.[13]
  5. Image titled Do Yoga Meditation Step 9
    Perform the vajrasana. In a sitting position, place your hands on your sides and bring your left foot up to contact your left buttock. Repeat the process with the right foot. At this point you'll be in a squatting position, and you'll be easily able to lean forward and shift your weight to your knees. Sit back on the space between your heels. Breathe normally for a few minutes in this position.[14]
    • At the end of this position, your toes should be touching.
    • Be sure to keep your core tightened to promote the good posture.
    • An upright posture is easier with the vajrasana because the pose promotes straightness with minimal effort.
  6. 6
    Try Ujjayi Breathing. The Ujjayi breath is long and smooth. It is good for both giving you energy and making you feel calm.
    • Sit cross-legged on the floor.
    • Try to relax. Imagine that you are taking long, slow breaths inward through a straw.
    • Exhale slowly, as though through the same straw.
    • Make the breath as long and as smooth as possible.[15]

Part 3
Focusing on the Body, Mind, and Beyond

  1. Image titled Do Yoga Meditation Step 10
    Dissolve away distractions. Your everyday life has several distractions and worries. For the first part of your yoga meditation, allow yourself to embrace the various things going on in your life. Acknowledge your own personal chaos. By recognizing the many distractions in your life, it allows you to more easily remove yourself of exterior distractions when you begin to focus.[16]
  2. Image titled Do Yoga Meditation Step 11
    Reflect on your body. Direct your attention inside, to the base of your spine. Slowly, pull your attention up through the center of your body along the spinal column, and move through each part of the body. Take inventory of each body part as you move along.
    • Be aware of your various senses (i.e. taste, smell, sight).
    • Acknowledge thoughts, emotions, and your progression towards acceptance.
    • Think about how your various body parts are functioning with one another.
    • Notice if you have any tension or pain.
  3. Image titled Do Yoga Meditation Step 12
    Discipline your mind to focus. In order to attain a higher level of concentration while meditating, the mind must gradually become silenced during reflection. The ability to set your mind at ease is not possible if the body and breath are not focused. To help become aware of your mind, follow what is called the “Four Functions of Mind”:
    • Observe your mind and its impressions, ego, judgments, and discriminations.
    • Accept the various observations for what they are, whether positive or negative.
    • Understand how your train of thought flows from one thing to the next.
    • Train your mind to choose the object of focus, rather than allowing consciousness to flow between items.[17]
  4. Image titled Do Yoga Meditation Step 13
    Concentrate on a singular object. The point is to embrace the current moment. If you’re beginning, your attention will falter. Redirect your attention as best you can back to the object, and you’ll be able to ignore more distractions as you get better at meditating. [18] Try focusing on something like one of the following items:
    • A dot on a sheet of paper.
    • The center point of tile.
    • The design in a floorboard.
  5. Image titled Do Yoga Meditation Step 14
    Open your eyes slowly. At the end of your meditation, bring your attention back to your body by making a small movement while opening your eyes. Become aware of any change you may feel inside your body, or any shift in your attention.[19] Try one of the following techniques to help end the yoga meditation sessions:
    • Lightly ball your fists a few times.
    • Flex your calf muscles.
    • Smiling is a good way to focus muscles, and it has the added benefit of enhancing meditation.[20]


  • Meditate for longer periods of time, and more frequently when you are better able to focus.
  • Keep a meditation journal.
  • The meditation should be without effort.

Sources and Citations

Show more... (17)

Article Info

Categories: Hindu Yoga | Buddhist Meditation