Yoga visualization practice is an integral part of meditation in yoga. Whether you meditate during each and every yoga session, or you want to add some meditation practice into your daily life without yoga postures, visualization is a powerful meditation tool.
Setting Up Meditation
In order to create the right atmosphere for meditation, remove yourself from your everyday world, but not completely. Go to a quiet room in your house that you enjoy being in, but don't take out all of the things that might distract you or make noise to disrupt your meditation. A good meditation practice continues despite disruption, not because disruptions have been eliminated.
Music for Meditation
Many people find music to be a big help in meditation practice. Choose calming meditation music or calming nature sounds, such as waves crashing on the shore or birds singing in the morning. Play this soundtrack at a low volume so that it does not dominate the environment for meditation.
While some meditation practices include a fixation object, visualization meditation most often includes a fixation point that you see with closed eyes, but that is not imprinted from a physical object in the meditation room. While you do not need a fixation object as a prop, a comfortable sitting position is important. Make sure that the floor is warm and that you have towels or blankets to tuck under your legs to ease your seated posture. Lastly, use a meditation shawl over your shoulders, especially during colder months of the year.
Yoga Visualization Practice Scenarios
As a beginner, it is helpful to try a few different yoga visualizations so that you find one or two that work well for you. Try imagining one of these scenarios; try to be present in the scene you are imagining, but stay outside the physical realm of the scene:
- A rainstorm is coming: imagine the wind blowing through the trees, becoming more and more intense. Imagine the rain starting, building, slowing and stopping. What does the scene look like as the storm grows, erupts, and stops. Can you smell the rain and hear the raindrops?
- Imagine waves breaking on a rocky shoreline. You decide the height of each wave and the splash it makes when it crashes onto the rocks. Can you feel the spray on your face?
- Imagine a bee flying from flower to flower. What is the bee's favorite type of flower and how long does he enjoy each one before flying on to another one?
- Imagine you are a fish swimming in a school of fish, looking for food. Be part of the school, let the school decide where you will swim next.
The important thing to making your yoga visualization practice successful is to combine actively being in the moment with a complete acceptance of everything and everyone around you, both in your physical space and in the mental space of your visualization. Like all forms of yoga, visualization practice is about complete acceptance. Feel the coldness or the hardness of the floor on which you are sitting; acknowledge and accept each thing you experience in order to let it go. This is the essence of a relaxing, stress-relieving visualization practice.
Visualization and Meditation in Groups
While visualization and meditation can very well be practiced individually, there is also something to be said for guided meditation and visualization. Try out a class where part of the yoga practice is a guided meditation, or download an audio file with a guided visualization exercise on it. You may find that it is easier to concentrate when the scenario for visualization is coming from outside your own mind. However you practice, enjoy the peaceful activity and the rest it brings your mind long after you've ended your session.