Concentration, Meditation, and Samadhi

All of the limbs of yoga, including Asana, are meant to be building blocks to prepare your mind and body for the endgame, which is self-transcendence, the blissful state of Samadhi.

It’s easy to forget this fact. When most people think of yoga all they have in mind is the physical – practicing, improving upon, and finally mastering asanas. But asanas are supposed to be a means to an end, not an end in themselves.

Next time you practice, use the experience as a chance to focus on cultivating concentration during poses and the transitions between these poses. Try to be as fully in the here and now as possible, refusing to let your mind wander from the sequence as it unfolds during class, giving all of your attention to whatever pose you are on.

Without concentration there can be no meditation, and without meditation there can be no Samadhi. You can see that the last three limbs build upon each other just as the first five do. Preparing yourself to meditate properly means being able to achieve an extended state of concentration, and what better time to practice concentration than during your asanas?

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