Meditation is the most important practice for calming the mind. A calm mind can lead a healthy, happy and successful life. It can cure the diseases and speed up the healing process. We describe the simple technique below called prana-dharana. Prana in Sanskrit stands for the air that we breathe. It is the most basic act of life which starts from birth and goes on till death. But generally, we are not aware of the breath till our attention is drawn close to it. Dharana means its awareness. Prana-dharana means applying the mind to the flow of air when we breathe. The method is as described below:
Sit in a posture suitable for meditation. The common postures are Siddhasana, Padmasana and Swastikasana. But if you cannot do this, just sit cross-legged. Your back should be straight and eyes closed. Your knees should be placed well on the ground. Do not stoop your shoulders back. The whole body should be relaxed and the whole frame steady without exerting any pull or pressure on the thighs, feet, knees, spine or neck. There should be no stretch on tension along the abdominal wall. Let the abdominal wall sway gently back and forth very smoothly and effortlessly with each respiration. Facial muscles should be relaxed and mouth closed with a small gap between the two jaws such that the upper and lower teeth do not exert pressure on each other. Your tongue should touch the palate with tip touching the back of the upper front teeth. Ensure that the lips, tongue or the lower jaws do not move. Your eyeballs and eyelids should be steady and the muscles of the forehead relaxed.
Your entire posture should be comfortable, steady and relaxed. You should not feel strain on any part of the body. Now start developing the awareness of the breathing. The flow of the air should be uniform, slow and smooth. Do not make any effort or exercise any control. Never hold the breath. Do not utter any word or see any image. This will calm your mind and help you achieve peace.
Kevin Pederson is the webmaster for Yogawiz that provides loads of information on Basics of Yoga, Office Yoga, Asanas and Poses. Trataka is an excellent eye exercise. It can also lead to silencing the turbulent mind.