Learn Loving Kindness Meditation

Dhammapada or Loving kindness meditation is one of the two simplest meditations in Buddhism. This type of meditation helps bring about positive changes in practitioners' lives and help them develop loving feelings toward all other living creatures. The main purpose of Dhammapada is to cultivate love and despite the fact that it comes from Buddhist tradition it can be adopted and practiced by anyone regardless of religious beliefs or affiliations. This type of meditation must be practiced without any expectations. This is truly unselfish practice that results in ideal or pure love that each of us is capable of. We begin with loving ourselves and then extend this pure love to include others, starting with people special to us and eventually extending it to all living things.

To begin this mediation, find the position in which you will find yourself most comfortable in. You can either kneel or sit cross legged using a meditation pillow if you like. One of the goals that meditation tries to accomplish is to make the practitioner feel good, so being in a comfortable position is essential to any meditation practice. Focus your mind on bringing your awareness into the present. For few minutes focus your gaze on something pleasant to look at. Things like plants, statue of Buddha, or candles will serve perfectly for this. Concentrate on breathing while you're doing this. Take a deep inner breath followed by a longer outer breath. Try to slow down your breathing, as well as your mental processes. Don't let the mind wonder and discard any thoughts that arise during this part of meditation. Now close your eyes and scan your body to become fully aware of it. Begin with your toes and move slowly upward through the legs, torso, arms, shoulder, neck and head. As you pass through each part of the body feel tension disappear and you become even more relaxed as you move up. Reflect on what you want to achieve during this meditation. With your eyes gently closed throughout the meditation begin to cultivate the feeling of loving kindness. There are many ways to achieve this. One way is to recall the times when you felt loving kindness and try to recreate these type of feelings during the time of meditation. You can also use language that represent the feeling of loving kindness. You can repeat phrases like "May I be free of pain and suffering", "May I be happy, safe and protected". Continue breathing in and out as your state these phrases and think or repeat them several times to feel the full effect. Feel the meaning of these words spread through your whole body, mind, and heart.


During the first stage of meditation cultivate loving kindness towards yourself. It's important to feel good about yourself. It's important because the way we feel about ourselves is the way we treat others. For the second part of this meditation cultivate loving kindness toward someone you know and towards whom you have positive feelings. Reflect on that person good qualities or visualize her or him radiating joy. At first it might be the best to focus on someone who is just a close acquaintance or a friend. For the second stage cultivate loving kindness towards a neutral person who triggers neither positive nor negative emotions. It should be someone you know or see regularly, like a neighbor, a fellow student or someone you run into on the regular basis. Then use the same process towards someone with whom you have difficulties. Many people find that by practicing Dhammapada for a hostile person, their relationships with that person improve. Going further, cultivate loving kindness towards yourself, your friend and your enemy at the same time. Feel how everything in this world is interconnected and by loving yourself you're also loving every other living creature that you come into contact with during the span of your life.

Finally extend your loving kindness outward until it reaches all living things. To do this think of different people in various locations across the globe going about their lives in various ways. In many ways they do and act and care about the exact same things and this will realization should bring your closer to them and help you to achieve this feeling of love towards them.

After this final stage, sit quietly for few minutes and reflect on your experience you achieved during this meditation. Slowly become aware of your surroundings and gently return to your life of the outside world. Try to hold on to this feeling of love and wellbeing as you go about for the rest of the day.

Learn Loving Kindness Meditation

Gene M. is a founder of online wellness portal NY Yoga Spa Wellness Guide as well as Big Apple Media-New York SEO Marketing Company.

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Yoga and Personality Development

What is personality?

Human personality is a very complex topic by itself. There are many
definitions of personality. For the sake of simplicity we can consider it as a
collection of physical, mental and behavioral traits and patterns that we
exhibit in our life.


Often personality development is either misunderstood or ignored. It is
acknowledged mostly in professional fields. Companies conduct training programs
on communication skills, leadership skills, and creativity and so on. They
collectively call these trainings as "Personality Development". Unfortunately
they are talking about only one side of the coin. No doubt that these traits are
important but they are just "external". These programs miss the more important
factor - body and mind. There are hundreds of books available in the marked who
are supposed to tell you "how to win" or "how to be happy" but how many really
get benefited just by reading the books? Books will tell you to think positive
but the poor individuals do not know how. Just by thinking that "I will think
positive" you can not be positive. It requires practice and fine tuning of body
and mind. Unless you have proper foundation of body and mind you simply can not
build any superior personality infrastructure.

Do I need personality development?

Majority of people feel that they already have a developed personality and
they don't need to enhance it further. After all they are working in
professional and personal sector for years! But let me tell you that if you are
thinking on the same lines then its time to introspect. The first step in
personality development is to acknowledge that you need to improve your

How do you know whether you need fine tuning of the personality? Just sit
peacefully and try to answer the following questions:

  • Do you feel that you work hard but still don't get expected returns?
  • Do you often feel that you deserved a promotion but somebody else grabbed it instead?
  • Do you feel drained after your job hours?
  • Do you feel stressed - physically and mentally?
  • Does your job affect your health?
  • How are your interpersonal relationships?
  • Do you feel void ness in your life?
  • Do you often feel unhappy (many times not knowing why)?
  • Do you feel that you can not deliver 100% of your potential?

The answers to the above questions will tell you whether there is any
friction within yourself.

The yogic view of of personality

As per Yoga the human body consists of five sheaths or layers. They are:

  • Conscious physical sheath (Annayama Kosha
  • Subconscious physical sheath (Pranamaya Kosha)
  • Mental sheath (Manomaya Kosha)
  • Intellectual Sheath (Vigyanmaya Kosha)
  • Blissful sheath (Anandamaya Kosha)

The Annamaya Kosha is related to our conscious physical deeps including
walking, talking, viewing and other such functions. These are the functions that
we perform using our physical body deliberately.

The Pranamaya Kosha deals with physical activities that we do in subconscious
state. Digestion, movement of the heart and lungs fall in this category. We
never do any deliberate efforts for these actions; still the body knows how to
perform them.

The Maniomaya Kosha deals with mind, emotions and thoughts. All our gross
thinking and emotions fall in this category.

Intellect is that faculty that decides what is good and what is bad. It is
the ability for rational thought or inference or discrimination. The Vigyanmaya
Kosha helps us to identify true from false. We can choose the correct path in
this "maya" filled world with the help of nourished Vigyanmaya Kosha.

Anandamaya Kosha or bliss is a pure state of happiness and joy which is
beyond any material pleasure. Samadhi or deep meditation gives such a joy.

The Anandamaya Kosha is the innermost sheath wrapped by other sheaths in

If you observe carefully you will realize that each sheath affects certain
part of our personality. Accordingly we can classify our personality as follows:

  • Conscious physical personality
  • Subconscious physical personality
  • Mental personality
  • Intellectual personality
  • Spiritual personality

How Yoga can nourish these personalities?

The conscious as well as subconscious physical personality can be greatly
improved by Yoga postures. Yoga postures stretch your body and induce
relaxation. They affect the vital force or Prana and cause it to flow in
specific parts of the body. They are excellent remedy for back aches, digestion
problems and heart problems. The modern life forces us to sit at a place without
much physical activities. Yoga postures can strengthen the joints and various
parts of the body.

The mental personality is greatly affected through Pranayama and
concentration. Our mind remains focused at our work and in home enabling us to
do the things with full dedication and interest. In naturally results in better
personal and professional gains.

Meditation enriches the intellectual personality. Your mind becomes calm and
clear. You can think with more care and affection for others. Maya can not
delude you any more. Your decisions prove to be correct.

Finally, the deep meditation or Samadhi brings you the ultimate bliss. The
joy that is impossible to achieve through worldly enjoyments. This is the final
aim for any Yogi.

In summary practicing Yoga regularly nourishes all these five personalities
and makes your life joyous, happy and healthy.

Yoga and Personality Development

Bipin Joshi is a .NET Trainer and consultant by profession and run his own consulting firm - BinaryIntellect Consulting. His serious journey with Yoga started in the year 1995 when he came across Hathayoga Pradipika. Inspite of his busy professional schedules he studied many texts on Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Upanishads and Bhagvat Gita. He runs a web site dedicated to Yoga, well-being and spirituality at [http://www.binaryintellect.info] When away from computers he spends time in deep meditation exploring the Divine.

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Yoga Posture Inversions and Stroke Risks

Inversions, such as headstand (Sirsasana) and shoulder stand (Sarvangasana), are often considered "royal" poses by Hatha Yoga practitioners. Some students and teachers consider inversions to be of the utmost importance in their personal Hatha Yoga practice.

While there are many benefits from inversions, students with pre-existing medical conditions, are put at risk unnecessarily. When we have no health problems, it is easy to put issues of risk and contraindications aside, but Yoga teachers and students should do their research.


In the case of students who have a history of strokes, within their family, or who have previously had a stroke, the approach to inversions should be "Extreme Caution." Below is a question and answer session regarding the safety measures, contraindications, and information that should be readily available for Yoga teachers and students alike.

Q: I have a new student who had a stroke in the past year. I keep hearing cautions and contraindications about "recent strokes." How recent, is recent? What should I know about helping her into wheel pose (Chakrasana), preparation for headstand, shoulder stand, or any other inversions?

A: About inversions for students who are at risk, with pre-existing medical conditions, such as strokes: I would not advise them, whether the stroke was recent, or not.

This person is at extreme risk when performing any posture where she is in a full inversion. There is also a fair amount of risk any time she puts her head below heart level, whether it is a forward fold or a back bend, such as wheel pose.

Here's why: Strokes can occur for a variety of reasons. Among these causes - Blood clots, broken off pieces of artery plaque, and other masses, are commonly related causes of strokes. Once there is a blockage of blood to the brain, you have a stroke, due to the lack of oxygen and nutrients getting to the brain.

Unfortunately, your student has a pre-existing medical condition. I wouldn't turn a student upside down, who was in any risk category related to an inverted posture. I know this sounds harsh, but I doubt your student has her "doctor's consent." You may want to insist on it. A "doctor's note" would be advisable.

This is for her protection, as well as yours. In her case, we are concerned with her health, safety, and well being. In your case - if she is injured, due to participating in your class, you have to live with it; and any resulting lawsuit could test the limits of your liability insurance.

For the record: Other contraindications, for inverted Yoga postures, include epilepsy, heart conditions, neck injuries, high blood pressure, glaucoma, and other eye problems. There is also significant debate about whether a student should pursue full inversions during menstruation and pregnancy. In all of these cases, the advice of a physician should be sought.

© Copyright 2009 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

Yoga Posture Inversions and Stroke Risks

Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, has written many books on the subject of Yoga. He is a co-owner and the Director of Yoga Teacher Training at: Aura Wellness Center, in Attleboro, MA. http://www.aurawellnesscenter.com He has been a certified Master Yoga Teacher since 1995. To receive Free Yoga videos, Podcasts, e-Books, reports, and articles about Yoga, please visit: http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org/member-offer.html

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Yoga Exercise

In these health conscious times where we are all too aware of the importance of keeping fit, taking excess weight off and making sure our bodies are strong and flexible Yoga is often a good option to achieve these things. Indeed there is little to beat it in terms of helping our bodies gain strength, keep a youthful bounce in the step and combat stress. Some of the more gentle forms of Yoga such as Restorative Yoga or Yin Yoga tend not to incorporate a cardio-vascular workout in the routines but many other styles of yoga give good workouts across the whole range of body fitness.

However there is another side to Yoga which may appeal to different people, or it may attract people who want to keep fit but in a more thoughtful way than doing 'just a workout.' Yoga was devised by philosophers and monks who wanted to experience the ultimate in self realisation. They would sit for hours in mediation and contemplation, seeking that moment of enlightenment as they connected with a Universal source of energy or Goodness. In order to prepare their bodies for such a demanding yet passive activity they found that by doing sequences of postures regularly they could get their bodies into wonderful condition to stay mobile and healthy whilst they meditated. They combined this with breathing practices which helped their lungs and heart - as well as helping them change their state of consciousness.


This background gives a rich history and depth to the practice of yoga and for people who would like to deepen their own self understanding and have greater awareness and more control over their unruly and often unhelpful thinking patterns yoga offers this too. This aspect of yoga is often left out of everyday classes where fitness is the goal, although remnant of it remain in some breathing exercises and the all-important final relaxation. Remember next time you do a yoga class that that time at the end where you let go of tension and feel the energy and relief in your body after it has worked through all those postures is really to help you know yourself better. There is definitely a lot more to Yoga than we first realise.

Ask your yoga teacher for more information and maybe he or she will start to add extra elements of yoga practice into your classes. Or maybe you want a great fitness routine now and don't want to use yoga's other dimensions - there is no right way to do it. Whatever suits you is the best way forward.

Yoga Exercise

Restorative Yoga Workshops and more information about how to use this form of self healing can be found on Restorative Yoga and Yin Yoga. The Fifty, Fit and Fabulous programme provides a step by step approach to wellbeing through holistic care and is outlined on these sites.

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Yoga Totes

When taking into consideration that most practitioners of the ancient arts of Buddhist Meditation, Yoga, and the more modern version, Pilates, are generally practiced within a particular room in the household, one would have to wonder what in the world the purpose would be for a Yoga tote. Surely, you are not going to pack your stuff up to take it from the living room to your meditation chamber?

Of course you are not, but there are still very good uses for a yoga tote. First, before we go too far into it, let us make absolutely clear that the Yoga Tote is not used for packing books, make-up, toys, diapers, or any other such object from point A to point B. If you want something for that, there are an abundance of really affordable diaper bags, duffle bags, and just plain bags out there. Packing foreign objects around in your yoga tote will inevitably leave you with a dirty tote. The reason that this matters is our first point.


Yoga mats are often expensive and must be handled with great care due to the importance of the mat to the Yoga practitioner. A Yoga mat is an integral part of the practitioner's daily ritual, and after awhile, an individual will become attached to this particular cushion. Every cushion has a different feel to it; so just buying another cushion is no remedy. No, the cushion must be cared for and kept safe. This is where the Yoga tote comes in. When the practitioner is finished with his meditation, he or she will take the mat and put it in the tote. It keeps it clean and safe. The necessity for the cleanliness comes in when you realize that the constant laundering of the mat will eventually wear it out.

As for the yoga practitioner only meditating in his or her chamber, this is also false. If you will look at any person's meditation chamber, you will find that it is decorated, even designed, to mimic a particular place that the owner feels at peace at. Nine times out of ten, this place will be somewhere outdoors. It could be at the beach or near a stream. Regardless, there is a place outside to match their peaceful refuge inside. Occasionally, the practitioner will want to meditate outdoors.

Therefore, we find that Yoga Tote is not just another lunch bag or hiking sack. On the contrary, it has a true purpose. If you are considering taking up meditation in any form, eventually you are going to need a Yoga Tote.

Yoga Totes

Yoga is a great way to strengthen your mind and body and get in shape as well as a great way to unwind after a long day. Whatever your yoga supplies [http://www.universalyoga.com/yoga.html] needs, we have the information and resources to point you in the right direction. We have yoga music, mats, clothes, pants, videos and journals as well as information on the different types, postures and the history of yoga. Yoga supplies, such as a mat and yoga attire [http://www.universalyoga.com/yogaclothes.html] are a good investment for those practicing yoga. Mediation cushions [http://www.universalyoga.com/meditation.html] comes in a wide variety of styles.

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