Improved Mental Abilities: Increased intelligence, increased creativity, improved learning ability, improved memory, improved reaction time, higher levels of moral reasoning, improved academic achievement, greater orderliness of brain functioning, increased self-actualization.
Improved Health: Reduced stress and anxiety, reduced hospitalization, reduced incidence of disease, reduced health-care costs, reduced use of alcohol and drugs, improved cardiovascular health, reduced physical complaints, increased longevity.
Improved Social Behaviour: Improved self-confidence, reduced anxiety, improved family life, improved relationships at home and at work, increased tolerance, improved job performance, increased job satisfaction.
Postures to be adopted during Meditation
1. Padmasana: This is probably the most well-known pose routinely used by Buddha and is a very popular meditation pose. It may take time for the ligaments to become extended so that the Lotus Pose is comfortable. If one cannot master the Lotus Pose, any of the other seated poses will do quite well for meditation. Start slowly and gain proficiency over time. This is one of the basic yoga postures.
a. Keep the right foot on the left thigh
b. Start bouncing the right knee. If the bouncing knee easily touches the floor, then bend the left knee, take hold of the left foot with both hands, gently glide it over the crossed right leg and place it on the right thigh.
c. This will give symmetrical placement of the legs and you are in the lotus position.
d. The hands should be kept on the knees with palms open, and the thumb and second finger of each hand should touch, forming a letter O.
• This is an extremely good pose for meditation and concentration.
• It has a calming effect on the mind and the nerves.
• This pose keeps the spine erect.
• Helps to develop a good posture
• Helps to keep the joints in flexible condition.
2. Vajrasana: This is the only asana, which, if practiced immediately after meals, stimulates digestion. This is a very simple posture and one can hold this posture with ease for a longer time. An aspirant practicing this asana achieves a firm and strong posture. It is easy to remain motionless in this posture, hence it is named as Vajrasana.
Bend the legs at the knees. Place the heels at the sides of the anus in such a way that the thighs rest on the legs and the buttocks rest on the heels. Support the whole body on the knees and the ankles. Breathe normally while performing this asana. The knees and the ankles will perhaps ache in the beginning but this ache or pain will disappear by itself. Stretch the arms and place the hands on the knees. Keep the knees close by. Sit erect keeping the trunk, the neck and the head in a straight line.
• This asana helps in digestion and eliminates gas trouble.
• The constant and systematic practice of this asana alleviates the pain of the knees, the legs, the feet, and the thighs.
• Vajrasana energizes Kandasthana situated about thirty cms away from the anus. This Kandasthana is considered to be the center of 72,000 nadis (tubular channels).
• The regular practice of this asana increases the secretion from the glands. It also increases the white blood corpuscles produced in the spleen, the tonsils, and the marrow, and in other parts of the body. This is beneficial to health.
• One who practices this asana regularly does not suffer from fever, constipation, indigestion, and other minor or major ailments.
Importance of Asanas and Pranayama:
Patanjali suggests that the asana and the pranayama practices will bring about the desired state of health; the control of breath and the bodily posture will harmonize the flow of energy in the organism, thus creating a fertile field for the evolution of the spirit.