Introducing Meditation to Beginners [A Yoga Therapist’s How and Why]

In this 5 minute segment taken from a Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy class, Brandt shares a few thoughts on how (and why) a Yoga Therapist might introduce meditation to a client. There are so many possibilities, right?

Video Transcript

And actually, talking about Meditation, we have um, I don’t know how far you are in the course but we have different techniques matched to different doshic imbalances. So picking your technique becomes really important. So, it’s not really like a one size fits all kind of thing, so I try to do that, that’s in the course but I try to match a technique.

The other thing that sometimes I do, if it’s just like a general getting someone to meditate who wants to meditate is try out the different techniques and, I do this in a lot of workshops and things I teach too where I do a bunch of different things and then give people queues on, to let them know which one would be better for them.

So, many, many people will have a huge affinity to one technique over another. And you know the body based techniques, the mindfulness based techniques vs like thought techniques vs like japa. Do you know, they’re very different. In fact they have almost, in a way, in a meditation world, they almost have nothing to do with each other, right? Breathing in down to your pelvic floor is very different than saying Om Nama Shivaya you know 108 times. They’re very, they’re not the same. So people come for meditation but then you’re sort of figuring out well what is it that they’re going for. So there’s that.

And the third thing I would say is that this concept that the Buddhist have of tranquility states have you heard those..? Is that something you’ve heard of?

I guess I would just equate it to kind of dropping into the blissful body, sort of thing…?

Yeah, like that first thing that happens if you’re a meditator like after somewhere between 8 and 20 minutes, you enter this state which the Buddhists call the tranquility state which in neuroscience is actually a different brain wave state. And for most, not all, but for most sort of general meditators, for what they’re going for, that’s what they’re looking for. And so…

I know my teacher always would say that you know, of course meditate you know if you’ve got 5 or 10 minutes, you know, try but you know she would always encourage you to try to carve out like a full hour which I don’t know, my busy life, it’s been really really challenging…

Well so this is what I was going to say, it depends why you’re doing it though. So most, almost all meditation traditions are based on you becoming enlightened so most people don’t want to be enlightened. So already you’ve got this weird rub, like that’s not why they’re doing it. They’re like, you know I have a lot of stress right, or I feel like I can’t focus or whatever some sort of thing like that. So or I want to find a little more, you know, peace in my life, a little more space from my thoughts, like these are why most beginners meditate, right. Not all, but most.

So I often will explain like ok there’s this tranquility state and part of what you’re trying to do is to teach your brain that this is possible and that this is going to be from now on a regular activity – this tranquility state. And so, once you match a technique you get them into the technique and ask them to sit long enough where that would be possible which would 10 minutes is sort of practice and then I’d say somewhere more like 20 is pretty solid because with practice you can get into that tranquility state somewhere between 8 and 15 minutes. Which means you’ll be in it for 5 minutes. And that causes a lot of changes in people’s neuroplasticity I think. So often if you explain that to people it’s like the bar isn’t so high. You know what I mean? You’re like, if that’s what you’re going for, you might not get it every time. Here’s the technique, you know we’re going to try. Let me know if you sort of feel this lightness in your body or like you’ve dropped in or like you can breathe again or however they describe it.

And if you’re getting there, that’s enough unless it isn’t. And I know that sounds weird because it’s sort of goal-oriented, but not everybody’s trying to, you know, change themselves that much. And then often from there comes the sort of thirst for more.

Learn more about our Online Meditation Program including the process, the community, and the benefits.

Info Session

Brandt talks about common questions applicants have about the Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy Program. Tune in to get the full program details.