Modern way of life produces a permanent stimulation of our senses and mind which exhausts our nervous system and weaken our capacity to concentrate and assimilate information. Moreover, a huge amount of energy is wasted for nothing when the mind is constantly agitated and under pressure. Yoga proposes various techniques to learn how to calm down and focus the mind. When the mind is calm and disciplined, his immense potential can then be utilized on demand and consciously. Several recent scientific studies have clearly demonstrated the benefits of concentration and meditation exercises for the brain and how these techniques can be useful and efficient to better mange stress.



Concentration consists in focusing the mind on one single object, disregarding any other perception. Objects of concentration vary a lot but they can be separated in two main kinds: they can be of a concrete nature (breath, sensation, mantra, image…) or of an abstract nature (concept, quality, emptiness…) Focusing the mind requires discipline and regularity in the practice. Postures and breathing exercises are very helpful in that sense because the mind is gradually trained to focus on the breath and on the body sensations. Therefore, when the practitioner tries to meditate for the first time, it is much easier than if he had done nothing at all before. The physical aspect of yoga, on top of its numerous benefits on health, is then an excellent preparation to the work on the mind, which otherwise can be quite difficult to approach if the body and mind have not been prepared.



Meditation is the logical step after concentration. Once the practitioner is able to calm down and empty the mind, he can then open his consciousness to a reality that exists beyond the limits of his own mind. We can distinguish two main types of meditation:

  • Active meditation, where one “does” something with his mind, like for instance concentrating in chakra or certain areas in the body, repeating a mantra, visualizing a symbol…
  • Contemplative meditation, where the practitioner opens his heart and his consciousness upwards and let grace fall upon him. This kind of meditation is a bit like praying but in silence.

Both types are equally important. Active meditation allows to develop and control our mental capacities whereas contemplative meditation provides the necessary lightness and grace to progress with a smile…


I can't sit with my legs crossed.

If sitting crossed legs is too uncomfortable, it is fine to sit on a chair or a meditation bench. The most important factor is to keep the back straight, to allow nerve impulses to freely circulate along the spine. A regular asana practice is a great help in that area because it progressively prepares the body (and the mind) to sit comfortably.

I keep on thinking when I meditate. What can I do?

The nature of the mind is motion. It is therefore absolutely normal to think when we begin to meditate. The intention is not to abruptly stop the activity of the mind. It would be like trying to stop a galloping horse in full speed. The idea is to gradually diminish the amount and strength of our thoughts, just like the rider inviting his horse to progressively slow down until it finally walks. The process is identical with meditation. By directing our attention towards a single object of concentration, such as the breath, a sensation, a sound, an image... senses are calming down and the brain naturally slows down its cognitive activity and reduces brain waves' frequency and intensity. It is essential to abstain from trying to control the mind only with cold will power. Even if it is sometimes a little confused and stubborn, it should be treated like a good friend, who just needs to be approached with patience, understanding and a soft perseverance.

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Introduction à la méditation


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