Meditation, the seventh limb in Ashtanga yoga, is the practice of increasing focus until it lengthens into deep concentration. The fluctuation of thoughts are stopped, the mind relaxes, and clarity and deep self awareness ensue. With practice meditation is possible for anyone.
Apart from sitting in meditation, the practice of Ashtanga yoga becomes a moving meditation. The practice of breath, bandhas and drishti keep the mind still. As focus develops in the performance of postures you reach the stage called tristhana.. In the beginning of your practice, it will be difficult to coordinate everything as the same time. But by the end of your eight-
week beginners course, you will be surprised how much you have put everything together. The longer you practice, the deeper and lighter, stronger and flexible you feel, as you grow into your practice of yoga.
Try not to compare yourself to others, no matter how advanced, strong and flexible they are. The main purpose is to be present with your own self and let the breath and posture build upon each other, reflecting yourself back to yourself. Let go of your expectations and just experience and feel the energy coursing through your body. As Pattabhi Jois, the father of Ashtanga in the
United States, says “Do your practice and all is coming!” There is no competition, success or failure; just be here now.