The seventh of the Eight Limbs is Dhyana. Meditation occurs when you are ready for it, and the previous six limbs have been a solid preparation.
Make all conditions favourable for meditation to take place. Many of my students use small, wooden meditation stools. Their legs (the stool legs!) are cut at a slant so that the lower back is held in the correct position. My favourite meditation position is to sit on the folded stool (you could use a block or small cushion), with a meditation shawl (you could use a pashmina) around my shoulders. That small lift under the buttocks ensures that the knees are lower than the hips. This stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps you concentrate. Always sit for meditation with the back straight. This enables the flow of energy from the root chakra to rise through the other wheels of energy to the crown chakra.
Having a meditation corner in your home is an enormous help. You can create a PUJA, a place of ceremony. Here you can place flowers (white roses are especially spiritual), candles, photos and crystals. I always have Ganesh close by. He is the elephant god who removes obstacles. My friend, Sarah, has recently created a beautiful meditation corner, and she religiously meditates at the same time each day. This is making all conditions favourable for meditation to occur.
Let’s talk about some meditation exercises and techniques tomorrow!