Dharana                         

     Patanjali spoke of dharana as binding of the mind to one object.  This is the first stage of meditation whereby the mind is trained to focus on one object without wavering. At this stage you are still aware yourself as you try to keep your focus on an object, a mantra or your breath. I have found three different things that work for me in the beginning of my meditation practice. These are candle concentration, sunset concentration and breath concentration. In yin yoga I start with the breath and then move my focus to the target area I am stressing. Find what works best for you. The key with dharana is to keep catching yourself when your mind wanders and bring it back to the object you are focusing on. Start with 10 minutes a day and work up to 20 minutes. You will then be ready for the next step of dhyana.

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