September 2022: Upper 4 Limbs of Yoga – Dharana (Intense Focus): Guided Meditations & Meditative Practices

Good Morning Yogis! We are ending a September Asana-focused month of practices, and moving on to a month focused on meditation for October. We typically spend more time practicing the lower limbs, but during meditation months we will take couple days to cover each of the four upper limbs, rather than combining into one. We covered Pratyahara or withdrawal of the sense yesterday. As we have discussed, the upper limbs build upon all four of the lower limbs, and then sequentially upon each other. These practices are all meditation focused and therefore must truly be attained on your own. Today we will revisit Dharana, and then try a Dharana Guided Meditation or other Meditative Practice.

close-up bright green spiky succulents in dark pot - upper limbs of yoga dharana meditation intense focus Quote: Concentration can be cultivated. One can learn to exercise will power, discipline one’s body and train one’s mind. - Anil Ambani
Concentration can be cultivated. One can learn to exercise will power, discipline one’s body and train one’s mind. – Anil Ambani

Bonus Daily Asana Challenge

We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For our more meditative day today, I recommend a gentle morning Hatha class, perhaps before trying out this new technique!

Nearly all meditation practices you think of are types of Dharana.

Dharana is the 6th Limb of Yoga, and is usually translated as concentration. This comes from the Sanskrit root “dhri” meaning to hold, carry, or maintain. I prefer to think of Dharana as intense focus, a bit stronger than “concentration”. This is typically the second step for meditation – after letting the outside world slip away, we then direct our focus inward. Please see our deep dive of Dharana for more. Most of the meditative practices we think of are therefore Dharana practices – see our full list!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try a Dharana-focused Meditation Practice. Perhaps try our breath-focused meditation again to prepare for tomorrow’s next level of meditation. Perhaps focus on your breath or body in Shavasana / Corpse Pose after an Asana practice, another meditative practice from our list, try a guided meditation below, or any other method of your own.. whatever feels right to you. We will cover mandalas and flame gazing later!

Dharana or Intense Focus Meditative Practices

Remember this is a practice, and a difficult one.. so be patient with yourself on this journey!

Morning Motivational Meditation (10 minutes)

Evening Sleep/Relaxation Meditation (50 minutes)

Full Night Sleep Meditation (8 hours)

Grounding Meditation (9 minutes)

Body Scanning Guided Meditation (15 minutes)

Loving Kindness Guided Meditation (15 minutes)

Self-Reflective Guided Meditation (15 minutes)

Positive Affirmation Guided Meditation (12 minutes)

Celestial Visualization Guided Meditation (7 minutes)

Manifest Meditations (Power of Attraction) (10 minutes) 

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Check out our Top 5 Yoga Mats and Equipment for Newbies!

You may want to try a block, couch pillow, blanket, or bolster in order to help yourself find a comfortable seat for meditation.

Top 5 Yoga Equipment for Newbies

Top 5 Yoga Mats

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Please comment and let me know which you tried, and what you thought of this Dharana exercise! If you have another favorite, then please share the link! Always remember, be kind!