One of the hardest parts of my yoga practice is meditation. I'm a thinker, a planner, a doer - are you? Nearly 20 years ago when I started yoga, it was all physical, and then I learned that the power of quieting the mind is really where it's at. That's the real yoga superpower.
When I started to meditate years ago, in a second, my mind would race - or I would fall asleep. Plus, I would never think I was doing it right, and then I would start to think about everything else. Sound familiar? Over time, I learned that yoga citta vrtti nirodha, or reducing the whirlings of the mind, can happen a little bit at a time.
Start with one moment where the whirlings are quiet - maybe it's just one breath. Breathe in, breathe out. Then try it for two breaths. If you stick with the practice (and that's the key), you'll continue to build one meditative breath on top of the next for a practice that allows you to calm your mind when you want. It's like any skill or activity. Want to improve?
For me, a physical cue to come into my meditation works wonders. I use Total Brain Power (hakini mudra) from my book, Happy-Go-Yoga, then I try to stay there. Total Brain Power can spark mental energies, bring a dancing mind into one focal point, and give you clarity in a moment.
How to do Total Brain Power:
Sitting upright and comfortably, join your fingertips and thumbprints while keeping lots of space between your hands.
Touch your thumbs to your forehead, just slightly above the center of your brows.
Close your eyes, and imagine a midnight-blue sky that is clear, except for a few bright stars.
Inhale and exhale, deeply and evenly.
I went into more detail in an article for Vie Meditation, How to Stop Your Mind from Wandering When You Want it To. You can always check out more yoga hacks in Happy-Go-Yoga, available on Amazon.