The 12 Days of Yoga

Day 8 - Steady Gaze, Still Mind

The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.
— James Allen

... and meditation is a tool for calming the mind. Many people who are new to meditation (and even some who aren't) think they're not good at it because their mind wanders. But that's the most important part of the practice—recognising that the mind has wandered and re-focusing.

Today's session is the meditation practice of trataka or 'steady gazing'. This is a seated meditation and you'll need an object on which you can focus. My favourite object? A candle flame. However, I've also used flowers (particularly gerberas), sea shells, crystals, or for something different, a geometric design.

Caution: See the Poses, Modifications, and Alternative Poses document, if you are new to yoga or have the following conditions:
  • Back problems
  • Knee or hip problems, or both

Don't use a candle flame if you are epileptic or have any problems with strobing, flickering or very bright lights.

The session

Transcript (PDF 0.65MB)
Audio file (MP3 6.8MB)

Recommended Poses

  • Seated in a chair
  • Kneeling
  • Cross-legged seated pose

Poses, Modifications, and Alternative Poses (PDF 0.6 MB)

Download session

The following compressed file contains all the files related to Day 8.

Day 8 - Steady Gaze, Still Mind files (ZIP 7.7MB)