When people think of yoga, they think about asana (physical postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques). If meditation is directly associated with yoga, it might be a repetition of a mantra, or some short guided visualization, or deep relaxation. Serious meditation is associated with Buddhist practices, not “yoga.” This is a serious misconception.
Mindfulness is another way of saying “pay attention,” which is another way of saying dhyana, which is translated as meditation. There is no “yoga” without this objective, witnessing awareness (sakshi) that pays attention to everything. Just as Buddhist meditations are numerous—mindfulness-based meditations, numerous insight meditations, anapana meditation, tantric meditations, and Zen—so are yoga meditations. Yoga Nidras are now in vogue. But there is so much more. Meditations from the Tantras (see the complete, comprehensive review on www.mahasriyoga.com) by Swami Satyananda (he brought us Yoga Nidra) gives the reader the world of yoga meditation that is simply not found anywhere else. This book will completely change a reader’s perspective on yoga meditation.
In this book, Swami Satyananda gives transcripts of live classes he taught. Along with Yoga Nidra, there are the following meditations: japa yoga, mantra siddhi yoga, ajapa japa, antar mouna, inner visualization, chidakasha dharana, trataka and antar trataka, nada yoga, abstract meditations, prana vidya, and kundalini kriyas! So yoga has step-by-step meditations along with step-by-step asanas and pranayamas.
The best source of yoga meditation is probably the Bihar School of Yoga. It is a well-kept secret, though it does not have to be. Read Meditations from the Tantras and you will discover the practical wisdom of yoga meditations, given in all the details you could possibly need. These are transformational meditations with enormous potential for learning, creativity, and innovation. There is no other book like Meditations from the Tantras for anyone who wants to learn yoga meditation.