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With the advent of warm weather and the ability to really enjoy the outdoors, do you find yourself struggling to choose between meditating or going out and getting fresh air and exercise? While sedentary meditation is invaluable and should be a core part of your yoga practice, you can always add in some moving meditation as well. One of your meditations this month is intended for use while walking, as is your energy tool.
When we walk, we are often ‘lost in thought.’ We allow our brain to go on autopilot, orchestrating the movement of our body, as we allow our thoughts to simply roam free, maybe trying to work through a problem, rehash a work situation or think ahead to an anticipated, or dreaded, event. Sometimes this is a great way to let your body move while using your mental capabilities to think through current challenges. Often, however, just a like a computer, we need to stop all processes and simply reboot our system. We need to internally rest in a place where the mind becomes still and our higher Self can arise. Remember the saying from many of our meditations: “All that can never be done by our doing can happen only in the no-doing state of being.” As with all meditation, our goal is to step back from the thinking mind to the place of the witness, a place where we can restore, integrate and gain new perspectives and insights.
Moving meditation uses some of the same techniques as yoga nidra meditation to allow you to methodically slow the mind, providing just enough for your mind to do to enable it to become quiet. It enables you to experience your movement and your environment in a very deliberate and mindful way, teaching you to notice what otherwise might fade into the backdrop. It keeps you in the present moment and, on busy days, it enables you to marry movement and meditation into a single block of time.
This month, set an intention to do the following:
Take 3-5 minutes each morning to sit, breathe and move before you start the day. Sit on the floor or your mat with your eyes closed.
- First, simply notice your breath. Let yourself settle into your breath, becoming absorbed in the sound and movement.
- Next, while still seated and with your eyes closed, move in whatever way feels good, slowly and deliberately. Consider bending forward and backward, stretching to each side and then gently twisting in each direction. Feel your muscles, the space around you and your breath.
- Third, sit completely still and allow your ears to see how many different sounds they can hear. Don’t analyze or judge any sounds, just listen.
- Finally, slowly open your eyes. Notice at least 3 things you hadn’t been aware of prior to starting this practice.
Walk while listening to your short yoga nidra recording every other day
Listen to one of your traditional yoga nidra recordings once a week
You will likely be doing other wonderful yoga related work – going to studio classes, doing the asana practices provided at home, reading the blog posts – but let the list above be your minimum baseline.
Walk and enjoy your June Walking Meditation. Wear a single ear bud so that you can also hear sounds around you. Continue walking even after the meditation has ended. Enjoy!
If you are going to a remote area and want to download the .wav file, you can grab it from dropbox (right click it and do a “save as”, copy it, make it available offline, export it, etc.): https://www.dropbox.com/s/qo9goldy75bt088/Walking%20Meditation%20Audio.wav?dl=0
This 27:30 minute recorded yoga nidra is a fairly traditional meditation focused on restoring the body. Get comfy and enjoy!!
You will be prompted to hold your breath during this meditation. If you, for any medical reason, should not hold your breath or create undue pressure within your head, breathe normally during these sections.
Reminder: Any poses or breath techniques I cue in an asana practice are merely suggestions. Your body and your doctor know more than I do, so only do what makes sense and is recommended for you.
Your first asana practice warms up the body with a combination of hatha and yin poses. This practice is 15 minutes long and is intended to ready the body for yoga nidra meditation. Also – if you pay attention during the video, you will find a definite oops :). I decided to leave it in, so feel free to mock me if you catch it.
Props: Mat & an optional block. Have a blanket, bolster and eye pillow ready if you will be meditating after the practice.
Your second asana practice has more movement than the first, incorporating a bit of vinyasa. It’s a good pick when you need to get the blood moving.
Props: Mat & an optional block. Have a blanket, bolster and eye pillow ready if you will be meditating after your practice.
Your third asana practice is all supine poses, moving more towards the restorative side. It’s a good pick when you want to wind down. Note – when you do the twists at the end, if your knees are floating above the floor, set your block or a blanket under them so you are grounded and comfortable.
Props: Mat & a block. Have a blanket, bolster and eye pillow ready if you will be meditating after your practice.
The ability to see auras, or the energy emitted by a person, plant, etc., is something that many believe we all possess, but have simply lost due to disuse. Those in tune with auras can ‘see’ them in different ways and to varying degrees. My lovely friend Dana can feel auras at a deep level, able to interrupt them and translate them to both a visual image and an underlying personal meaning. Others note that they can see colored bands around a person, each band and its color associated to a chakra. The size and color of the bands provide insight regarding the health and state of each chakra. I personally can see a general uncolored energy band emanating for people and objects, its width varying depending on their energy level.
One way to hone your ability to start to see auras is to practice on trees. They emit lovely energy and have a nice clean backdrop: the sky. While outside, maybe after you have completed your moving meditation but are still walking, find a tall tree behind which is the sky. Look towards the top of the tree and the tips of the branches. Allow your vision to blur a bit, just generally viewing the outline of the tree. Stop any thinking and doing and just let yourself exist in the moment. See if you can start to see a band of colorless or colored energy radiating out from the edges of the tree. It can take time and multiple attempts, so don’t become discouraged. Report back!