|Posted by Jamie Sparks on January 16, 2012 at 7:30 AM|
My view as I meditated on the beach one evening in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. Notice the sun and the moon.
I promised my yoga students I would send suggestions on various meditiations, during this period of time when I will be temporarily offering Monday's classat a later time. Rather than creating a habit of arriving there at this later time, the habit to continue to arrive at the normal arrival time (or creating that habit of arriving at that time) seems way more beneficial. Most of us thrive out of certain aspects of routine. I think this is especially true in our spiritual, healing and personal practices. So yogis, continue coming to class at 7 and take that time to center, breath, ground and connect more deeply with yourself. If you have a meditiation you are working with, feel free to continue working with it. Again, our bodies and minds thrive off of consistency and routine. Especially when we are acquainting ourselves with something new. If you don't have a meditation practice, here is the most basic of meditations to begin to work with. Why meditate? In yoga, one belief is that meditation helps to clear the thoughts and to help us stop identifying ourselves as our thoughts. When we stop identifying with these fluctuations of the mind, we can then identify with the true self, with Yoga! In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali says:
Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations or whirlings of the mind.
Here are some basic guidelines for meditation. Meditation doesn't have to be complicated or happen for extended periods of time. If you are new to meditiaton, a practice of 5 minutes a day is just fine. Allow yourself to work up to 15 minutes a day. For those of you exploring this during the first 15 minutes that would normally be yoga class, see if you can sit for that entire time.
Take a comfortable seat that you are able to maintain for the duration of your meditation. Indian style, lotus variation, supported virasana (kneeling while sitting on a blanket,the inside edge of the feet resting against the thighs and the bottoms of the feet resting on the mat). In all variations of seated positions feel free to sit on a blanket, block or bolster to elevate the hips and support an elongated spine perpendicular to the earth. Let your hands also rest in a position you can comforatably hold. Hands can rest palm up or down on the knees or in your lap.
Now, be still. Allow your body to experience stillness. Let go of creating reasons to move and allow your body to find stillness. Bring your awareness to your breath. Feel the breath at the tip of your nose, on your upper lip and in the rise and fall of the abdomen. Don't follow the breath moving through the body, just watch it at these basic points. Let go of controlling or elongating the breath. Watch the body take on its natural breath, watching it go in and watching it go out. Breathing in, breathing out. Let it go in, let it go out.
Let your thoughts move like the breath. Don't hold the breath and don't hold the thoughts. Let a thought come in, let a thought go out. Letting the thoughts pass through you like the breath. Letting go of holding a thought to where you start thinking about it. Don't think about breathing or actively breath. Let your body be the breath and let your body do the breathing, while you observe. Don't think. Let the thoughts pass through the mind like your breath is passing through the body. Observing, watching. Be the passive witness.
When you feel complete, lower your eyes as you gently open them. Slowly begin to take in your surroundings, noticing the color and textures.