Monday, January 23, 2012

Seated Meditation


Seated Meditation

In the video below, I demonstrate three topics: Siddhasana (Accomplished Posed), Anjali Mudra, & Ujjayi Breath.

Siddhasana is a seated posed used for mediation. It is slightly different that a cross legged pose in that you either stack your feet atop each other and slightly tuck the top foot in, or the two feet are lined up at the mid-line and laying flat next to each other at the perineum. This pose stretches the knees and ankles and strengthens the upper back. Use it to relieve stress. If you have a knee injury the deep bend in the knee will compress the joint, further causing irriation. Try folding strap a few times and tucking the strap behind the bend of the knee before getting seated. It opens the knee space just enough to help with the discomfort. If you find your knees won't open to the point that they are in line or below your hips, sit on a folded towel or blanket. 

Anjali Mudra is the second topic demonstrated in the video. Spreading the fingers wide, and keeping the upper arm bone in line with the sides, meat the hands at the chest so that the thumbs gently rest on the heart. Keep the palms softly domed. This hand gesture focused at the heart serves a reminder of the center of your being and where an opening will occur. This opening will allow the person meditating to accept all parts of the self with softness. The benefits of Anjali Mudra is that it relieves stress, calms the mind, and increases flexibility in the wrists and hands. 

The third item shown on the video is Ujjayi breath. Drawing the crease of the neck softly back and up toward the skull, take a deep breath. Begin the breath with first filling the tummy, then the lungs, then the collar bone area with clean, purifying air. Blow out the air in the reverse action: dropping the collar bones, resting the lungs, and then the belly. Each inhale force and duration, mirrors that of the exhale. Now constrict the back of the throat in such a gentle manner that the sound begins to mimic ocean waves balancing inward and outward on the sandy shores of an ocean. 

In this pose, using this hand gesture, and employing this breathing technique, a person can concentrate upon an aspiration or intention toward their highest good or one can simply focus on the breath to clear the mind of all thoughts. The first will help a person acknowledge their intentions (ichha) and the latter will allow a person to be free from the business of the mind. 

So, try it out. Wait not, until the day is still, for most days never cease in their busyness. Just take a seat and practice this stillness. If something interrupts you, remember that our days are filled with interruption and the practice of keeping this balanced relaxation while the busyness of life continues is the whole purpose. 

Namaste.

video

Friday, January 20, 2012

Beginnings

Beginning a Journey 

I recently began the journey of becoming an instructor of yoga. This not only lends towards the idea that I will someday lead a group of yogis in asanas, but also that I will be an instrument of the Buddhi Mind. 

The Buddhi Mind refers to spiritual intelligence or the will of the mind to know what it dharmic (divinely natural & moral). Yoga is more than just physical poses that result in a beautifully sculpted body. It is a way to connect with what is divinely natural with the mind as well. 

When I stepped into a small yoga studio in Bellingham, Washington, I felt the pressing intention of this mind upon my skin. Warmly painted walls hugged tightly an old wooden-planked floor and they were well-lit by three white-paned glass windows which looked out upon a ragged red-brick wall, a blacked roof, and pure-blue sky. It was a perfect mixture of reality and consciousness and I knew right away I was in the right place.

Among a group of warm-faced yogis, I spent eight hours practicing asanas, meditating on higher intentions, and discussing topics focused on the Universal Principals of Alignment (a topic best discussed at a later date).

I left sore but filled with a vibration of light that was unique and welcome. Again, a perfect balance of reality and consciousness.  

This week, as I prepare to meet with my Kula (yogi community), I have studied Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, the Bagavad Gita, and other ancient Vedic texts. I have practiced breathing techniques, asanas, and pronouncing sanskrit words more correctly. I am keeping a journal, videotaping myself in practice, and publishing my work on venues such as YouTube and Pinterest. 

During my training,  I intend to tell you what I know and show you what I am learning. This will become a space for me to gather my knowledge, reflect upon it, and ultimately create knowledge for my mind...a blooming buddhi mind.