YOLY Challenge #32: Breathing in the Moment

When I began exploring a meditation practice some years ago, I found it difficult to remain present at first.  Who hasn’t?  Luckily there are a myriad of techniques available for generating awareness. And, through trial and error, it’s possible to discover a method that speaks to you. In the end, a meditation practice should give you energy, enthusiasm, peace and joy.

That’s what the Hong Sau Kriya technique has given me.  Hopefully you will attune to it as well. Here is the process and some tips:

What is it?

Hong Sau Kriya is a form of meditative breathing.  The practice is simple – you mentally chant Hong as you inhale and Sau as you exhale. When the breath is still, the chanting stops. As your breath elongates, so does the word.

The word Hong is pronounced like “hong kong” & Sau like the word “saw”. Its meaning is simple and profound: Hong= I am  Sau=spirit.

Kriya means action or movement.

How Should I Practice?

Although Hong Sau Kriya can be practiced anywhere and at anytime, it may be best to set up a regular schedule to get the most of its regenerative benefits. So, a quiet place in an upright seated position with no distractions is ideal.  If you already have a meditation practice, then place this technique at the end of your session so that once the mantra fades, you can sit quietly and enjoy the stillness.

Your Challenge this Week:

Try to practice the Hong-Sau Kriya technique for a few minutes daily. Keep it a passive process by allowing the breath to breathe you. The less effort you put into it, the more you will enjoy it. The more you enjoy it, the more it will become a habit you look forward to doing.

The most important quality of a practice such as Hong-Sau is its effectiveness.  Not the technique itself but the outcome. When you approach it with positiveness and joy, it will bring you serenity.

For your reference, here is a lovely story written by Goswami Kriyananda that explains the essence of Hong-Sau in greater detail: 

“In Sanskrit, the word Hamsa (Hong-Sau) means wild gander, and has great symbolic significance. No matter how far the wild gander flies, at some point it remembers, and migrates back to its home, always at the proper season. birds-216827__340In the same way, we as spiritual beings following a spiritual principle must, like the wild gander, remember, and migrate back to our spiritual home. The spiritual home is the inward state of Samadhi. The Hong-Sau Kriya meditation is a key technique whereby you return to the spiritual home.”

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Friday Focus: Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra or “yogic sleep” is an ancient yoga practice that can be described as a combination of meditation and mind-body therapy. It is actually defined as the state between sleeping and waking. A true session can take more than one hour. The intention is to bring about a reduction in stress and better sleep.

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It is also psychologically cleansing and can evoke a deep sense of joy and contentment. In the words of Richard Miller, “it awakens a seventh sense that allows us to feel no separation, only wholeness, tranquility, and well-being.”

The audio practice that I have included for this Friday Focus is a modified yoga nidra or deep savasana – similar to what we experienced in class this week. It allows you to look at your body, part by part, as you descend into a state of total relaxation.  The particular recording that I have created takes approximately 20 minutes. To produce the track, I have relied on my faint expertise with the Apple App Garage Band.  Hopefully, it comes across as I intended, a soothing method by which to release into the present moment.

Namaste friends.

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