Migrate Home with Meditation

birds-216827__340“…No matter how far the wild gander flies, at some point it remembers, and migrates back to its home, always at the proper season. In the same way, we as spiritual beings following a spiritual principle must, like the wild gander, remember, and migrate back to our spiritual home…” – Goswami Kriyananda

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.

Today I am introducing what may be the most effective concentration/meditation technique that I have encountered in my training and practice. It frequently helps to remove the attachments and fluctuations from my mind so that I can focus on my breath and generate positive energy.

What is it? Continue reading “Migrate Home with Meditation”

Support A Steady Yoga Practice: Hold Your Ground

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“Just being low down in a room tends to clear the mind. Maybe it’s because being on the floor is so foreign to us that it breaks up our habitual neurological patterning and invites us to enter into this moment through a sudden opening in what we might call the body door.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

This week, we will begin to explore the individual poses of yoga or the asanas. This is the 3rd limb of the yogic system. Although it is self-evident that a steady yoga practice will involve the postures themselves, in the vast scope of yoga the asanas have a specific role to play. The intention of asana is to bring attunement (or greater awareness) to our instinctual responses. For that reason, many of the poses derive from animals who, by nature, are strongly instinctive.

The other main purpose of the asana limb is to balance the energy or prana within our bodies. Continue reading “Support A Steady Yoga Practice: Hold Your Ground”

Prana: Here, There and Everywhere

It may sound like I am obsessed with the Beatles (especially after my “Here Comes the Sun” class last week), but the flow of prana is here, there and everywhere, what can I say? It extends on and on across the universe.

For Wednesday’s Words, I unearthed this quote which I had rewritten in one of my journals. I cannot seem to find it’s original anywhere though. Hopefully, I have done Rudi justice and recorded it correctly.

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Feel the life force flowing from you and drawing into you from the atmosphere: from the rain, from the air around you and the sky above you and the stars and the moon and the sun, and everything that exists that represents energy.

-Rudi

 

Control Your Life Force

This sounds like a pretty intense request, doesn’t it?  Control your life force. What exactly does that mean?

In yoga, we define life force as Prana.

It is simply the energy that flows through us. Although it is not physiologically documented, prana is known to be carried into and out of the body through the breath.

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Pranayama is the control of the life force.

You may remember the term pranayama from this week’s YOLY Challenge.  We can control our life force or prana when we manipulate the breath and direct it in some manner.

As the fourth limb of the yogic system, pranayama is made up of a range of techniques that begin with simple awareness and continue with more intensive control approaches. Although pranayama is an integral part of the postures, it is not generally taught until a student is comfortable resting with their breath in either a supine or seated position.

Why should we practice pranayama?

It is an essential aspect of yoga that takes into account the body as well as the mind.

As we learn to deepen and slow down our breathing habits, our lung capacity extends, oxygen levels increase and all systems benefit.

Breathing practices also give your mind focus – you virtually tune in when you pay attention to your breath.  This can occur whether you are in a resting pose or actively performing the asanas. As many teachers will tell you, “if it is not with the breath, it is not yoga.”

Through this blog, I hope to share many of the various pranayama methods with you. While some are relaxing and clarifying, others can be energizing, stimulating, or even mind blowing.

I told you this would be intense. Proceed with caution.