I’ve meditated throughout one of the best of instances and the worst of instances. I meditated once I knew my coronary heart would break over an ill-fated love affair. I meditated when, in a single yr, I mourned the dying of three yoga college students. I meditated when chain saws buzzed within the building website subsequent door. But, now, once I want the main focus, grounding, and calm that yoga meditation brings, I can’t sit nonetheless to meditate as a result of I sit all day to show Zoom yoga.
Earlier than the quarantine, I raced to 5 totally different areas and taught six totally different lessons a day. All the things modified with COVID 19. In a single week, the studio closed. The following week, I started instructing yoga from Zoom on-line. Now, I sit for hours in my dwelling and I train digital yoga to college students in several elements of the nation in three totally different time zones. If you’re trying to do yoga in your house begin right here with “Energize Your Day with a Quick Yoga Sequence” video.
My sitting yoga meditation observe started to unravel. My quarantined mind festered with chaotic ideas. After the quarantine ends, what’s going to occur to the free cookie samples at Entire Meals? What’s going to CPR appear to be if somebody wants assist in a yoga class? What’s going to occur to hugs? Earlier than I started a downward spiral, my festering mind compelled me to discover different methods of meditating.
Modes of meditation are as infinite as the celebs. I used to like the phrase: Don’t simply do one thing, sit there. Now the reverse proves true: transferring yoga meditation, candle gazing, and consuming meditation can domesticate the identical psychological, emotional, and mental power I gained from sitting nonetheless. I write this text to offer you a buffet of yoga meditation choices.
As you pattern totally different types of meditation from strolling mindfully to gazing at a candle flame (Trataka) to loving-kindness meditation (Metta), it’s possible you’ll let go of the concept that there is just one technique to sit and meditate. Higher nonetheless, meditation will meet you wherever you might be. Discover a technique to meditate that fits you. Due to COVID 19, I now observe mindfulness on this planet and away from my yoga meditation cushion and you’ll too.
Strolling Yoga Meditation
Strolling within the park and meditating soothes the COVID 19 careworn mind by getting you out of your own home. Strolling meditation deposits us into the NOW by making the stepping of the foot on the bottom all-encompassing. Strolling meditation asks you to plunge deeply into the act of strolling and let all else fall away. You’ll really feel transported and calm with every step as a result of that step is all there’s at that second.
Concentrating on the location of the foot as you stroll requires solely a path or area the place you possibly can stroll (or be in your wheelchair) and transfer…whether or not it’s countryside or cityscape. In the event you selected to ask a good friend, strolling meditation mixed with social distancing means you could be with somebody you like exterior.
I instruct college students to make use of the phrase “stepping” or “putting” with every foot’s motion. Switching focus to the left or proper foot’s motion alerts you to how asymmetrical the physique could also be. Noticing the heel, ball, and toe motion additional sharpens your consciousness.
- Choose a transparent path with a easy floor.
- Preserve your head up and gaze ahead a number of ft as a substitute of trying on the floor.
- Breathe and maintain the paces unhurried and measured whereas stress-free the arms.
- Really feel the air and spot the sounds round you whilst you stroll.
- Some academics make use of phrases: inhaling would say “Within the right here.” Respiratory out would say, “Within the now.”
Comply with together with me within the video under:
Profit: Strolling meditation encourages you to have interaction in your physique as a substitute of falling into autopilot. Because the mind-body connection strengthens, you’ll really feel grounded.
Metta: Loving Kindness Meditation
Years in the past, I took a course with Sharon Salzberg, the co-founder of Perception Meditation Society and trainer of Loving Kindness or Metta Meditation. Along with her no-nonsense steering, I discovered that I’m deserving of the identical kindness and endurance I gave my candy pet. Self-compassion endowed me with pleasure that I reserved for my curious labradoodle, Yogi Bear. I gave myself compassion once I fumbled at being a stellar human being the identical means I gently taught Yogi Bear to make use of the doggy door.
Loving-kindness meditation invitations the practitioner to repeat the choose phrases time and again. These phrases cancel and neutralize the non-supportive, adverse self-talk that plagues our minds. Strive these phrases and/or develop your individual distinctive statements to handle varied areas of your life:
- Could I be secure.
- Could I be wholesome.
- Could also be glad.
- Could I be comfy.
- Could I be full of loving-kindness.
- Could I be peaceable.
Repeat these phrases whereas grocery purchasing or struggling night time terrors, as I do currently. At three A.M., as a substitute of trying on the information, I repeat these phrases and sleep finds me. Over time you possibly can broaden this kindness to somebody you like: could mother be glad, could mother be wholesome, could she be free, could she dwell a lifetime of ease. Any phrase will do. The recipient may even be somebody impartial just like the informal passerby. As you get extra skillful, you would possibly even attempt sending kindness to somebody who irritates you.
Profit: Loving-kindness strengthens your capability for self-compassion. The extra compassion you may have, the extra you may give others!
The Tibetan phrase Tonglen means give/take. With every exhale and inhale, you ship your chosen individual therapeutic and luxury and take away their struggling. Tonglen strengthens our hearts to generate compassion and tackle the ache of one other whereas changing that ache with therapeutic power.
I do Tonglen and visualize my coronary heart full of inexperienced flames. These inexperienced flames destroy disappointment, concern, and negativity. If I’m actually courageous, I envision an individual who angers me. I see that individual earlier than me and I look into that coronary heart. I visualize the guts’s ache. Subsequent, I draw the ache out their coronary heart and I toss the disappointment into the highly effective inexperienced flames of my coronary heart to be destroyed. Subsequent, I ship therapeutic pink gentle into that individual’s coronary heart. Not all Tonglen disciplines use flames. Tonglen practitioners sit and commerce locations with one other to create therapeutic the place as soon as there was struggling. In instances when I’m indignant at myself, I draw the anger out of my coronary heart on the exhale and I take therapeutic love into my very own coronary heart on the inhale. The self-soothing that relieves and liberates can usually come from our personal hearts.
- Come to a snug seat. Sit tall. Set up a pure respiration cadence; pause between the inhales and the exhales.
- Visualize an individual sitting in entrance of you who could also be struggling or inflicting you struggling.
- Whenever you inhale, visualize your self taking that individual’s disappointment into the flames of your coronary heart and destroying the struggling.
- As you exhale, ship loving therapeutic into that individual’s coronary heart the place as soon as there was struggling, concern, anger, or ache.
Profit: Tonglen enhances your potential to indicate up and assist others in instances of misery.
Trataka: Candle Gazing Meditation
Candle gazing faucets the hypnotic impact of sitting round a campfire or in entrance of a hearth on a snowy night. Time flows like honey whenever you look right into a candle and really feel utterly taken by the shapes and colours of the flames. Trataka or candle gazing originated round 3000 BC and cultivates reminiscence retention and focus.
- Sit in a barely darkened room in a snug seated place.
- Take away your contacts and eyeglasses. The eyes could water as you maintain your gaze regular.
- Mild a candle and place it three to 6 ft away from you. (Watch this candle and do watch out to not drift off.)
- Preserve your backbone tall and soften your face and eyes as you gaze into the flame. You needn’t make laser focus with the eyes. It’s higher to let the flame come to you.
- Choose totally different elements of the flame to make the thoughts conscious. Chances are you’ll discover the colours of the flame or the best way the flame drifts into smoke and wavers.
- Focus your gaze on the flame as you breathe.
I’ll stroll you thru the method right here:
Profit: Candle gazing sparks the thoughts to generate concepts. You possibly can see the flame lighting the best way for these in darkness or despair. You possibly can see the sunshine of the flame sparking the unlit candles within the hearts of individuals struggling alone. You possibly can see the flame burning away impurities of your individual thoughts and providing you with clear, unwavering ideas.
Just like strolling meditation, consuming meditation focuses on the duty at hand. Consuming meditation slows down the method of consuming. You scent the meals. You contact it and look at the colour. The method of mindfully nourishing your our bodies flies within the face of consuming whereas multitasking. Pre-COVID, I hung out in my automotive wolfing down a sandwich whereas I drove. At dwelling, I ate whereas standing over the pot. Consuming meditation will fulfill not simply applicable caloric consumption but in addition nourish the starvation for connection by means of gratitude.
Consuming meditation and aware consuming encourages me to savor meals as a substitute of gulping meals. Meals eaten with contemplation permits for gratitude to counterpoint each chunk. Whenever you take day out to eat mindfully, you digest the method of how linked you might be to 1 one other. Somebody grew that apple, an agricultural laborer picked the apple, a trucker drove it to the market, and one other individual arrange the show within the grocery retailer so you can place the apple in your basket. You’re made from the meals you eat.
- Choose your raisin, cookie, apple, or another meals you wish to eat.
- Maintain the meals in your hand and spot the feel and shade.
- Take the meals to your nostril and scent the aroma.
- Place the meals in your mouth and shut your eyes and chew earlier than speeding to swallow.
- Silently pause and really feel the meals filling you with out speeding to gobble the subsequent chunk.
- Repeat and spot what slowing down can do in your understanding of the meals arrived at your desk.
Sit and have a chunk with me:
Profit: The style, scent, and really feel of meals will come into focus and you should have higher digestion whenever you eat extra slowly.
So…I’ve provided you a buffet of different methods to meditate. No have to utterly abandon sitting meditation however attempt different yoga meditation types as properly. Be affected person with your self. Regardless that the pandemic looks like the darkest night time, yoga meditation illuminates your thoughts and brings you peace. You’ll emerge from the COVID 19 chaos with new psychological stamina and emotional fortitude.
Could also be wholesome. Could you be glad. Could you be secure. Could you be full of peace.