1. Turn Down the Music
2. Lengthen your Exhale
3. Listen to your Heart Beat
4. Slow your Heart Rate
5. Steady your Breath
6. Strive for Ease in your Body
7. Be Mindful of Symmetry
- Turn Down the Music
Reduce external stimulation through auditory sensation, hear your breath, heartbeat, and internal landscape.
- Lengthen your Exhale
Lengthen your exhale to slow down your respiration. This clears toxins from the body and lets go of excess tension.
- Listen to your Heart Beat
Hearing the most important rhythm in your life will sooth the mind and soul while also healing the heart.
- Slow your Heart Rate
A rapid heartbeat increases fear and anger, robbing the brain of blood and the mind of intelligence and awareness. The wise act slowly and deliberately.
- Steady your Breath
Loud, erratic, and forgetful breathing leads to stress in the upper lungs, heart, and brain. Be conscious of your breath and gain subtle control, steady breathing promotes a steady mind and soul.
- Strive for Ease in your Body
Perfect form and function in nature follow the path of least resistance. With each passing day use less effort to complete your practice.
- Be Mindful of Symmetry
Though it is impossible to achieve perfect symmetry in the body, striving for the ideal can drastically improve your form.
Three bonus ideas!
- Close Your Eyes
Close your eyes and allow your mind to turn inward. Learn the internal landscape of your body and develop the spaces in yourself that you cannot see.
- Be Still
When still without any strain in your body, we can sustain poses longer, thus achieving symmetry and equilibrium in the body.
- Be Silent
The complexity and subtlety within your body and in your life can only be observed when you are quiet enough to get out of your own way.
Transcendence of Materialism: Deepening Vinyasa Practice
I think everyone can agree that transcending beyond materialism is a prerequisite for enlightenment and wisdom. By accepting this, it would seem that poverty, though not an absolute prerequisite, can be an expedient path towards transcending materialism and one step closer to the sublime wisdom and ability humanity can achieve. When resources are scarce, one has the choice to either dwell on the scarcity or transcend desire.
For example, instead of desiring objects that satisfy the emotions, and dwelling on the fact that I don’t have the money to go out and obtain them, maybe I should be grateful that I have this beautiful vessel of being, called a body and life. Maybe I should realize that everything I need is within me. In this example we can see the practicality of these lofty ideas. Changing, your perspective is a critical first step toward enlightenment, wisdom, and serenity.
Yoga, Reiki, Qi Gong, and Shamanism, study Prana, Ki, Qi, and Bayuali. These words describe life force and energy that is central to those disciplines as they are pathways to wisdom. Studying energy is essential for gaining wisdom, and proficiency in these Arts.
Having the awareness to feel the ethereal energy which is always around us, in us, and at our disposal for use can be challenging. Our reality includes many distractions such as rush hour traffic and iPhones.
Chatter in the mind, and restlessness in the body are two major barriers to feeling and using the energy around us. To overcome restlessness in the body we must condition ourselves to sit and exist in stillness. Seated meditation practices can be challenging at first as mental chatter and restlessness creep into your body and mind.
First, make sure to enter the practice with as few roadblocks as possible. Insure that your posture, clothing, and props do not cut-off circulation, cause muscle tension anywhere in the body, obstruct your breathing, or your spines straightness. Second implement the 7 Ways to Deepen your Practice. After this, the method for overcoming this is simply to endure the physical agitation and upset, demanding stillness from your body, but just for a moment at first. Be patient and start slow. Do not despair, refocus and keep going. You’ll be surprised how quickly you see progress.
It’s important to experience stillness. Start with 30 – 60 seconds for your initial practice. Slowly increase the intervals over a period of time. Your body will learn through training and conditioning to be still without upset. Finding a posture that can be held without muscle tension can relieve discomfort. Do this over a 28 – period and you’ll be able to introduce a new behavior into your life and plant the seeds of continued practice deeply within the sub-conscious mind.
Through meditation, we can learn to quiet the chatter of the mind or at least see it for what it is, useless and stifling. Meditation requires us to bring our attention to one focal point. Meditation is focusing on one thing. Practice and pick one object to focus on. I’ve found that using a spiritual object or image to focus works great.
Focus on the breath, slowly inhaling and exhaling slowly and deeply shifts mind from thought to feeling. Over time, observing and feeling your breath, you’ll gain the ability to quiet the chatter of the mind indirectly by shifting the awareness gradually back to your breathing. I also find that wordless, soothing music can be effective. Again we are focusing on sound not thought quieting the chatter of the mind indirectly. There are a variety of objects (meditation aids) that you can use.
- The flame of a single candle
- Your own visage in a mirror
- The sound of running water
- The setting sun
- A sacred symbol or mandala
This list is endless. Feel free to experiment with different aids and pick the one you like the most.
When practicing meditation, you will experience the mind wandering, continuing to generate thoughts. When this happens, it’s important to remain free of self-judgment. Train yourself to gently refocus the mind back to the object of meditation.
Conditioning and training your body and mind in this way will foster internal tranquility and stillness. Four weeks is generally long enough to initiate a new habit into your life, if you practice daily at the same time slowly increasing the amount of time you meditate.
As your training progresses, you will experience sensations such as, but not limited to, (heat, cold, static, prickliness, pressure changes, sound frequencies, vibrations colors, smells) . These are the sensations of subtle energy entering our conscious awareness.
The more you sit in stillness and quiet, the more you’ll feel energy throughout your body, mind, and spirit.
Thank you for your attention.
Reiki Master Ivor Edmonds MHA, RYT
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