Here is a favorite meditation of mine to practice and teach. I have been sharing this regularly with clients who are struggling with anxiety and worry.
This meditation is called: Perspective and Emotional Balance, Alternate Nostril Breathing
Sit with straight spine on the floor with legs crossed or in a chair.
Eyes: Eyes are closed, pressed gently up, focusing at the Brow Point, also called 3rd eye (roll your eyes gently up and then in toward the bridge of your nose) .
Mudra (hand position): Left hand is in gian mudra resting on your knee. To do this, press the pad of your index finger into the bad of your thumb. Use the right thumb and right index finger to close off alternate nostrils.
Breath: Close off the right nostril with the right thumb. Inhale deeply through the left nostril. When the breath is full, close off the left nostril with the index finger, and exhale smoothly through the right nostril. The breath is complete, continuous, and smooth. Feel the expansion of your belly as you inhale and feel your chest drop down, then draw the navel back toward your spine on the exhale (exhaling completely).
Time: Continue with long, deep regular breaths for 3-11 minutes. I recommend starting with 3 minutes and slowly building up if you wish.
To End: Inhale, exhale completely, hold the breath out for a moment. Relax completely. Taking a few more breaths here before you move on with your day. I like to recommend practicing meditation at the same time every day, but there is always the ideal and the real. So do what works best for you, but finding a way to practice daily will give best results. You may find you like to start your day with this meditation or end you day with it, or even both. It is excellent to do before bed to let go of the worries of the day.
Inhaling through the left nostril is calming and cooling and stimulates the brain's capacity to reset your framework of thinking and feeling, allowing new perspectives. Exhaling through the right nostril relaxes the constant computations and cautions of the brain (worry and anxiety), which helps to break automatic patterns. Regulating your breath pattern in this way sets a new level of brain functioning which establishes emotional balance and calmness after periods of intense stress or shock.
from Jodh Kaur's blog
The meaning and essence of the mantra Har Har Mukanday is liberation from the challenges that hold you back. Chanting this mantra helps you turn your obstacles into opportunities.
What a mantra for this time we are living in!
Try chanting this mantra every day in April if:
...you find yourself sinking into fear or anxiety
...you are feeling stuck
...you are running out of projects to complete at home
...you are uncertain about your future
...you are tired of being in the house
...you are frustrated by your current circumstances
...you are bored with technology
...you are worried about the health of yourself, your loved ones, your finances
...your mind isn't turning off even when it's time to sleep
...you are consuming too much media
...you feel things will be different, but aren't sure how
...you are feeling called to make changes in your life big or small.
Chant the mantra with music (see below) or without. Commit to chanting it daily for 11 minutes and notice the shifts that take place within you.
Notice shifts in your vibration, emotions, mindset and thought patterns.
And turn your obstacles into opportunities.
With grace & gratitude,
Breathe deeply, until sweet air extinguishes the burn of fear in your lungs and every breath is a beautiful refusal to become anything less than infinite.
Breathing through the nostrils…
Inhale for 3 counts as you visualize moving up the left side of a square.
Suspend the breath at the top of the inhale (w/o clenching your throat shut) for 3 counts as you visualize moving from the left to the right top of the square.
Exhale for 3 counts as you visualize moving down the right side of the square.
Suspend the breath at the bottom of the exhale for 3 counts as you visualize moving from the right to the left bottom of the square.
Repeat several times or longer. Enjoy!
When the breath is unsteady, all is unsteady; when the breath is still; all is still. Control the breath carefully. Inhalation gives strength and a controlled body; retention gives steadiness of mind and longevity; exhalation purifies body and spirit.
A month ago, I shared some night-time ritual tips to help with sleep. Here is an excellent breath + silent mantra meditation to add to your practice toolbox if or when you have trouble sleeping. It's called the Shabad Kriya.
The ideal time to practice this is at night right before bed.
The real is when you will be most consistent with it.
A regular, daily practice is best.
Time: 11 to 62 minutes
Posture: seated with a tall spine
Mudra: hands on lap, palms up, right on top of left, thumb pads touching.
Mantras: Sa Ta Na Ma and Wahe Guru
Dristhi: focus your eyes on the tip of the nose
Inhale through the nostrils in 4 segments as you silently chant Sa Ta Na Ma (4 counts).
Suspend the breath at the top of the inhale as you silently chant Sa Ta Na Ma 4 times (for a total of 16 counts). Keep the throat open and relaxed, not clenched shut.
Exhale through the nostrils in 2 segments as you silently chant Wahe Guru (2 counts).
Continue for 15 minutes and up to 62 minutes.
It is taught that the more you make it a regular discipline in your daily life, the better you will sleep and your nervous system can deeply relax, giving it the space to regenerate during your sleep.
Once you have practiced it for a few months, you will have greater control of your breath, and as you sleep, the rhythm of your breath will be synchronized with the rhythm of the mantra. The rhythm of your breath and this internal mantra will become woven into the fabric of your day and you will begin to hear the mantra rhythm subconsciously, diminishing anxiety and stress throughout your day.
This meditation has a 22 beat rhythm [4 count inhale, 16 count hold, 2 count exhale].
This is a multiple of 11. In Tantric Numerology, 11 is the number of Infinity. T
he number 22 is the mastery of the mental realm.
This 22 beat breath gives the mind the power to stretch to the Infinite.
--From Yogi Bhajan's Class: April 1, 1974
Want to practice together?
by Savitree Kaur
Kundalini Yoga Quotes:
“I’d never felt anything like it; it was just an opening of energy and a feeling of such liberation.” -Marika Bethel, owner, Glowing House