muck_a_luck: (Yoga Namaste Two)
[personal profile] muck_a_luck
My journey toward meditation practice )

Anyway, all that said, I picked up Rodney Yee - Meditation & Yoga (Yoga For Meditation) (it seems to have two alternate titles) at the library this weekend.

It is divided into an introduction and five segments and runs around an hour in length. The first segment is Mountain, a very gentle hatha sequence that seems designed to get the kinks out and open your whole body up for ease of breathing.

Mountain is followed by Garden, a chair yoga sequence for opening the hips. I have never done any chair yoga, assuming it was to assist those not flexible or strong enough yet for a "real" asana practice. Live and learn! I was impressed by how using the chair as a prop allowed range of motion that really leveraged hip-opening.

Tree invites you to go to a wall with your yoga block and develop the traditional seated postures used for meditation. Mr. Yee explores Baddha Konasana, Virasana, Siddhasana, and Half and Full Lotus.

Wind is a reclined meditation to help bring focus to the breath.

Sky is a seated meditation, combining the posture guidance and breathing of the earlier sequences with a guided meditation.

The asanas of Mountain are appropriate for all levels of practitioners, though if you are not familiar with yoga you might want to plan to get some familiarity with these few postures so that you can integrate them into the achievement of a calm openness, rather than just be focused on how the postures are done. For a person who knows the asanas already, as usual Mr. Yee is very good at helping you to find the subtle adjustments that will better align your postures and help you to find balance.

The seated postures in Tree, however, are surprisingly challenging. Mr. Yee instructs each posture with a block first, then without. Also, I didn't have a convenient wall. Possibly this would have been easier if I had done as instructed. Mr. Yee again brings his ability to suggest adjustments that bring lightness and fluidity to the spine.

While Wind is not billed as the "meditation" segment, this is a great warm-up for the final meditation finale in Sky. Again, attention to the fluidity of the spine and the ease of the breath, and an added attentiveness to breathing. This is relaxing and establishes the beginning of the attentiveness of meditation.

By the time I got to Sky, I was feeling relaxed and open, ready to expand my mind though the feeling of the minor adjustments of my posture and the flow of my breath. For the first time, I felt during a seated meditation the same loss of boundary that I occasionally feel during my moving meditations.

For me, this DVD was an excellent aid to getting more deeply into a seated meditation. I don't know if it was the careful preparation prior to the beginning of the meditation, or if it was the guided nature of it, but I definitely recommend this DVD to anyone who is experimenting with meditation practice, like me.

Yoga Nidra

Jan. 16th, 2011 11:27 am
sage: Still of Natasha Romanova from Iron Man 2 (blessings: ganesh)
[personal profile] sage
crossposting here by request.

Yoga Nidra is, essentially, the yoga of sleep, where (with practice) a thirty-minute session of it equals three hours of restful sleep. It's also really great for systematically relaxing and healing your entire body, as well as helping a person to reclaim her body as her own and reclaim the ability to exercise control over it. At the beginning, there is a cue to choose a sankalpa, a simple "resolve" to impress into your mind during the meditation. Choosing something simple like, "I will be healthy," or "I will have more courage," works best.

Yoga Nidra is intended to be practiced in savasana, lying on your back with arms and legs slightly spread, but for people with back injuries and pregnant women, there is an alternative position: Lie on your left side in a loose fetal position with pillows supporting your head and wherever else you need so that you can lie comfortably still for the duration.

Yoga Nidra is also intended to be done at the low-point of your daily energy, when you have nothing else on your plate but rest and relaxation. It is like sleep, except that you're fully conscious throughout the meditation. If you're having trouble sleeping, it can help put you to sleep.

I can't actually remember where I got this recording, it's been so long -- I don't even know who the speaker is -- so unfortunately I can't paste a link to purchase the entire CD (this is only one track of several). I wish I knew because I've made enough excellent use of this that I feel like I should pass along some money for it. But it's here for anyone who wants it.

Link: 25 minutes, 23MB

note: yoga nidra is contra-indicated for people with clinical depression. For depression, active, physical yoga (as gentle as necessary) is recommended instead, because chronic physical stillness makes depression worse and healthful physical motion adjusts our brain chemistry for the better (cf. the mellow, blissed-out feeling people get after yoga and surfing). If you're already getting enough exercise and are in a stable mental space, yoga nidra will simply help you relax. Likewise, one of my old yoga instructors used to end the evening class with an abbreviated yoga nidra session in order to balance the activity with enough stillness to prevent us getting insomnia from the yoga high.

If you any have questions, let me know. And if any of you happen to know the source of this recording, I'd love to find out where it came from. Thanks!
muck_a_luck: (Yoga Om)
[personal profile] muck_a_luck
I found this interesting article on walking meditation over at Yoga Journal very interesting.

UPDATE (after reviewing Reading Page): Interesting article is interesting. Good one, CK. *facepalm*
muck_a_luck: (Exercise)
[personal profile] muck_a_luck
Around Christmas last year I was looking for Shiva Rea on You Tube and found this. It's from her Yoga Trance Dance DVD, which I immediately put on my Christmas list.

A ramble about how to crash into furniture and cry and have the two events be completely unrelated )

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