not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Meditation Mondays

Nicole + Mister...leading Meditation.

Meditation Mondays...and Dance Party Meditation Wednesdays!

One of the people I've fallen in love with here in Encinitas is Nicole. She's been studying Kundalini yoga and is just now finishing up her 9 months of training! I met her through Gray, and we've started having Meditation nights on Mondays at her place in Cardiff. We start out with a short Kava Ceremony followed by meditation, lead by Nicole. After meditation is my favorite! It's all delicious, nutritous {vegan for the most part} food. Lots of raw goodies and just tons of amazing spices. The other day Nicole called me up and asked if I was up for some meditation and yoga - of course I was! Gray dropped me off and then Chris, Nicole and I hung out in the front yard. Chris played the Didgeridoo, I played some guitar, we soaked up some sun - played with puppies and then started on some yoga. Chris had us start off with his daily routine of "Seven". You circle your wrists 7 times in one direction, 7 times opposite direction. Then you circle your elbows 7 times in one direction, 7 times opposite direction. Shoulders 7x one time, 7x opposite. Just let your arms hang and then swing them back and forth 14X, keeping your gaze forwards, moving from your core. Hip circles {hands on hips circling out in front, to the side, back , and to the left, making a complete circle} 7x one way, 7x another way. Knees, ankles, neck. Then the trippiest one of all, your eyes. Eyes open, look up then towards the right, to the bottom, to the left - making a complete circle with your eyes. 7x one way, 7x another way. That was our warm up - Chris's daily warmup. I like it. Recap: Wrists, Elbows, Shoulders, Full Swing, Hips, Knees, Ankles, Neck, Eyes. Nicole warmed us up with some fun kundalini practices....basically jogging in place, then laying on our backs, knees raised to the sky, swinging our calves up and down. We did a couple other poses doing "Breath of Fire".

Breath of Fire - for Energy, Focus, and Vitality
Breath of Fire is a rapid, rhythmic, and continuous breath that sounds like powerful sniffing. The breath is forcefully exhaled by rapidly contracting the diaphragm and pulling the navel point toward the spine. The inhale occurs naturally as the diaphragm relaxes and air flows effortlessly back in without a sharp intake or effort. The inhale and exhale are equal length and usually occur 2 to 3 times per second. This breath is great as "pick-me-up" if you are feeling lethargic or unfocused. It can be done throughout your day- for 30 seconds to 3 minutes- if you need to increase your energy.

How to do it:
  • Take a deep breath in, through your nose, and feel your stomach relaxing outward. Exhale, through your nose, as you pull the stomach back in.
  • Inhale again. As you exhale out this time, pull the solar plexus (the area above the navel) back toward the spine with a pumping motion. The exhaled air should leave the nose in a forceful sniff.
  • Immediately relax the solar plexus and let the air come back in with a sniff.
  • There should be no pause between the inhalation and exhalation. Continue the pumping motion with the sniffing breath.
  • In the beginning, it may be easier to simply concentrate on the exhale as you pull in on the solar pelxus and let the inhale come naturally as you relax the solar plexus.
  • At no time should the breath of fire be practiced beyond your current level of comfort. If at any point you begin to feel strain, breathlessness, or pain, stop the attempt at breath of fire and relax the breath.
  • If often takes practice and time to become familiar with this breath and, when familiar, there is a sense of joyful rythm and boundless energy.

Following this we did meditiation, a meditation for Prosperity. To start any kundalini meditation we start by inhaling and exhaling "Ong Namo, Guru Dev Namo" - which is pronounced "ohn namo, gudu day namo". This translates to "I bow to all of the energy of the vibration in creation. I bow to the teacher within". The prosperity meditation is as follows. Seated in meditation seat, palms facing down to ground, around heart center (half way between the ground and your head). Your pointer fingers are pressing together, and your right thumb is nestled under the left thumb. Elbows by your sides.Your eyes are partially opened, and your gaze is at the tip of your nose. To be comfortable, it helps to place a pillow under your butt to raise the pelvis. Alternately hit the sides of the hands together. The pinky fingers and the bottom of the palms hit when the palms face up. When the plams hit facing down, the sides of the index fingers touch, and the thumbs cross below the hands, with the right thumb under the left. You continuously chant "Har Har" (which is pronounced "Haad") for 11minutes.

Our prosperity chant was followed by an amazing Savasana - just lying in the grass, completely relaxed. Nicole played the Crystal Song Bowl and then it was DANCE PARTY TIME. We came into the house, turned some good tunes onto the iPod, danced away, and then ate some salad + black electrified chick peas!

Just your typical Wednesday Afternoon.


Kundalini yoga

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kundalini yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual discipline built around the physical and meditative techniques found in the teachings of Raja yoga, Shakti yoga, Bhakti yoga, tantra, Kriya yoga, Laya yoga, Nada yoga and the principles and sutras of Patanjali.[1][2] In its simplest dilution, it describes a set of yoga exercises (kriyas) and mental practices (meditations) which are designed to awaken ones consciousness to the universal nature of the soul and ones spirituality.[3] Kundalini yoga is sometimes called the yoga of awareness because it "awakens" the kundalini which is the unlimited potential that already exists within every human being.[4]

According to one tradition Kundalini yoga is a pure spiritual science which relies upon a technique called shaktipat that leads to enlightenment under the guidance of a spiritual master.[5] Other traditions believe that kundalini energy can be awakened by practicing a combination of yogic techniques, including the use of mantra, prana and breathing techniques, sadhana, asana practice, meditation, or purely through devotion and prayer.[6] The awakening of kundalini means awakening of inner knowledge, awareness and evolved consciousness.[7][8][9], diabetes, pain, stress-related diseases, healing and rehabilitating addictive behavior, and treating mental disorders.

Kundalini Yoga has been documented as a system of exercises and meditations and claims to provide extensive benefits for personal growth, health and improving mental and physical well-being, including asthma, Alzheimer's disease

Kundalini is a concentrated form of prana or life force, lying dormant in chakras in the body. It is conceptualized as a coiled up serpent (literally, 'kundalini' in Sanskrit is 'That which is coiled.' Sanskrit kund, "to burn"; kunda, "to coil or to spiral"). The serpent is considered to be female, coiled up three and a half times, with its mouth engulfing the base of the Sushumna nadi.[citation needed]

In the classical literature of Kashmir Shaivism kundalini is described in three different manifestations. The first of these is as the universal energy or para-kundalini. The second of these is as the energizing function of the body-mind complex or prana-kundalini. The third of these is as consciousness or shakti-kundalini which simultaneously subsumes and intermediates between these two. Ultimately these three forms are the same but understanding these three different forms will help to understand the different manifestations of kundalini .[13]

The path of Kundalini is said to proceed from the Muladhara Chakra at the lower end of the spinal column up to the Sahasara Chakra at the top of the head. But its awakening is not thought to be a physical occurrence; it consists exclusively of a development in consciousness. According to some sources, awakening of kundalini brings with it pure joy, pure knowledge and pure love.[7]

According to one source, the word kundalini literally means "the curl of the lock of hair of the beloved.".[14][15] It is a metaphor, a poetic way of describing the flow of energy and consciousness which already is said to exist within each person. The practices are said to enable the person to merge with or "yoke" the universal self. This merging of individual consciousness with the universal consciousness is said to create a "divine union" called "yoga"

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