Meditation

There are many styles of meditation.  Many I work with initially come thinking meditation is about stopping your thoughts; Nothing could be further from the truth.  Others come to me telling me that they have phone apps but don’t use them as much as they should.   Many come because they want to reduce stress and anxiety.   However meditation is not about avoidance – rather it is about being with right now.  Right now or the present moment may not be pleasant and therefore should be taught with an experienced teacher who can help guide you safely.

I often teach various tools, styles and techniques.  Here are brief examples of the styles I teach:

*Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra:  This name is a registered trademark and I’m allowed to use it because I’m certified in the technique.  The word Yoga Nidra means Yogic Sleep.  I’ve been trained to understand safe steps to help guide people carefully into this deep rest carefully and make sure that they are safely guided out of their deep state of rest.   There are layers known as the Kosha’s and I work within those layers to build and design the yoga nidra script practice.  This is a guided meditation where you lay or sit back and listen.   Many report that 1 hour of yoga nidra is equal to 4 hours of REM sleep.  Often told that my voice has a way of relaxing people and keep them calm.  Although my voice can do this I have spent years learning how to keep someone engaged in the practice and drift in and out of this practice.

*Mindfulness Meditation: An interesting word because it is not so much about the mind as we learn to increase our awareness.   There are many tools and ways to be mindful.  This practice can lift energy and improve focus so you become able to focus more.  No matter where you decide to focus often mindfulness starts with noticing your senses; Touch, Sound, Sight, Smell and Taste.   You learn how to be aware of now and when you drift you refresh or start over.

*Metta Mediation: This is a word that means Loving Kindness.  There is a mantra used – words used that you repeat.  The words can be different but we try to offer the statement to ourselves, teachers, those we love, those we like, those we don’t know and those we may have had a falling out with.   We use this practice to notice any of the areas that we are blocking, avoiding or pushing away.  Just to notice, witness and observe.   By seeing a shuttle shift may occur that allows us to stop holding or avoiding.

*Mudra and/or Mantra: The use of touch sense and words. Often positions of our hands and fingers to bring attention to this moment (Mudra).  We can couple it with words or Mantra’s.   The repeating of the practice again and again helps us to concentrate but the meditation practice really occurs when we pause and notice where we may have drifted and refresh the practice and return to concentration.

*Listening/Co-Listening:  We learn how to improve our ability to listen to each other.   This is a helpful technique that I often use in groups and offices.  It vocalizes the Mindful practice by having one party spend time with the phrase “I feel” or “I am aware of” and repeat it over and over for a specified time.  The point as the speaker is to learn to express awareness without having to explain, shame, blame or carry the story past the current moment.   This is being done while one or others are listening.  The listening party is working on listening only.  Not responding with verbal or non-verbal communication.   After a time both parties switch roles.    This allows us to really understand mindfulness practice and how we block ourselves from truly holding space for each other.  I have other useful tools like this so we can improve our ability to listen – not just hear.  Through this we learn to pause and then we may know how to clearly respond.

*Sound Bowl/Bath Mediation:  I have many Crystal and Metal bowls – along with chimes.   The sounds have different pitch and tones.   I play them alone or with background music.   More importantly I do use my background and training to help guide those into a deep state of relaxation and also safely come out.  No wrong way to practice this – you lay back and listen. Many report a feeling of floating or lightness.   The sounds often correlate to the chakras – starting with the musical scale C, D, E,F, G, A, B – can include sharp and flat tones.  Pitches may be low to high.

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With meditation comes the responsibility of understanding of the energy centers.  It is quite easy to raise energy but quite another to let to lower and leave someone feeling calm and safe.

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The chakras are an energy areas of the body that are dense with energy. They’re usually associated with the psychological or energy body, rather than the material/physical body, although several of the chakras correspond to areas that have vital organs, such as the heart, brain, and reproductive organs.

There are 7 main Chakras, sounds, colors, shapes.   Along with the Chakras I also design and organize all my meditations to the healing qualities of pacifying the Dosha’s as well (See tab for Ayurvedic Science); this would be based on season, time of day and current events.

I also design my mediations on the audience I’m teaching.  Knowing exactly what trigger points and language may cause trauma.  I’ve worked with those with PTSD and sleep issues.

I also co-mingle the styles as well – for example Yoga Nidra with sound bowl.

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Ways to better understand the Chakras and ways to understand if in balance or out:

1st Chakra: Being depleted of first chakra energy feels like a survival crisis. You can’t get grounded because you are stuck in your head. One good example of this imbalance comes when you have been traveling or living in an new place; unable to focus and dizzy.  By contrast, if you have too much energy at the root, you can become greedy or excessive in behaviors. You may find yourself lacking energy, overly tired or heavy if you have too much root.

2nd Chakra: When someone is stuck in their sacral chakra, they struggle with being ruled by their emotions or the opposite of this, which is feeling numb or out of touch. There’s also a correlation to sexual desire (or the lack thereof) at this level. This chakra is responsible for creativity and pleasure.

3rd Chakra: This chakra is often considered the power center, and when out of balance, self-esteem may be low and decision-making can feel out of control. Temper flare-ups are also common when energy isn’t flowing well here.

4th Chakra: The heart chakra, when flowing with energy, feels filled with love, compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance. When there’s a blockage at this energy level, anger, jealousy, grief, or self-hatred can be more prominent.

5th Chakra: This chakra is the source of speaking your most authentic truth. When energy is blocked or low here, fear of not being accepted or of being judged becomes a problem. You might also feel out of touch with your opinions and desires and have challenge in making choices.

6th Chakra: Third eye point; when this chakra is open, you experience expanded imagination, clairvoyance, and intuition. When there is a blockage at this level, there can be a tendency to be over-involved in fantasy or imagination. Lack of focus or clouded judgment can also occur.

7th Chakra: The crown chakra connects you to the wider universal energy, so when this area has a block, isolation or emotional distress can occur. This may present as an inability to set or follow through on goals or an overall lack of direction and feelings of disconnection.

So the knowing of if someone is in balance or out is important to identify someone to help them in their practice of yoga or mediation.