Week 1 :: Find your practice
This foundational breath practice serves two vital roles. Firstly, as a means of starting to observe the breath. To feel where it is rough or smooth, short or long. Take the time to learn the patterns of your breathing by spending time observing it. It may seem as though it doesn't matter, but this is the technique that serves all other breath techniques. Secondly, it is a chance to explore the 3 primary areas that we direct the breath - belly, ribs/chest, upper chest/collarbones. Our ability to locate these three areas and place our breath with intention is another essential skill we will build on.
Mediation for Balance and Integration creates the ability to direct your mind to one point of focus. Meditation is not the absence of thought, but a one-pointed mind. As we move our attention from one finger to another, we build an awareness and a focus that we can use for other meditation techniques. At the same time, we start to notice that where we place our attention we can create sensation and presence. As we conclude in the midbrain we find we can connect with a deeper, more subtle sense of ourselves and our own overall presence. Enjoy xx
Week 2 :: Find your direction
Here we build on the first week by reestablishing the three main places for our breath - belly, ribs, collarbones. Then we explore the passive and active nature of the breath. By learning that we can allow the breath as well as participate in it, help it, shape it, increase or decrease it, we can start to build inner trust and inner stability. This is a cornerstone to any further breath practice. Keep at it. It will pay off!
Meditation is not sitting without thoughts. Meditation, or more specifically, dharana, is the ability to put our mind to one point at a time. We learn this through practice. This mediation takes the quiet of our breath and places the sensation of breath - inhale and exhale - through different parts of the body. Using our mind's familiarity with our sensations, we give it different locations to settle into. As a result, the healing quality of the breath is spread through the body and the stillness at the end leaves us in sweet radiance. Enjoy xx
Week 3 :: Find your core
A quick review of the 3-part breath and the active and passive nature of the breath. Then putting these together we can create 'wheels' for the breath to roll through the belly, through the chest, and up through the collarbones. This creates focus in the mind and dexterity in the breath. A foundation technique that supports an increase in breath capacity and lays the ability for more complicated pranayama to follow.
Arohan Awarohan creates a map of the breath. The patterns followed in AA are pre-existing breath and prana passageways in the fascia, nadir, and subtle points of the body. By visualizing AA, you are purifying these pathways by directing of your attention. Also known as the Figure 8 kriya, it originates and terminates at the perineal body (root) at the pubic bone. Inhalation moves from the root, up the front of the body, crossing over at the jugular notch, back to bindu (back of head), to brahmaranda (top of the head), and into ajna (in the mid-brain). Exhalation moves from ajna to the cervical vertebrae in the base of the back neck, down the back of the body and back to the root (tailbone).
Week 4 :: Find your heart
Breath 4: Ujjai - Breath of victory (coming soon)
Meditation 4: Lotus Heart Meditation (coming soon) Mantras used are Aham Brahamasi "I am all that is", Aham Prema "I am love."
Week 5 :: Find your community
Self blessing. This is both a meditation and a breath practice. Both working together to elevate ourselves and create care and self awareness when you are in need. Start sitting tall. Palms together. Steady and tall. Then the hands separate and rise to make a diamond of the arms, hands just higher than the crown, palms facing the head. Elbows the height of your ears. At the end, feel free to stay longer after the recording concludes. Let the sensations linger.