Thursday, February 12, 2009
Yoni Mudra is an exercise in pratyahara or withdrawal of the senses. Blocking of your ears, eyes, noses and mounth you intreat inside yourself. During the day the mind is constantly bombarded with information or stimuli from the five senses. Only when the senses are brought under control and the mind is no longer pulled constantly outward, can you hope to be able to concentrate.
Close your ears with your thumbs. Cover you eyes with your index fingers, then close your nostrils with your middle fingers and press your lips together with your remaining fingers. Release the middle fingers gently to inhale and exhale while you meditate.
When learning to mediate is is hard to keep your attention focused on one object to start with. To train yourself to pay attention you can try narrowing your field of concentration to a category of objects first, where your mind still has a little of freedom of movement. Practising this exercise will hone your mind down to a finer focus and teach you the principle of one-pointed concentration.
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With eyes closed imagine a garden with a different flower in each corner. Start by exploring the qualities of one flower. Then, when your mind grows restless, shift your focus to the flower in the next corner and so on. You should visualize each one clearly.
Transcendental Meditation is by far the most thoroughly researched in terms of its benefits for mental, physical, and social health TM is a simple mental technique, easy to learn and practice. Anyone can learn it within a few days and can begin to experience beneficial results almost immediately. Since 1958, 4 million people have learned TM and over five hundred scientific studies have been conducted on it at over two hundred universities worldwide.
TM is one of the easiest meditation techniques to learn. When you learn TM, an instructor gives you a word or phrase-your personal mantra-which you promise not to divulge. You are told to sit quietly with your eyes closed and repeat the mantra over and over again for 20 minutes at a time once or twice a day.
The mantra functions to focus your mind on a single idea, representing the "oneness" of the universe. You're instructed to assume a passive, accepting attitude while repeating your mantra. When distracting thoughts intrude, you're instructed to simply observe them, accept them and gently return your mental focus to repeating your mantra
Also called sounding meditation, this technique uses the repetition of a word or sound as its focal point. Vibrational meditation has appeal to those who find that making noise is a path to inner quiet. We're taught to be nice and quiet as little children. Releasing sound and noise helps us release stress.
Get on your feet. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your knees slightly bent and your hips centered, as though you're about to squat. Or, if you wish, sit or lie down. Keep your body loose and comfortable with your arms at your sides or on your hips. Begin by taking a few cleansing breaths. Pick a word, any word. Choose a word that alternates vowels and consonants-like "serenity." The word that you select doesn't necessarily have to be a spiritual one. It just has to feel good when you say it.
Repeat after yourself. Repeat the word, chant the word, focus on nothing but saying the word over and over again. Let the sound of the word vibrate through your body. Let the word resonate up from your abdomen and let it go to your hands, your feet. Let your muscles move as you chant the word. Some people have a tendency to clench their muscles when they're tense. It's important to roll the sound through your body so that you can clear out the tightness in your muscles. Doing so promotes the meditative state of relaxation that feels like a natural high.
Body Scan Meditation
Body Scan meditation is often used by people who want to try a more formal type of mindfulness without attending a yoga or tai chi class.
Lie on your back with your legs uncrossed, your arms at your sides, palms up, and your eyes open or closed, as you wish. Focus on your breathing, how the air moves in and out of your body. After several deep breaths, as you begin to feel comfortable and relaxed, direct your attention to the toes of your left foot. Tune into any sensations in that part of your body while remaining aware of your breathing. It often helps to imagine each breath flowing to the spot where you're directing your attention. Focus on your left toes for one to two minutes.
Then move your focus to the sole of your left foot and hold it there for a minute or two while continuing to pay attention to your breathing. Follow the same procedure as you move to your left ankle, calf, knee, thigh, hip and so on all around the body. Pay particular attention to any areas that cause pain or are the focus of any medical condition (for asthma, the lungs; for diabetes, the pancreas). Pay particular attention to the head: the jaw, chin, lips, tongue, roof of the mouth, nostrils, throat, cheeks, eyelids, eyes, eyebrows, forehead, temples and scalp.
Finally, focus on the very top of your hair, the uppermost part of your body. Then let go of the body altogether, and in your mind, hover above yourself as your breath reaches beyond you and touches the universe.
Breath and Navel Meditation
Breath and Navel Meditation is the oldest meditation method on record in China as well as India, and it is the method usually taught to beginners. Breath and Navel Meditation works directly with the natural flow of breath in the nostrils and the expansion and contraction of the abdomen. This Taoist meditation is a good way to develop focused attention and one-pointed awareness.
Sit cross-legged on a cushion on the floor or upright on a low stool and adjust the body's posture until well balanced and comfortable. Press tongue to palate, close your mouth without clenching the teeth, and lower the eyelids until almost closed.
Breathe naturally through the nose, drawing the inhalation deep down into the abdomen and making the exhalation long and smooth. Focus your attention on two sensations, one above and the other below. Above, focus on the gentle breeze of air flowing in and out of the nostrils like a bellows, and on exhalation try to 'follow' the breath out as far as possible, from 3 to 18 inches. Below, focus on the navel rising and falling and the entire abdomen expanding and contracting like a balloon with each inhalation and exhalation. You may focus attention on the nostrils or the abdomen, or on both, or on one and then the other, whichever suits you best.
From time to time, mentally check your posture and adjust it if necessary. Whenever you catch your mind wandering off or getting cluttered with thoughts, consciously shift your attention back to your breath. Sometimes it helps to count either inhalations or exhalations, until your mind is stably focused.
Meditation and mindfulness are great when you have enough control over your time to enjoy them. Using scientific findings in the physiology of relaxation, Dr. Robert Cooper has developed a six-step program that minimizes the negative effects of stress the moment the body begins to feel stressed. He calls it the Instant Calming Sequence.
Instant Calming Sequence
Practice uninterrupted breathing. When stress strikes, immediately focus on your breath and continue breathing smoothly, deeply and evenly.
Put on a positive face. Smile a grin that you can feel in the corners of your eyes. "The conventional wisdom is that happiness triggers smiling," Dr. Cooper explains. "But recent studies suggest that this process is a two-way street. Smiling can contribute to feelings of happiness, and in a stressful situation, it can help keep you calm." Try this simple test: Smile a broad grin right now. Don't you feel better?
Balance your posture. People under stress often look hunched-over, hence the oft-repeated phrase "They have the weight of the world on their shoulders.". "Maintaining good posture works like smiling," Dr. Cooper says. "Physical balance contributes to emotional balance." Keep your head up, chin in, chest high, pelvis and hips level, back comfortably straight and abdomen free of tension. Imagine a skyhook lifting your body from a point at the center of the top of your head.
Bathe in a wave of relaxation. Consciously sweep a wave of relaxation through your body. "Imagine you're standing under a waterfall that washes away all your tension," Dr. Cooper says.
Acknowledge reality. Face your causes of stresses head-on. Don't try to deny it or wish that it hadn't happened. Think: "This is real. I can handle it. I'm finding the best possible way to cope right now."
Reassert control. Instead of fretting about how the stressor has robbed you of control, focus on what you can control and take appropriate action. Also, think clear-headed, honest thoughts instead of distorted ones.