Relaxation desperately NEEDED!
I’m so surprised to hear over and over from my Yoga students, just how much they NEED the relaxation that we have in our practice. A huge part of that is simply the guided meditations.
The 21 Breath Meditation is great for beginners as well as seasoned yogis. Great because, instead of fighting to get every last thought out of our heads, our thoughts become the Meditation.
The 21 Breath Meditation has 2 parts. For the first few minutes, we focus our attention on our breathing. Then, in the second part, thoughts and feelings become the meditation.
Find a comfortable position, preferably Lying down on your back in Savasana. Lying on your side or stomach as well as seated are also options. Take a moment to relax your facial features. Inhale deeply through your nose and feel yourself in the Here and Now.
The 21 Breath Meditation
Place both hands onto your stomach with your middle fingers pointing toward each other. Breathe deeply into your abdomen and perceive how your abdomen rises and the middle fingers separate. We breathe out and notice how the abdomen sinks, the middle fingers come together again.
That is one complete breath, one inhalation and one exhalation. Let’s take a few minutes and count 21 breaths, mentally. Take your time to take long, complete breaths. After counting the 21 breaths, continue to breathe with your hands on your abdomen and with your eyes still closed, focus your attention on all that you perceive.
This could be bodily sensations, external factors (sounds, smells, temperature, light, etc) or emotions or thoughts. Acknowledge what you have perceived without judging, without labeling it as “good” or “bad”. (Do the above exercise in peace for 3-5 minutes or as long as you need.)
Now we realize our thoughts and feelings. As before, we let them appear and acknowledge them. These thoughts become our meditation. We follow the thought back to the source, seeking the origin of these thoughts.
Where are they from? Like sunbeams, which we trace back to the sun, we follow the thoughts back to where they came from. Perceive all emerging feelings and thoughts and follow them back to their origin. (5 min.)