I hope that I have not been too harsh, saying that yoga teachers need to do a bit of practice. It doesn't have to be a lot, but it does need to suit you, your time, & your needs.
And, I would like to offer you all a tidbit, as Christmas gift.
Pranayama precedes meditation
Sometimes it can be quite difficult to still for a few minutes each day & meditate. One's mind can be so restless! A very easy way to rectify this is to do some pranayama before you do meditation...but, when we are time crunched, this can be just another stressor, adding to our "have to do" list.
A lovely channelled technique that I teach, & also do myself, combines both pranayama & meditation, &, you get results very quickly, so that if you are pushed for time, you can fit in both pranayama & meditation, quite quickly, & effortlessly.
Here it is:
- Sit, with palms under your armpits (not in, but under) with thumbs on the front of the torso.
- Relax your jaw, & around the eyes (reduces tension).
- Eyes closed.
- Be aware of the breath flowing in & out of both nostrils, evenly.
- Then up & down both nostrils, to & from the eyebrow centre.
- The next step is to visualise the breath in each nostril as a thread of gold, going in & out, up & down - to & from the eyebrow centre. (This will create an inverted V shape).
- Add "So" on each inhale, "Ham" (pronounced "hum") ...
- After a short while, remove your hands, if you wish, into any comfortable position.
- Keep going with the golden thread & "So-Ham".
- Let any thoughts, any sensations, any sounds, continue in the background, keeping a relaxed focus on the technique.
- Be the Silent Witness, the knower, the observer. & allow yourself to just be.
This simple, yet very effective, technique, is so profound.
- It will harmonise mindstuff & emotions, & will calm both aspects down.
- It will bring you to one-pointedness.
- You can do it lying down without the hands under the armpits, for a relaxation.
- You can incorporate it into your classes, &, in this case, do it at the end of the class, as pranayama & meditation.
- Or, incorporate into relaxation at the end of the class.
- The reason for doing this after poses, is that it will harmonise the breath in both nostrils. In other words, both nostrils will flow in unison.
When they both are flowing evenly, the brain activity changes. Our spiritual energy kicks in. We go onto a lovely altered state. A sublime & very relaxed, yet quietly energised, state. This is not the state that we need for doing poses! We need a more physical energy for vinyasa, sun salutes, etc. And that is a flow of breath in the right nostril, not both together.
For beginners, you can teach this over a few weeks:
- Just teach a bit at a time, as described above.
- Do the 1st bit for a week or 2, up & down nostrils.
- Then the next week or 2, add to & from eyebrow centre.
- Then So- Ham,
- then golden threads.
- This could all take 4 - 8 weeks.
Doing this regularly will have a profound effect on the energy flow in each nostril. The energy will flow there anyway. It just does.
But, & this is important, we can awaken a higher, stronger energy flow there. At 1st, as it awakens, the flows will move up & down the nostrils in a wobbly motion. They will straighten in time. And, of course, the eyebrow centre, Brumadhya, will become stimulated, indirectly affecting Ajna chakra, the 3rd eye, inside the head.
Something else amazing & lovely, will happen too.....& we shall talk about this on the next post.