Savasana Meditation: Gift from yourself, to yourself with Green Tara by Taos Winds

Recline in Savasana and allow your day to melt and your practice to dissolve the obstacles to your true gift while listening to this meditation on soundcloud.com.  Leave a comment andgift with ribbon let me know how you use these recordings. Do you play them during savasana, before bed, while falling asleep or save for a treat?

Safe Place Visualization mp3 (link to SoundCloud)

If you liked Tracy Weber’s Safe Place Visualization, try this narration with Taos Wind’s “Green TaraIMG_0099in the background. Find your spot, sitting or lying in Savasana, and melt into your safe place. You’ll find it nestled in your badlands. When you’re fully blissed, head on over to Taos Wind’s website and check out his newest Chakra recording – my newest favorite for practice. Leave a comment if you love it, too!

 

Safe Place Meditation for Relaxation

Today’s Meditation is a gift from our guest, Tracy Weber of Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, Washington. Thank you for this relaxing interval, Tracy!

……………..

One of my favorite meditations allows me to transport myself to a place I love. Sometimes I imagine sitting in front of a roaring fire. Sometimes I walk along the ocean. Sometimes I feel the rough surface of a dock I used to frequent over twenty years ago. Our bodies respond similarly whether we actually visit our favorite locations or simply imagine ourselves there.

The next time you need a vacation, there’s no need to wait save up money or accumulate vacation hours. Try this simple visualization meditation instead. The more senses you involve, the more deeply you will immerse yourself in the experience.

Safe Place Visualization Meditation

1.      Sit comfortably, with your spine erect and the crown of your head floating up to the ceiling. Sitting either in a chair or on the floor is fine, as long as you are physically comfortable and your spine is in “neutral.”

2.      Allow your eyes to close and your focus to go internal.

3.      Notice your breath—without intentionally trying to change it. Feel the warmth and coolness of the breath at the tip of your nostrils. Allow your mind to focus on and pay attention to this feeling of the breath. The breath will be your anchor.

4.      Bring to mind a place in which you feel calm and at peace. It can be a real place you have actually been, or it can be a place created by your imagination. Any place will work as long as it feels serene and safe to you.

  • A cabin next to a crackling fire
  • A forest
  • An ocean beach
  • Cuddling in your living room with your dog, cat, or favorite human.

5.      Imagine yourself in your peaceful place using all of your senses.

  • What do you see? The blues of the sky? The multiple colors of a rainbow? Froth from the ocean waves? Fields of purple or yellow flowers?
  • What do you smell? Freshly mown grass? The brackish smell of the ocean? Vanilla candles? The delicious aroma of baked cookies?
  • What do you hear? The crackle of a fire? Purring of cats? The breath-like sound of the ocean? Birds singing or chirping?
  • What sensations can you feel? The heat of the sun? Coolness of a light breeze? Tight or relaxed muscles?
  • What do you taste? The salt of the ocean? Sweetness or bitterness on your tongue?
  • What do you feel internally? Are you hungry? Full? Do you feel happy, relaxed, or peaceful?

6.      If your attention wanders (and it will!) just notice it, and invite your attention back to the sensation of the breath at the tip of your nose. Then return to your peaceful place and begin again.

7.      Continue this meditation for 10 minutes or longer if you’d like.

No matter where you are, you take this safe place with you. Visit it any time you need to feel safe.

Tracy Weber, founder of Whole Life YogaToday’s meditation post is a gift from our guest, Tracy Weber founder of Whole Life Yoga, an award-winning yoga studio in Seattle, WA. She was certified through the American Viniyoga Institute’s yoga therapist training program, and she is registered at the highest level offered by Yoga Alliance (E-RYT 500).  In 2004, Tracy developed Whole Life Yoga’s yoga teacher training program. She has personally trained over 200 yoga teachers since then.Tracy originally came to yoga for relief from chronic back pain, and she rapidly discovered the balance and stress relief yoga provides. Tracy believes that the benefits of yoga are much broader than physical exercise, and that yoga can help people achieve what they want in all areas of life.

Special Treat! (for planning your yoga retreat)

Today and next Monday we’ll be sharing yoga and meditation tips with Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, pigeon pose on beachWashington. For today’s post, head on over to wholelifeyoga.com and check out my guest post there. While you’re there, peruse all the yoga goodness Tracy has to offer – it’s a wonderful blog!

What are you still doing here? Head on over to wholelifeyoga.com get some ideas on creating your own home yoga retreat!

Savasana Meditation: stream and light

English: Wyming Brook in winter.

English: Wyming Brook in winter. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A recording of today’s guided meditation during savasana, a relaxing opportunity to let your body melt into earth and water, air and light. Enjoy! Let me know how you use it and what you think: leave a comment below!

 

 

Mind and Life Talks with HHDL

English: 14th Dalai Lama, Dharasmala, India

14th Dalai Lama, Dharasmala, India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are 3 things I look forward to in January: blooming hyacinths, stillness in life and house and the Mind and Life Talks. His Holiness the Dalai Lama in conversation with the world’s top scientists, going on year 26, live stream from here.

Right now I’m watching a conversation about brain development, childhood discipline, neglect and training, and the Dalai Lama is teasing the speaker, who really wants to talk about neuroplasticity. A religious and political leader who chooses to use his influence to cultivate theoretical discussion about the forefront of our understanding of mind-brain science is simply inspiring and inoculates me against cynicism for at least half a year. Which explains why I’m here watching the talks live on a Friday night. Geek out.

Discussing what happens to neurons and dendrites – particularly in early development – under stress, how their growth is stifled and stunted, and  the relationship of stress to vigilance and emotion, I am reminded how crucial my practice of yoga and sitting meditation is to my peaceful life filled with hyacinths, hugs and humble quietude.

Having experienced profound trauma in my early life, I’m keenly aware that my

Regions of the brain affected by PTSD and stress.

Regions of the brain affected by PTSD and stress. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

brain fits into the categories being discussed. Diagnosed more than 2 decades ago with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), yoga, meditation and tai chi were crucial in putting my life and insides together anew. They are not, of course, panacea, and occasional “tune-up” visits to a therapist for EMDR, talk therapy and guided meditation are incredible tools. My life with this history has been an incredible teacher for me. I have been constantly reminded of the value of silence in life as well as the need for teachers and community to provide a context for practice.

The Mind and Life discussions help me understand myself and reinforce the value of my practice. More than that, though, they make me hopeful and optimistic about the future. Scientists sitting down to explain complex research – their life’s work – in lay terms to a passionately interested leader who expends his resources to bring them together, and a whole youtube channel dedicated to making these discussions freely available: I find comfort in this set of facts, in the caring and careful attempts to understand ourselves and in the reminder that I have a practice that gives me tremendous power to heal intergenerational trauma – mine and others. Time to go sit. See you on the mat.

Today at Sarvodaya's Early Morning meditation

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

3 part yogic breath: meditation between abundance and stillness

 

Dirgha, or three part yogic breath, is the basis for pranayam. The first portion initiates the body’s relaxation response, and the entire thing is an exercise in observation and transformation through attention. We start every class with this meditation and I’ve finally produced a recording I’m willing to share. It has audio issues, so don’t expect pro quality – it’s my first one! Let me know how you enjoy the content and I’ll continue to post as I become more comfortable and my equipment gets better. Comment below to let me know how this works for you.