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!

Reflections on self retreat

 

As many of you know, I head out into the desert for a week every August, to spend time listening and wandering among the ruins and hoodoos.
English: Fritz Swanson took this picture of th...

English: Fritz Swanson took this picture of the Fajada Butte in the summer of 2005. The Butte stands at the entrance to Chaco Canyon in the northwest New Mexico. Chaco Culture National Historical Park. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

How can you create your own retreat, even if you can’t get away for an entire week?

 

 

Retreat isn’t about moving away from your life, but toward your core values, personal truth and definite best. While we retreat from distractions and energy drains, we embrace the practices and habits that give us sustenance and allow us to bring it in our everyday life.

 

 

To create your very own retreat, decide on a time and a set of core practices that you know fill your heart. Start with three days. If you can take three days off from obligations of work and social life that’s great, but if you want to have a retreat in concert with your everyday life that’s great, too. Either way, mark this time as special: you might begin with a massage, an extra special yoga class or simply a solo hike. Let the people in your everyday life know that during these days you won’t be taking on extra tasks. Consider taking an email and phone break, if only before and after work.

 

 

Consider changing your routine and surroundings regardless of whether you plan to take time off. Make the house extra neat and clean, enlist a family member to have quiet coffee or tea with you in the morning. Set your space up with the books you want and any other resources you desire: yoga mats, blocks, blankets, bolsters, DVDs or streaming videos, special bath salts. Make sure the cupboards are stocked with food that will make you feel good. You might decide to eat lightly during this time.

 

 

Decide which distractions to eliminate and what practices to embrace during this time. Begin by considering your “ideal day.” If you could have anything and everything you wanted for 24 hours, what would that look like? Would you sleep for 10 hours and have a luxurious yoga practice with meditation upon wakening? Spend the afternoon reading inspiring, soul-filling books or go on a challenging hike? Would you eat all vegetarian or buy extra special wine to go with dinner? Think minimal distraction, maximum practice. What would feed your soul?

 

 

Finally, design how you will avoid the inevitable distractions. On my retreat trips, I go as far away from civilization as I can get in the contiguous 48… and recently, I was able to get cell service. I’ve learned that I have to turn the phone off and make it inaccessible to maintain my chosen discipline. If I bring my computer for writing, I disable the wi-fi. The point is to go inward, cultivate silence and listen for what comes from deep within.

 

 

Make this a pampering time as much as one of discipline. Have your favorite healthy food, best bath salts and linens, go to your favorite location. If you take time literally away, expect the first three days to be an emptying out. Journal, draw, walk, record the insights and fears… but always relate to them as interesting products of your thinking, not necessarily as reality. Reality is here and now, this breath, this sigh. Keep coming back to your breath. If you’re taking more than three days, you can anticipate a great calm after you’ve cleaned the pipes.

 

 

How do you connect with your core truths and self? A retreat – whether on your own or joining a planned event – is a great way to reset and restore your factory settings. Do you remember what those are? Find out! Treat yourself to your own retreat.

 

 

The Dude Abides, The Writer Comes & Goes…

To abide is to remain, to witness, to sustain and to look upon with kind regard. To abide is one definition of meditation: to remain with one’s own mind in a state of kind regard. To abide is a gift, a discipline and a way of love & I have the most loving readers in the blogosphere!

I’ve been AWOL for months, focused on other areas of my practice, following lights I didn’t at first realize would lead me away from blogging. And yet, you keep visiting, reading & letting me know you are out there. My own practice has become more vigorous and maybe you’ve been following the CampNYoga developments on Twitter or Facebook. How has your practice evolved in recent months?

So while the Dude Abides, I come & go and I’M BACK! I’ll be posting about weekly and next week I’ll have an update on the first, invitation only CampNYoga, complete with photos 🙂 Twice daily yoga and meditation classes, dharma talk with Kirtan on Saturday evening, massage in camp, gourmet organic camp cooking, wine sponsored by Meagan the Wine Goddess at ABQ Whole Foods. We’re not calling it a retreat, because it’s an advance: we’re retreating from nothing, we’re embracing our lives with Love. Love, Truth, Beauty: Here, Now. Peace.