May 09

Simple Seated Meditation

In recovery circles it’s common to hear the advice that “you need to get out of your head.”  Meditation is one way to do this effectively.  It’s free, it’s natural and you can do it at any time.  Whether through simple breathing techniques, mantras or guided meditations the seated practice calms the central nervous system, brings clarity to the mind and new life to the spirit.

“Through meditation and by giving full attention to one thing at a time, we can learn to direct attention where we choose.”  ~ Eknath Easwaran

Although there are many types of meditation the following is a variation of the lotus pose.  Try this incredibly simple seated practice of focusing on the breath for a few days in a row and see how you feel.  All you really have to do is breathe… If you find the posture uncomfortable try sitting in a straight backed chair with your feet on the floor.

Sit in a cross-legged position with the ankles in front of one another or experiment further by placing one leg on top of the other for half lotus.  You can simply place the hands on the knees, touch index and thumbs or have the palms open facing up. Keep the spine straight, tuck the chin slightly, close the eyes and then with the eyes still closed look up to the spot between the eyes slightly above the eyebrows.  This spot is often called the third eye, or the ajna chakra, associated with creativity, imagination and dreaming.  In yoga, it is often used as an internal focal point for meditation or for the point of focus where the gaze rests during physical postures and breathing exercises.  Now allow the knees and hips to relax out and down toward the floor.  Feel the sit bones grounding into the earth and the crown of the head gently lifting up and away from the rest of the body toward the sky.  Allow the spine to lengthen as you sit a little taller.  Soften the face, release all tension in the neck and shoulders, press your lips together softly and begin to breathe slowly in and out through the nose.

Put all your attention on the breath, feel the body expand with every inhale, focus on the feeling of life entering the body….All your attention on every exhale, releasing toxins from both  the body and the mind…. Whenever your attention starts to wander simply come back to that slow, deep breath.  Feel the air moving in and out through your nose.  Notice the way the breath drags up and down the back of the throat.  Connect with the rhythm of the rise and fall of your own belly.  All of your attention on the breath…Not engaging or struggling with the thoughts that enter the mind, simply becoming a witness, observing, noticing and quietly redirecting the attention back to your own breathing for 20 to 30 deep breaths.

A continued seated practice teaches us to reduce the chatter of the mind.  As we learn to be still we find that a new space begins to open.  Letting go of the past and future gives us an opportunity to choose what we will put into the space we create.  Even the simplest of breathing exercises begins to open the chakras allowing energy to flow more freely through the body.  The physical benefits of the posture include the strengthening of the lower back and spinal musculature, improved circulation, reduced inflammation in the knees, the relaxation of the groin and hips and generally improving the posture of the body as a whole.

Remember, simple and easy are not always the same thing, give yourself some time to work up to 30 breaths… Start with 10, or even 5… If you don’t like counting the breaths then set a timer for even just one minute and slowly increase your time.  The ego tends to struggle to hang on at first, usually whispering the lie that you don’t have time for this or that it’s of no real value.  I encourage you to stick with it, if you find that it doesn’t work for you keep searching until you find a method that does.  As with so many things in life consistency is the key and true value will most certainly be found in the continued practice of meditation.

Many more posts to come on recovery yoga and various forms of meditation coming soon.


Social Media Icons Powered by Acurax Wordpress Development Company