I’ve just started using this technique to work on lesson plans. I find it really helpful, although they can grow out of control! Here’s one I did for a class on the the theme ‘Yoga from the Heart’.
This is a wonderful venue – the picture doesn’t do it justice – belonging to the Field Studies Council. Back to back yoga for 2 days. I shared a room with a lady I’d never met before. As well as teaching yoga, she is a side-show performer: yoga on a bed of nails! The bed of nails came with her and participants were invited to try it. (No, I was unavoidably detained somewhere else…..)
I am 61 now, and so I get free travel on the buses in Swansea where I live. I still have to work though, but instead of getting stressed out in the car, I get on the bus.
I have a lot of audio books by Jack Kornfield – and he recommends practicing the Loving Kindness meditation (the Metta), on planes and boats and trains etc. So that’s what I’ve started to do. I do the loving kindness meditation for me (you should always start with yourself), everyone who gets on the bus, the bus driver and extend it outwards until it’s a loving kindness meditation for anyone who happens to be on a bus – wherever they are in the world.
To be honest with you, until I started doing this, I had never really had much experience of positive energy (although I have always believed it existed), but believe me – by the time I get off the bus, I am much nicer than I was when I got on.
I’m sure you all know the Metta – there are lots of variations – but I use these two (I’m giving you the ‘ I ‘ version, because you should always start with yourself. But then you can extend it to whomsoever you choose, like ‘man on the bus/lady on the bus’:-
May I be filled with loving kindness.
May I be free from suffering.
May I be at peace.
May I be happy.
Jack Kornfield varies this a little, and I like to use this version too:-
May I be filled with loving kindness.
May I be safe and protected.
May I be healed and strong.
May I live at ease, with a free heart.
I don’t know how you get to and from work, but next time you are stuck in traffic, why not say a Metta for everyone, everywhere, stuck in traffic?
Love and blessings to you.
I’m not very good at visualisation. If you told me to imagine myself by a lake bathed in moonlight while a gentle breeze plays through the reeds at the edge etc. etc. – my mind would probably wander off to the supermarket (lists, planning, judgements – as usual). I really don’t see things in my mind’s eye at all.
However, dipping into ‘Sure Ways to Self-Realization’ by Swami Satyananda Saraswati (Yoga Publications Trust 1983), I came across two chapters: One – Meditating with Colour and Light, and the other – Meditation for Children. These interested me because I can occasionally visualise a colour, especially when practicing pranayama, and there’s a whole section on Colour Pranayama.
The Swami recommends either Ujjayi pranayama or Nadi Shodana. If you want to try this with Nadi Shodana, he recommends visualising your chosen colour for a couple of minutes before beginning your pranayama. If you choose red, orange or yellow, imagine the colour coming to you from the earth. If you choose green, inhale the colour in a horizontal direction. Colours on the blue spectrum (including indigo and violet), are inhaled from above. Inhale your colour and hold the breath in for a moment or two. Imagine your colour spreading through your entire being. As you exhale notice if there is any change in the colour. (Sometimes colours change on the out-breath because impurities are being expelled).
Now you are ready to practice Nadi Shodana as usual, but imagining your chosen colour entering and leaving the nostrils with the breath.
It is also possible to practice mental Nadi Shodana while lying in Savasana. In this case, the Swami invites you to breathe blue breaths through the left nostril and red breaths through the right.
In the chapter on Meditation for Children, there is a delightful ‘Simple prana vidya’. You begin in a comfortable sitting or lying position and imagine breathing in from your navel centre and tracking the breath up to the space between the eyebrows. When you exhale, see your breath travelling to every part of your body. Continue to breathe in this way, but now see the breath as light – it can be any colour you choose. Breathe the light in at the navel centre and send it up to the third eye. Breathe out and see your whole body filled with light. Now imagine your friends and loved ones sitting together in a circle. They are all holding hands with one another. Going from one person to another, fill them with light and prana from your eyebrow centre. Once you have visited each person, you can watch the light-prana travel by itself in a clockwise direction around the circle. Allow it to travel round the circle three times. On an in-breath, recall your light-prana to the eyebrow centre and as you breathe out, return it to your navel centre and store it there.
If you try any of the above, I hope you enjoy them.
So, I have decided to overcome my phobia of burglar alarms.
I am reinstating my Tuesday evening yoga classes from 31st March 2015. They will run at the Swansea Vale Resource Centre from 18.30-19.45 hrs.
I am postponing the Wednesday evening class at the Llansamlet Community Centre (also 18.30-19.45) until September.
The cost per class will be £5.
Thank you for your patience.
Instead there will be a class tomorrow evening at Llansamlet Community Centre (next to the Plough and Harrow) from 18.30-19.45.
I’m sorry I couldn’t cope with the alarm system at the Resource Centre.
I’m still looking for a Tuesday evening venue too. I’ll keep you posted.