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Where breathing sometimes overwhelms my practice of Hum Sa kriya, I find the opposite to be true with Sat Yam kriya: breathing always leads me in to the kriya technique in an effortless way. But that's just me! Your experience may be different, similar, or not really even in the same ballpark!
 

What’s in this episode?

Before teaching Sat Yam kriya, I share my experience with breathing and Sat Yam kriya (in the How To episode) -- and what I mean by "being led by breathing."

 

How can you use this practice?

You might try this practice to bring attention to how your breathing does or doesn't play a role in your meditation practice (and if you tuned in last week, perhaps compare with your experience in Hum Sa kriya).

I also love Sat Yam kriya for feeling connected to something bigger than me -- even just the literal space around me, wherever I am.

Give it a try when you're ready

SPREAKER EMBED

 
Be moving, be true,
esther
 
 

photo credit anthony rampersad on unsplash

If you've been with me for a while, you've probably heard me go on and on about the magic of our breathing. I'm fascinated by how it works anatomically, and how it transforms our moment to moment experience in feeling. When it comes to meditation, breathing is a tremendous aid and, sometimes, a bit overpowering...
 

What’s in this episode?

We're returning to the practice of Hum Sa kriya this week, and in the How To, I talk about what happens when your breathing becomes the primary focus -- instead of the kriya (the "focusing mind action"). Fair warning, for some of you, hearing about this possibility may create it where it was not an issue before! So feel free to skip if you're not particularly curious.

 

After practicing

If you are curious, you might check in after your practice: how did breathing participate? What held your focus most easily: the kriya or breathing? Neither is right or wrong (despite my framing breathing as getting in the way), just different practices. Which do you prefer?

Give it a try when you're ready

Listen to "Ep 496 - Breathing Choice + Hum Sa Kriya Meditation" on Spreaker.

 
Be moving, be true,
esther
 
 

photo credit daniil silantev on unsplash

How does color play into your mood? Do any colors help you connect to feeling "grounded"? In this week's meditation episode, you can try one way to check in with this question in the 7 Colors meditation.
 

What’s in this episode?

We're building on the 7 Centers meditation (the practice of bringing your awareness to the centers of 7 segments in your upper body) by adding color to each center. The colors follow the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, indigo/blue, violet/purple, clear. So, really 6 colors + the absence of color = 7 Colors meditation.

 

What's it like to do this practice?

Many of us associate something with various colors, even just "I like" or "I don't like" or "this color makes this room feel warm." I think visualizing color can invite us into some kind of feeling or spatial awareness. That said, I will share that my visualization powers are weak, and as such I struggle to conjure color in my mind -- any color, let alone 7 (technically 6) specific ones! And so, when I practice the 7 Colors meditation, I notice that attempting to bring the colors into mind takes all my mental attention and serves as a good way to focus. Moving my attention up the body gradually, helps to shift my focus to a space of "nothingness" in the mind.

You might experience the same "good effort" through color visualization, or you might find yourself using less effort, but being embraced more by the colors. Just two possible experiences out of infinite possibilities!

Give it a try when you're ready

Listen to "Ep 494 - Feeling Grounded + 7 Colors Meditation" on Spreaker.
 
Be moving, be true,
esther
 
 

photo credit geoffrey baumbach on unsplash

Does one type of sound help you feel more "grounded" than another? Maybe you know, maybe you've never thought about it before, maybe you've been looking but just aren't really sure. It's all normal. In this week's meditation episode, you can try one way to check in with this question of "sounds that ground" in the 7 Sounds meditation.
 

What’s in this episode?

We're building on last week's 7 Centers meditation (the practice of bringing your awareness to the centers of 7 segments in your upper body) by adding a simple mantra / sound at each center, hence 7 Sounds meditation.
 

How can you use this practice?

Vocal sounds, especially of the humming variety like the 7 sounds in this practice, have been shown to help calm your nervous system, which then tends to help you feel more "grounded." I love mantra meditations because they help me feel very physically present in my body. If you're looking for a simple grounding mantra, this is a great way to try out a few different sounds (which you can use as mantras as they are or as a base on which to build).

What are the 7 sounds?

I thought you'd never ask! Obviously, I'd love for you to tune in to find out, but just in case a visual also helps, here's how they're written in the English alphabet:

Lam
Vam
Ram
Yam
Ham
Kh-sham
Om

The "am" sound is meant to be a humming sound. The consonant in front is its own leading sound. For example, "Ham" is not pronounced like the meat made from pig, but like "Hah" plus "ummmm" -- so it becomes an aspirated hum. If I'm even explaining that accurately. Listen in to hear what I mean!

Give it a try when you're ready

Listen to "Ep 492 - Feeling Grounded through Sound + 7 Sounds Meditation" on Spreaker.

 
Listen to "Ep 491 - How to Practice 7 Sounds Meditation" on Spreaker.

 
Be moving, be true,
esther
 
 

photo credit max bohme on unsplash

Do you feel more "grounded" in one area of your body than another? This is something that I started thinking about when my dance colleague in grad school mentioned that she was sensitive to / always coming back to her neck as an area of interest. Honestly, I don't remember if those were the words she used, but it made me think of what area of my body I was drawn to explore -- or avoid. In dance and life, this could be any area or the whole body, and if you're curious about what this even means for you, I encourage you to try an episode of Moved to Heal, my new podcast of trauma-informed practices (for anyone!).

I'm also inviting you to explore the idea in a slightly more limited way in your meditation practices this month.
 

What’s in this episode?

The chakra system helps to draw attention to segments of the trunk in a similar way that movement practice can help draw attention to any and all parts of you. And this month, I'm teaching meditation practices that use the 7 segments from the chakra system without ascribing meaning to those segments (as the chakra system does).

We're starting this week with the 7 Centers meditation -- which is the practice of bringing your awareness to the deep centers of these 7 segments in sequence.
 

How can you use this practice?

One thing I love about the chakra practices (and the less mystical versions I'm offering 🙂 is how they can help you to develop internal awareness of your physical self (at least of your torso) and of any reactions or emotions that go with that.

I know that might sound scary. And you can ignore you ever read it, if you want! You can go into this practice without agenda or looking for something; either way, I hope you'll find a little bit of awareness with it someday.

Give it a try when you're ready

Listen to "Ep 490 - Feeling Grounded + 7 Centers Meditation" on Spreaker.
 
Listen to "Ep 489 - How to Practice 7 Centers Meditation" on Spreaker.

 
Be moving, be true,
esther
 
 

photo credit brazil topno, found on unsplash

We breathe without thinking and it keeps us living.
The way we breathe in any given moment is directly linked to the situation we're in, whether the situation is largely physical or mental or emotional. Our actions and thoughts can shape our breathing - and happily, our breathing can, to some degree, shape our forms and feelings in return.
 

What’s in this episode?

I explain some of what's behind the focus on breathing in the earlier episodes this month (ep 482 - 487), both generally and specifically for each of the three different practices. If you leave with more questions that you came, that's good! And stay tuned: more breathing breakdown will come in the future 🙂

 

Give it a listen when you're ready

 

Listen to "Ep 488 - Breathing Shape and Meditation" on Spreaker.
 
Be moving, be true,
esther
 
 

photo credit asdrubal jose medrano on unsplash

Want to center yourself quickly and effectively? Try the "Figure 8 Breath" meditation, also known as Arohan Awarohan kriya. It may just be the thing!
 

What’s in this episode?

Arohan Awarohan kriya meditation follows a figure 8 pattern of attention --and it mimics one possible pattern of breathing movement. I explain what and how that works in the "how to" episode, and in teaching the practice, I draw on that connection between your focus and your breathing movement.

 

How can you use this practice?

There are many patterns of breathing that our bodies can take on. The figure 8 breathing pattern can, as an exercise, be centering, kind of like how rocking a baby (or adult!) is soothing. Not everyone will find it useful in this way (full disclosure: I'm in that "not everyone" group!), and some will find it magical. If you give it a try and discover that it's useful for you, I'd love to hear how it turned out!

 

Give it a try when you're ready

 

Listen to "Ep 485 - the Figure 8 Breath, Arohan Awarohan Kriya Meditation" on Spreaker.

 
Be moving, be true,
esther
 
 

photo credit K8 found on unsplash

Making the sounds of A-U-M kriya can be deeply soothing to your nervous system --all the more so when you think about the role your breathing plays.
 

What’s in this episode?

AUM kriya meditation! In this version, I invite you to imagine your "breath" in different locations in your torso -- lower, middle, and upper thirds. This is so we can imagine the sounds "Ahh" "Ooo" and "Mmm" as originating both from the breath and from these areas of the torso. It's maybe not as weird as it sounds in writing 😉

 

How can you use this practice?

If making sound is not something you think about, but just do, this practice may help you bring some intention into your chanting. And I find the meditation practice very grounding - good for when you feel less than steady in your body or mind.
 

Give it a try when you're ready

 
Listen to "Ep 483 - Breathing Sound and AUM Meditation".
 
Be moving, be true,
esther
 
 

photo credit artur luckza on unsplash

You know how baby's like being rocked to sleep? Most adults find rocking, or swaying, pretty darn soothing, too.
 

What’s in this episode?

"Sway to Center" meditation uses a simple swaying motion to ease into a simple internal awareness of "center" (a vertical central column this time) and find focus.

 

How can you use this practice?

I like starting with the sway when I already feel relaxed --too relaxed to want to sit up and meditate! And, on the flip side, I find it's a good way to ease into "calming down" your mind -- it's like preparing your brain to quiet by creating a comfortable steadiness in the body... through motion.

Give it a try the next time you just want a hug from your meditation practice.

Try it out when you're ready

 
Listen to "Ep 480 - Sway to Center Meditation" on Spreaker.
 
Be moving, be true,
esther
 
 

photo credit anton darius on unsplash

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