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Old school

This week's episode is a recast from the earlier days of the podcast. I guide you through Hum Sa kriya technique with the additional use of a mantra, the sound 'gam' (my pronunciation sounds like I'm saying "gum" in my non-descript American English, and any ol' way you pronounce it is fine!). Enjoy!
 
Listen to "Ep 516 - Practicing Mantra in Meditation - Recast May 21 2018"
 

What’s in this episode of Everyday Meditation?

  • Breathing practice: Alternate nostril breathing
  • Meditation technique (awareness kriya): Hum Sa with Gam mantra
  • A little re-grounding movement: Re-grounding series

As always, I encourage you to make yourself at home in this practice: substitute, modify, do as you need to feel safe and present, including taking breaks!

 

Integration suggestion

After listening to the episode, perhaps check in: did you notice something that you want to carry with you? If yes, maybe jot it down in a notebook or record a voice memo to help you remember!

 
Be moving, be true, be you
esther
 
 

photo credit vashishtha jogi, found on unsplash

We all need comforting

Spending time being comfortable --being in comfort, in our comfort zone-- is a necessary part of moving forward in life. (So is time spent being challenged, but that's a topic for another time.) And there are many ways to return to comfort when you need to -- doing things you love, spending time with people who make you feel good, and adopting practices that help your nervous system move towards your "happy place," such as meditation and yoga 😉 More on that in the episode!

You can also ignore all that and just practice in the way that suits you best! Enjoy!
 
Listen to "Ep 514 - Comforting Self + Humming Mantras Meditation" on Spreaker.
 

What’s in this episode of Everyday Meditation?

  • Welcome + getting situated, with a few thoughts on comforting self/Self
  • A little lead-in movement: Seated side stretch
  • Breathing practice: Long exhale
  • Meditation technique (awareness kriya): Humming Mantra
  • A little re-grounding movement: Kneeling lunge

As always, I encourage you to make yourself at home in this practice: substitute, modify, do as you need to feel safe and present, including taking breaks!

 

Integration suggestion

After listening to the episode, perhaps check in: did you notice something that you want to carry with you? If yes, maybe jot it down in a notebook or record a voice memo to help you remember!

 
Be moving, be true, be you
esther
 
 

photo credit peter de lucia, found on unsplash

There's more than one way to be present

There are many places in life where we're asked to "be present" -- and it doesn't always mean the same thing. Allowing some variation in the ways you show up in any given moment might make "being present" feel more manageable. I share a few thoughts on that in the episode -- plus how it relates to this week's technique. Enjoy!

 
Listen to "Ep 513 - Being Present + a Color Visualization Meditation" on Spreaker.
 

What’s in this episode of Everyday Meditation?

  • Welcome + getting situated, with a few thoughts on being present and what we can borrow from meditation
  • A little lead-in movement: Seated cat / cow
  • Breathing practice: Alternate nostril breathing (nadi shodhana)
  • Meditation technique (awareness kriya): Color visualization
  • A little re-grounding movement: Downdog or Child's form

As always, I encourage you to make yourself at home in this practice: substitute, modify, do as you need to feel safe and present, including taking breaks!

 

Integration suggestion

After listening to the episode, perhaps check in: did you notice something that you want to carry with you? If yes, maybe jot it down in a notebook or record a voice memo to help you remember!

 
Be moving, be true, be you
esther
 
 

photo credit vlad kutepov, found on unsplash

It can start with the breath

It's fairly common knowledge that deep breathing is calming. Unfortunately, deep breathing as a practice that everyone knows well enough to call on every time it's needed is not yet standard. Which means it's always worth a friendly reminder that your breathing is a powerful avenue for shifting nervous system behavior. And with that shift comes an opening to changing your mood, how you feel, and how easily you can focus.

When you sit for meditation, allowing yourself the time to come to a place of breathing comfortably is so valuable! You can use this notion both before you start the episode or enter a class and to make yourself comfortable during the practice if a breathing technique or meditation practice sets you off balance in some way. More on that in the opening of the episode, with the basic take away being to embrace whatever you need to do to be comfortable in your breathing throughout!

Enjoy!
 
Listen to "Ep 512 - Breathe Comfortably + Sat Yam Bubble Meditation" on Spreaker.
 

What’s in this episode of Everyday Meditation?

  • Welcome + getting situated, with a few thoughts on INSPO
  • A little lead-in movement: Arm lift
  • Breathing practice: Padadirsasana
  • Meditation technique (awareness kriya): Sat Yam Bubble
  • A little re-grounding movement: Cat / Cow

As always, I encourage you to make yourself at home in this practice: substitute, modify, do as you need to feel safe and present, including taking breaks!

 

Integration suggestion

After listening to the episode, perhaps check in: did you notice something that you want to carry with you? If yes, maybe jot it down in a notebook or record a voice memo to help you remember!
 
Be moving, be true, be you
esther
 
 

photo credit rowan heuvel, found on unsplash

Making moves with your mind

I sometimes refer to meditation as "mind moves" even though most of us, myself included, also think of meditation as "quieting the mind" or "stilling thoughts." That's because most practices involve moving your awareness, moving your mind, in order to create the conditions for stillness. (As someone who is more inclined to move than to be still, I find the use of movement to create stillness very freeing!)

Sometimes the practices I teach involve moving a light or a sound -- and today, I'm inviting you to move what you feel. Whatever you feel inside when you focus your awareness, you can use that to move your attention. (More on that in the episode.)

You can also ignore all that and just practice in the way that suits you best! Enjoy!
 
Listen to "Ep 511 - Moving What You Feel + Figure 8 Breath" on Spreaker.
 

What’s in this episode of Everyday Meditation?

  • Welcome + getting situated, with a few thoughts on moving what you feel inside with your attention
  • A little lead-in movement: Seated forward fold
  • Breathing practice: 4-Part Breath
  • Meditation technique (awareness kriya): Figure 8 Breath
  • A little re-grounding movement: Belly-down rest (savasana)

As always, I encourage you to make yourself at home in this practice: substitute, modify, do as you need to feel safe and present, including taking breaks!

 

Integration suggestion

After listening to the episode, perhaps check in: did you notice something that you want to carry with you? If yes, maybe jot it down in a notebook or record a voice memo to help you remember!

 

You can give it a try when you're ready

Listen to "Ep 511 - Moving What You Feel + Figure 8 Breath" on Spreaker.
 
Be moving, be true, be you
esther
 
 

photo credit vlad kutepov, found on unsplash

Choosing your journey

Meditation is the practice of focusing the mind without judgment or criticism. When you enter into the practice, you can bring effort and intention, curiosity and wonder. Once you've made the decision to practice, or to try, it's again your choice, at every moment, how to proceed.

There's choice in the type of practice you do, the object of focus, but even after that, when your mind wanders during meditation, when you notice it happening, you can choose to redirect your focus or not. You can choose to keep your eyes closed or to open them. You can choose to sit still for a set period of time or to let yourself get up in the middle of practice if you need.

In order to practice without judgment of our experience, it can be useful to remember that choosing to meditate is not the only choice you get to make. It doesn't have to be all in or not at all. I encourage you to let your meditation practice be exactly what it is on any given day, choosing from moment to moment how to be in it.

You can also ignore all that and just practice in the way that suits you best! Enjoy!

 
Listen to "Ep 510 - Choice + Hum Sa Meditation" on Spreaker.
 

What’s in this episode of Everyday Meditation?

  • Welcome + getting situated, with a few thoughts on making choices during the practice of meditation
  • A little lead-in movement: Cat / cow
  • Breathing practice: Alternate nostril breath (nadi shodhana)
  • Meditation technique (awareness kriya): Hum Sa
  • A little re-grounding movement: Child's form

As always, I encourage you to make yourself at home in this practice: substitute, modify, do as you need to feel safe and present, including taking breaks!

 

Integration suggestion

After listening to the episode, perhaps check in: did you notice something that you want to carry with you? If yes, maybe jot it down in a notebook or record a voice memo to help you remember!

 

You can give it a try when you're ready

Listen to "Ep 510 - Choice + Hum Sa Meditation" on Spreaker.
 
Be moving, be true, be you
esther
 
 

photo credit waldemar brandt, found on unsplash

You decide how to get ready

Meditation is a simple, if difficult practice. And yet, because our lives are complex and often messy, we're not always ready to jump right into the simplicity of the meditation practice.

This week, I talk about the importance of choosing what you need (and taking time to explore ideas and options) to prepare for meditation and to transition out of it. In the practice, I encourage you to do your own thing and/or try out the suggestions I offer to help you find your own thing. I hope it's helpful. Enjoy!
 
Listen to "Ep 509 - Choice + Swaying Meditation" on Spreaker.
 

What’s in this episode of Everyday Meditation?

  • Welcome + getting situated, with a few thoughts on making choices and taking action in meditation
  • A little lead-in movement: Seated camel
  • Breathing practice: Even ratio breathing (1:1)
  • Meditation technique (awareness kriya): Swaying to center
  • A little re-grounding movement: Reclining ankle to knee

As always, I encourage you to make yourself at home in this practice: substitute, modify, do as you need to feel safe and present, including taking breaks!

 

Integration suggestion

After listening to the episode, perhaps check in: did you notice something that you want to carry with you? If yes, maybe jot it down in a notebook or record a voice memo to help you remember!

 

You can give it a try when you're ready

Listen to "Ep 509 - Choice + Swaying Meditation" on Spreaker.

 
Be moving, be true, be you
esther
 
 

photo credit hoach le din, found on unsplash

A-U-M or OM

One of the ISHTA meditation practices includes humming or chanting "Aahh" then "Uooo" then "Mmmm". These are the component sounds of "OM," which is also chanted for devotion and meditation, though I rarely use it that way. So I thought I'd give it a try and compare the two.

This week, I lead the A-U-M practice as I normally teach it. Next week, I'll lead us through a version chanting OM, instead of the component parts. Try one or both practices and let me know -- do you prefer one? If noticeably different for you, how so?

Or just practice and let it be what it is. Enjoy!
 
Listen to "Ep 507 - A-U-M chanting meditation" on Spreaker.
 

What’s in this episode of Everyday Meditation?

  • Welcome + getting situated, with a few thoughts on chanting with A-U-M vs OM
  • A little lead-in movement: 90/90 pigeon
  • Breathing practice: Long exhale
  • Meditation technique (awareness kriya): A-U-M (chanting)
  • A little re-grounding movement: Reclining knock knees

As always, I encourage you to make yourself at home in this practice: substitute, modify, do as you need to feel safe and present, including taking breaks!

 

Integration suggestion

After listening to the episode, perhaps check in: did you notice something that you want to carry with you? If yes, maybe jot it down in a notebook or record a voice memo to help you remember!

 

You can give it a try when you're ready

Listen to "Ep 507 - A-U-M chanting meditation" on Spreaker.

PS

"Om" is referred to as the "universal sound" and in the Hindu religion universal sound would also be the divine sound. In western yoga classes, it's practice both with or without deference to its history and context. I would saying I fall in the latter camp, having little knowledge of its religious purpose nor much capacity to wrap my head around there being one universal sound. I leave it to you whether to say or chant OM or A-U-M as you deem sound and right for you.

 
Be moving, be true, be you
esther
 
 

photo credit zac bromell, found on unsplash

EVERYDAY MEDITATION PODCAST: EPISODE #

Listen to "Ep 230 - Focus, Mindset, and Meditation" on Spreaker.

What’s this episode about?
Skill seeking! So you wanna build a new skill, and you want meditation to help.

First, do your homework. What skill? What evidence is there to support a certain path to build a skill?

Second, find a teacher to guide you or/and help you stay accountable to your goal.

Third, if your goal is targetable / trackable or time sensitive, set up a means to track progress a) assess where you are now, b) track at regular intervals, c) if the trend isn't upwards, change what you're doing. Repeat until you reach your goal.

Meditation can help you build your ability to hold your attention on something. You could track your progress using the meditation, but not being attached to your results is a requirement for practice - which means it's gonna be more effective to have a separate test of progress.

Despite loving education and being a teacher, skill seeking has not been my thing. Interestingly, it wasn't until I started teaching that my mindset began to change. See --and the teachers in the room will recognize this-- when you teach, you either know it all or you don't. Trust me, you don't. Or I certainly don't.

And the moment when a student asks a question you realize you can't answer, it becomes obvious that there's more work to do. I love teaching because I learn during it and it's exciting to see others learn. And I didn't want to give that up, so I was motivated to change. Also because very often I'd realize while teaching that I was making connections and learning new things --improving while practicing.

And if you want to improve a (narrow) skill like focusing your mind --meditation can help. But only if you apply some effort, practice through discomfort, and stay at it!!

Here it is important to keep coming back to do your homework because of different meditation techniques will be better suited to different skills. Listen to episode # for more on that.

Keep coming back and you'll likely see change.
 

Ready to practice a meditation?

Below is the week's "full practice" episode. Click here to listen to the "how to practice" instructions.

Listen to "Ep 227 - Full Arohan Awarohan Kriya Practice - SUN mon" on Spreaker.

I'd love to hear about your experience -- and help out with any questions you have.

Practicing with you,
esther
 
photo by danielle macinnes via unsplash.com

EVERYDAY MEDITATION PODCAST: EPISODE #195

What’s this episode about?
Compassion meditations can boost your compassion and more. I talk about how that can be useful in your relationship not only with others, but also yourself.

Plus, the one reason I'm ready to add a compassion meditation to my regular practice!

What can I do with that?
I hope it inspires you to look a little deeper into where compassion comes into your life and the effects you feel or observe!

Go on and give it a listen, here:

Listen to "Ep 195 - Meditation, Compassionate Action, and Unconscious Bias" on Spreaker.

Ready to practice the meditation? Below is the week's "full practice" episode. Click here to listen to the "how to practice" instructions.

Listen to "Ep 192 - Full Self Awareness Meditation Practice" on Spreaker.

I'd love to hear about your experience -- and help out with any questions you have.

Practicing with you,
esther

EVERYDAY MEDITATION PODCAST: EPISODE #188

What’s this episode about?
What is compassion? What is kindness? I give you my off the cuff definition and, thankfully, the definition used by researchers in studying the effects of compassion meditation.

What can I do with that?
I'm a big believer in the power of words --and the meaning they convey and confer-- to shape our thinking, which can shape our actions. So I hope you're inspired to consider your "definition" of compassion and kindness, how they match up with the actual definitions, and what that might mean for the way you take action in the world.

Give it a listen and find out 🙂

Listen to "Ep 188 - Compassion and Kindness" on Spreaker.

Ready to practice the meditation? Below is the week's "full practice" episode. Click here to listen to the "how to practice" instructions.

Listen to "Ep 185 - Full Sat Yam Kriya Practice" on Spreaker.

I'd love to hear about your experience -- and help out with any questions you have.

Practicing with you,
esther

EVERYDAY MEDITATION PODCAST: EPISODE #181

What’s this episode about?
A little bit of the brain science behind how meditation can help you improve your attention and focus.

What can I do with that?
I go into that in the episode! In brief, if you want meditation to help you improve the way you use your attention, you have to train --like an athlete training for the olympics (or little league, that'll do, too ;).

Don't want "training" to be part of your meditation practice? That's A-OK, too! Just don't expect amazing transformations in your attention skills.

Give the episode a listen and experiment with what works best for you!

Listen to "Ep 181 - Meditation and the Science of Attention" on Spreaker.

Ready to practice the meditation? Below is the week's "full practice" episode. Click here to listen to the "how to practice" instructions.

Listen to "Ep 178 - Full Hum Sa Kriya Practice" on Spreaker.

I'd love to hear about your experience.

Practicing with you,
esther

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