A Life Designing Pranayama and Chakra Meditation Practice
What to expect:
Expect visualisation and hearing mantra syllables as ancient methods for balancing chakras and clearing energy pathways. These visual and auditory components are also firm anchors for the mind. This is not passive meditation, it requires and develops concentration and focus (dharana).
Why this version of pranayama and meditation?
Chakra meditation is the central meditation technique in Yoga. Not in Buddhism, not in Vedanta, but in yoga.
Nadi Shoddhi (alternate nostril breathing) is the central pranayama in Yoga. There are many others, but this version number 1.
Who is it for?
This class that has been developed to help support a routine for those who have a busy schedule. Much like eating a salad once a week won’t make you healthy, pranayama and meditation require regular practice, especially as we are dealing with the subtle energy body. Pranayama and meditation can take more discipline than asana (the physical practice of yoga) as it doesn’t always give an immediate feeling or an aesthetic reward. Yet it is a higher limb than asana and can give a more profound activation of the subtle body and in turn our outer experience too.
Typical order of practice:
1. Offer your practice (1 minute)
I encourage starting any asana, pranayama, or meditation practice by dedicating your practice to something outside of yourself.
Ideas for offering your practice:
You may have a religious or spiritual belief.
Another pathway could be to direct it towards cosmic intelligence that expresses itself through all creatures, plants, solar systems, physics etc.
You can offer it to someone you love – even if they are longer with you.
Towards someone you know is struggling right now.
Or as forgiveness towards an action or person.
2. Pranayama – Nadi Shuddhi (alternative nostril breathing) – 10 mins
We have thousands of nadis (energy channels) and the 3 most important ones are the lunar(Ida), solar(Pingala) and the central energy channel(Sushumna).
Here we do an efficient form of pranayama that helps to balance our lunar and solar nadis.
Our lunar channel (Ida nadi), powers the intuitive holistic brain hemisphere.
Our solar channel (Pingala nadi), powers the analytical, scientific, rational brain hemisphere.
We require both of these energies and which one is dominant fluctuates throughout the day. The central energy channel(Sushumna) is activated when we balance both the lunar and solar nadis, which is what we are doing here in this pranayama exercise.
3. Chakra Meditation – 15 mins
The Sushumna is also activated by concentration meditation – so we are combining two effective methods with this and the pranayama. Our meditation is focused around purifying this central energy channel. We visualise and concentrate on the Sushumna, so that our life force (prana) will flow through it.