Monday, July 28, 2014
Chakra Yoga Nidra
Sat Nam. Last night was Chakra Yoga Nidra Night. The evening follows these steps: 1. Choosing a sankalpa: I chose eleven questions from various sources, including The Book of Questions, as well as writing prompts. The eleventh question is "What is my soul's desire?". Sankalpa is just that, your soul's desire, your spiritual resolve, in affirmation form. The questions shake things up in your mind to give you direction from within. We set the sankalpa aside for later. 2. Brahmari: Brahmari is a pranayama technique where you cover your ears (but you don't always have to) and hum on the exhale until there's no breath left. In English it's called the bumble bee breath because of the resonance you create by humming. It's like there is a beehive in your body. There is a channel, a nadi, which runs from the throat to the bindu visarga, a point in the upper part of the back of the skull, which has to do with unlocking potential for enlightenment. This is stimulated in brahmari. We practice for three to five minutes. 3. Unmani mudra: Unmani mudra puts into a bit of a trance. It's delicious! We begin in the now realized bindu visarga. Open the eyes without looking at anything in particular; your mind is focused at bindu. Then move your awareness along the back of the body and through the chakras. From bindu (repeat its name to really settle in there - bindu bindu bindu) lift your awareness to the crown, sahasrara. Then come back to bindu, ajna at the center of the back of the head, vishuddhi at the back of the throat, anahata at the back of the heart, manipura at the back of the belly, svadisthana at the sacrum, and muladhara at the tailbone. By the time you reach the tailbone the eyes have closed. They slowly get heavy as you go. For me this happens around anahata. then return to bindu and start again. Practice eleven rounds. In class we need to usually cut this down to eight. 4. Bija Sanchalana Now that we're all relaxed and aware of the chakras we chant their seed sounds, or bija mantras. We begin by moving toward the front of the chakras, the front of the body, or more like between the front and back body skin. Each sound resonates in its corresponding chakra, much like in brahmari. muladhara - lam svadisthana - vam manipura - ram anahata - yam vishuddhi - ham ajna - om sahasrara - silent om We practice nine to eleven rounds or whatever there is time to do. 5. 61 Points Primed for deep rest, we lie down and get comfy. We relax the breathing and recall sankalpa. After repeating it a few times, we let it go and follow our awareness along the 61 points, as outlined in various texts and websites. I recite them one by one and afterward repeat the names of the chakras. Then I use the bija mantra sound softly. They are left in silence for a few minutes. It's nice to stay here for twenty to thirty minutes. 6. Returning We were blessed last night with beautiful music from Susan and Eleanor on guitar and flute. They were the icing on the cake! And let me tell you, this entire practice is CAKE - right out of the oven, rich, warm, and deeply satisfying. Everyone took some time in silence before having the option to color their chakra charts or say their goodbyes. Last month Susan made tasty brownies, but neither of us had time to bake this time around. Practice this! Practice it a lot. When we are relaxed the subconscious is more receptive to new concepts, new sankalpas. This practice will greatly enhance your yogic life.