You would think that yoga would make the process of meditation go faster. I thought it would, too. But even now when I meditate, it still feels a little like watching TV in my mind. Perhaps I’ve dropped my digital subscription, and there are less channels as I’ve had in the past, but certainly, I still have the stories. Instead of engaging, I simply watch the thoughts go by without expecting anything in particular. As a result, the dramas in my conscious life have lessened. The inner quiet I yearned for during meditation didn’t always happen, but a peaceful essence transitions as quiet in my regular life.
In short, I'm loud in my meditation and quiet in my life.
Lessen the Drama in Your Conscious Life
Whether you're looking to cultivate more authenticity, increase happiness, improve relationships, or reduce stress, all of these things are accessible to you through the practice of meditation. Learn how Gaiam TV can help you transform your life in this video.
Sign up for Here & Now: A Beginner's Guide to Meditation and fundamentally change your life.
Free Yourself by Freeing Your Mind
By taking charge and freeing myself of that which causes anxiety or compulsiveness, the steady, stable place of peace within is revealed. In my practice, I remember that place of peace, which is right here, always, while life circumstances continually change. As I move out into the world from this peace, my choices become thoughtful responses, rather than harmful emotional reactions.
This isn’t how I thought it would work. But I am happy to say in retrospect that it makes sense. Try it and see for yourself. Set your clock for 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 8 minutes and then 10 minutes as you build up your ability to be with your internal noise. You may, like me, realize that your outer life becomes more peaceful.
Here is a meditation and a breathing technique to help you lessen the drama.
Meditation: Smoke Out, Light In
While breathing out, imagine that all your negative energies, mistakes, misunderstandings and emotions leave your body with the breath. Visualise this energy as black smoke, which goes out into space and completely disappears.
While breathing in, imagine that all the positive energy of the universe enters your body with the breath. Visualize this positive energy as pure white light that enters all the parts of your body; it pervades every cell and atom. Enjoy this clear white light.
If you feel comfortable, use every breath to inhale light and to exhale black smoke and problems.
When distracted by other thoughts, simply observe them without getting involved; transform them into black smoke and breathe them out.
Breathing Technique: Nadi Shodhana Pranayama
Alternate nostril breathing or sweet breath.
Calms the mind, relaxing
Soothes anxiety and stress
Balances left and right hemispheres, promotes clear thinking
It is a simple form of alternate nostril breathing suitable for beginning and advanced students. Nadi means channel and refers to the energy pathways through which prana flows. Shodhana means cleansing — so Nadi Shodhana means channel cleaning.
How to do it
Hold your right hand up and curl your index and middle fingers toward your palm. Place your thumb next to your right nostril and your ring finger and pinkie by your left. Close the left nostril by pressing gently against it with your ring finger and pinkie, and inhale through the right nostril. The breath should be slow, steady and full.
Now close the right nostril by pressing gently against it with your thumb, and open your left nostril by relaxing your ring finger and pinkie and exhale fully with a slow and steady breath.
Inhale through the left nostril, close it, and then exhale through the right nostril. That's one complete round of Nadi Shodhana. Continue, doing 5-20 rounds.
Inhale through the right nostril
Exhale through the left
Inhale through the left
Exhale through the right. Begin with 5-10 rounds and add more as you feel ready.
When to do it
Just about anytime and anywhere. Try it as a mental warm-up before meditation to calm the mind and put you in the mood. You can also do it as part of your centering before beginning an asana routine. Also try it at times throughout the day. Nadi Shodhana helps control stress and anxiety. If you start to feel stressed out, 10 or so rounds will help calm you down. It also helps soothe anxiety caused by flying and other stressful situations.
Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia