If you cannot go out - go in ...... But How?
Last week, all residents at Sivananda Ashram Beacon Yoga Centre had a Yoga Sadhana intensive, guided by our House Manager and yoga teacher Chinmaya.
"I have noticed how many people experience difficulties sitting for Meditation practice. During my stay for six years in the Ashram I myself went through all the challenges. As a yoga teacher I knew that all yoga postures called Asanas and breathing techniques called Pranayamas are designed especially to help one sit and meditate. Most people cannot sit due to stiffness in the hip and knee joints. Sometimes their back muscles are not strong enough to support the back upright. Most of the time people sit and go to sleep, some of them even snore.
Based on my personal experience I found a few practices that can influence the meditation experience tremendously and they are Sun Salutations and Inversions.
Sun Salutations bring physical and mental strength and inversions help with concentration and the ability to stay in the present moment. So each day our Yoga Sadhana in Ashram starts with a 30 min asana component - warm ups, sun salutations and inversion.
Second component of the morning practice is 30 min Pranayama. In the order of; kapalabhati, agnisar kriya, nauli, nadi shodhan. Of course it takes years for Pranayama techniques to be developed properly, so pranayama is to start slowly and with easy variations building up further each week.
The third component of the morning yoga sadhana is meditation. All the residents experience a blissful time of meditation totally different from their previous experiences. Asanas transformed their physical bodies, pranayama transformed their mind. Now they are ready to continue on their own. They can call themselves yogi and they can call the Ashram their home."
"I’m very much enjoying the freedom of doing our Sadhana... together.
It is greatly improving my morning meditation, I can generally get in the zone much quicker and enjoy a deeper practice." 🙏🏽😌 Justin | Ashram resident
"Hello Chinmaya:) my morning Sadhana is going well. I really like to have the 2 or 3 practices in the morning, pranayama, asana and meditation. I feel that it is more complete. So far so good 😊 I must confess that I still need some more improvement in the asanas but with study and Ashramites help I will be fine." Raquel | Ashram resident