15 Mar An Easy 10-Step Moving Meditation
This moving meditation is my basic variation of the classical yoga Sun Salutation flow. It is suitable for 5yrs+ and for even the stiffest of practitioners with a few easy modifications (see ‘How To’ and videos below). It heats up the body, strengthens the heart and lungs and all the major muscle groups from head to toe. It is a cardiovascular exercise that will stretch and tone muscle, and burn fat. However there are a few things to remember to make this a moving meditation and not just another exercise:
BREATHING – You must move in and out of the poses using the appropriate inhale or exhale. The body and breath need to work in sync. At the beginning the flow will be slower as you take longer deeper breaths. After a few repetitions the lungs have begun working harder and your breath will get shorter, and your flow quicker. Moving to the rhythm of YOUR breath, makes this your very own personal moving meditation.
DRISHTI – the is the sanskrit work for your focal point for the eyes. Again no 2 people’s drishti points are going to be the same when you fold over, look forward or go into the downward dog pose, number 5. Therefore your personal focal points in each position help make this a personal meditation. Your drishti points are set in your first round, and you keep returning your eyes to the same focal points in each pose as you keep repeating on each side.
LISTEN TO & FEEL YOUR BODY – take it gently and slowly, especially if first thing in the morning. Take awareness of which muscles are feeling tighter or if one side of the body is stiffer than the other. Take a few extra breaths in any pose that you’re feeling stiffer in and rest on the mat if you get out of breath.
*Start at the front of your mat standing up straight and take a few deep breaths. Engage the legs, roll your shoulders back and make sure they’re stacked over the hips.
1. Inhale as you stretch your arms up in line with your ears, bringing the palms together if the shoulders aren’t too tight. Your drishti point should be your thumbs. Only begin to add a back-bend here after a few rounds and if the lower back is up for it.
2. Exhale as you forward-bend from the hips keeping the legs straight. Go as far as you can with the back straight, feeling the stretch through the back of the legs. Find a drishti point where the neck is relaxed.
3. Inhale as you step the right foot back into a lunge, bend the knees to drop the hands to the mat if necessary. Join with the left foot into a plank pose.
4. Your shoulders should be over your wrists and reaching to the sky with the hips, with the buttocks and legs engaged. Your drishti point is in between your hands. Hold your breath in this pose until you need to-
5. Exhale as you lower a straight body parrallel to the mat, making sure the hips don’t drop first and the elbows stay tucked into the body. Keep the same drishti point as you lower fully to the mat when your exhale ends.
6. Inhale into a gentle back-bed, relaxing the backs of the feet, big toes touching, pressing the thighs and hands into the mat. Engage the buttocks but keep the elbows bent and tucked into the body, until the lower back is able to handle straight arms. Roll the shoulders back and down, away from the ears, and find a drishti point for the eyes where the neck is relaxed.
7. Exhale into ‘downward dog’ pose by pressing up on the hands and feet and lifting the hips with straight arms and spine. Keep the knees bent if they’re feeling too tight to straighten up but keep the upper body straight and the elbows rolling outwards/externally. Find a drishti point for the eyes where the neck is relaxed. Take 3 deep breaths.
8. Inhale as you step the right foot forward through a lunge, and join with the left foot.
9. Exhale straightening the legs into your forward-bend, using the same drishti point as step 2.
10. Inhale as you raise the upper body from the hips with a flat back. The spine can stay straight or you can add a back-bend, keeping the eyes on your thumbs.
*Exhale into a forward fold and continue the steps with the left foot stepping back and forwards. After doing the same number of rounds on each side a few times you will feel the breath and heart beat speeding up. Don’t let yourself get out of breath. After the last round, bring the palms together at the chest and take a few breaths. Finish by lying on your back and giving the body a few minutes to restore as the heart and lungs return to a natural, relaxed rhythm.
MOVING MEDITATION VIDEO:
MOVING MEDITATION VIDEO – FEELING STIFF: