Eternal Circle of Life meditation

The SATNAM mantra is one of my favourites and is widely used in Kundalini yoga.

This mantra is called the Primal Sound Mantra, because it consists of the five primal sounds: S,T,N,M, and ah. The literal meaning is as follows: Sa means birth (or infinity); Ta means life; Na means death; and Ma means rebirth. Thus, the mantra describes the eternal circle of life: birth, life, death, rebirth.  

SA is the beginning, infinity, the totality of everything that ever was, is or will be.

TA is life, existence and creativity that manifests from infinity.

NA is death, change and the transformation of consciousness.

MA is rebirth, regeneration and resurrection which allows us to consciously experience the joy of the infinite.

In addition..

Sa: evokes a sense of emotion and expansiveness
Ta: creates a feeling of transformation and strength
Na: stimulates a sense of universal love
Ma: evokes the quality of communicativeness

satnam

 

In this meditation, which could be practised either lying in savasana or seated comfortably, I have brought together mantra (sound), mudra (gestures) and a connection to the corresponding chakra.

Enjoy!

The true heart – anahata chakra

Focus your awareness on the physical heart and its cavity. Although the physical heart only occupies a small space, the true heart is without limitations.
Try to feel the beating of your own heart. LONG PAUSE

Located in the middle of the chest is anahata chakra, the heart centre. The chakras are inner wheels of energy that control and distribute the energy around the body. Through the discipline of yoga (controlled breathing, sound and postures) we can balance these energy centres to awaken, release and harmonize the body.
The organs associated with Anahata are the lungs, the heart, and the entire cardiovascular system. These are the pumps and delivery systems of prana to the body’s many systems.
Nurturing the energy of the fourth chakra through breathing, meditation, and asana is vital to maintaining the body’s own healing power.

Anahata chakra is the centre of air.

Air is expansive and will expand into any space yet it is gentle and soft. Love is similar, being an expansion of the heart. Ideally, the heart chakra radiates love from a spring of solidly centered self-acceptance that reaches out with the compassion, care and support of others. Balance of our love of self and love for others and the interconnectedness of our spirits, is the fundamental message of this chakra.
Loving encompasses nurturing, caring, supporting, understanding, protecting among many other qualities.
When this chakra is open and balanced there is a genuine ability to give and to receive.
The anahata centre controls the sense of touch. This is not surprising, for the heart meridians run along the length of the arms into the hands. It is through our hands that we offer love in the form of comfort, a loving caress or a healing touch.

A wonderful practice for the heart centre is Hridaya Mudra (heart gesture).

Place the tips of index fingers to base of the thumbs and join the tips of middle and ring fingers to tips of thumbs. Little finger remains straight. Hands on knees, palms up.
Observe breath in the chest area.

If you enjoy sound, chant the mantra YAM three times in silence, 3 times aloud and 3 times in silence. Then observe the effect on body, mind and breath. Feel the effect on the whole system ; a feeling of harmony and deep peace.

Benefits : diverts flow of prana from the hands to the heart area, improving the vitality of the physical heart. The middle and ring fingers relate directly to the nadis connected with the heart, while the thumb closes the circuit and acts as an energizer, diverting the flow of prana from the hands to these nadis.
This mudra helps to release pent up emotion and unburden the heart. It may be useful during emotional conflict or crisis.

Namaste

More to come……………

Let your body sing……….

For a moment imagine the human body as a musical instrument, especially one of the Indian instruments like the Sitar or Sarangi, which have playing strings that are struck or bowed, and also have 40-odd strings which are never played but are sympathetic strings. When the playing strings are struck, they set up vibratory frequencies that begin to sound the finely tuned but un-struck sympathetic strings. These strings pick up the frequency and vibratory rates of the struck notes and begin to sound and create incredible overtones without being physically touched. It is this design that gives these instruments their unique and meditative sound.
The human organism has a similar design. In Yogic terms, we have the central pranic energy channel (shushmana) corresponding to the spinal column. To either side of it are the ida and pingala, the energies of the sun and moon. Think of these as the playing strings. These energy channels then connect with 72,000 nadis (energy channels) loosely corresponding to the nervous system, that extend throughout the body. Think of these as the sympathetic strings. Whatever we vibrate in shushmana begins to set up a sympathetic vibration in ida and pingala and throughout the nadis that transfer that vibration to all the cells of the body.
If we are conscious in our speech and what we are vibrating, we can choose mantra, harmonious communication, and musical sounds that elevate, heal, and balance us.

Give from the overflow

I have recently returned from a wonderful weekend away. It was organised through Yoga Australia, who welcomed members and non members alike. We shared beautiful food (vegan and gluten free), though I did miss the honey in my chai and a morning coffee. It was wonderful to meet with like minded people; to explore new ideas and share our experiences. The highlight for me was our kirtan with Sacred Earth. Through mantra in songs of devotion, accompanied by the harmonium and acoustic guitar, we explored the sounds of our hearts and minds. I found a deep sense of peace and belonging: a sense of community. Those feelings are still with me today, some five days later.

We also discussed the importance of looking after yourself as a teacher, one who gives to others. A recurring theme was this : “We need to fill ourselves up, so we can give from the overflow”. I was reminded of the importance of active relaxation – walking, gardening and other leisure activities that fill you up.

The experiences of the weekend have filled me to overflowing, a gift I am grateful for. I feel blessed to share my love of yoga with all.

Hari Om