The seed mantra
These are powerful one-syllable mantras for calling forth what you want. They are energy in their own right, in just repeating them. They also may be easier to call up when you need a certain mantra in your life.
Bijas can be chanted over and over again for 5-10 minutes. Try for 10 days and see how it is going. If well, continue for 30 more days.
- Shrim [shreem] - feminine sound is for energy of abundance, attracting and maintaining (spiritual, health, inner peace, financial wealth, relationships, love).
- Eim [I'm] - this seed is for artistic and scientific endeavors, music and education (memory, intelligence)
- Klim [kleem] - a bija to attract an object of desire and as a meditation
- Dum [doom] - sound mantra for energy of protection
- Krim [kreem] - for accumulating power* be careful with this one, as it is powerful Kali, Goddess of Creation and Destruction, at work here
- Gum - a seed for removing obstacles and bringing success in endeavors
- Glaum [lah...owm] - also for removing obstacles but that may exist between the throat and the base of the spine
- Haum [how, with an "m" added at end) - seed for transcendental consciousness
- Kshraum [k...shrau, 'm'] - assists in getting rid of stubborn evil situations, releasing your pent-up energies.
- Hrim [hrim] - seed mantra to aid in seeing through the illusion of everyday reality
Sitali Breath (Cooling)
This yogic breath will help calm the mind and soothe the emotions such as anger, anxiety and frustration. Also good for fevers or when you feel overheated. Will give you a feeling of contentment. Regulates digestive and sexual energy and detoxifies.
Open mouth and curl your tongue like a taco.
INHALE through the curled tongue. Close mouth and EXHALE through the nostrils. Continue this cycle.
Sit up with a straight spine on the floor or in a chair. Hands in gyan mudra ( pads of thumb and index finger touching)
Practice this breath for 3 – 11 mins bring contentment into your life.
Sitkari Breath (For those whose tongue doesn't curl)
Open mouth and bring the top and bottom teeth together, breath in deeply through the touching teeth making a hissing sound. Close the mouth and exhale completely through the nostrils. You may add breath retention at the end of the inhale and breath cessation at the end of the exhale if that feels appropriate.
Sit comfortably, on your inhalation, turn the corners of your mouth up and on your exhalation, keeping the corners of your mouth up in a smile. Breathe in and out like that for at least 4 breaths to bring you to the present moment. Others will wonder what you are up to!
Supported Head to Knee Pose
Props: bolster, blankets, neck roll
Benefits: Stretches hamstring and back of leg, centering and calming to central nervous system, gently stretches back, mild hip opener.
In the variation that we practiced in class, we placed the bolster upright on short end on our thigh and draped the arms over it letting the fingers and hands relax. Use blanket support under knee and possibly to sit on to take pressure off of the low back. Add a neck pillow or other cushioning for the head to rest on. Stay for up to 5 minutes and switch sides mindfully. We warmed up some with a flowing Head to Knee pose prior. Try out the Mental Alternate Nostril Breathing.
Reclined Bound Angle (or with legs straight)
Props: bolster, 4 blocks (or firm cushions, pillows or rolled-up blankets), 4 blankets and one extra blanket for warmth, strap and eye pillow
Benefits: opens the hips and groin facilitating blood and energy flow to the urinary tract and reproductive organs. Opens the chest and abdomen benefiting breathing problems.
*This week we used the imagery of lying on a pool float - perfect for the hot, humid day that we had.
Place a block lengthwise under one end of a bolster to prop it up on an incline, add another block under bolster for stability. We used the wall in this week's class placing the bolster at a higher elevation. Place a double-fold blanket on floor next to low end of bolster and a long rolled blanket on top next to bolster (for sacral support). Sit with your back to the short, low end of the bolster. Place two blocks where your knees will rest (can top with a soft blanket or use other props as necessary for propping knees) Bring your legs into Bound Angle Pose with the soles of your feet together. Wrap a blanket around your feet to create a feeling of containment. Lie back on the bolster. Place supports under your arms so that they are not dangling and there is no feeling of stretch in the chest. Stay in the pose for 10 to 15 minutes.
Props: 2 or more blankets, neck rolls, eye pillow
Benefits: soothing to the nervous system, grounding, gentle chest opener, releases the pelvis
Lay a blanket on your mat for extra comfort and warmth, blankets for the arms as well. As you lay down, place your feet towards the corners of your mat and arms about 10-12 inches from your body, palms up. Add your eye pillow, and blanket on top. We adjusted the legs with our Double Dutch for optimal release of tension and proper alignment.
Labels: Reclined Bound Angle, Sitali Breath, Smile Breath 2, Starfish Savasana, Supported Head to Knee Pose (Janu Sirasana)