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June 6 Restore

Mantras  - What are They?

The Wikipedia meaning or description of a mantra is this: A "mantra" (/ˈmæntrəˈmɑːn-ˈmʌn-/ (Sanskrit: मंत्र);[2]) is a sacred utterance, a numinous sound, a syllable, word or phonemes, or group of words in Sanskrit believed by practitioners to have psychological and spiritual powers.[3][4] A mantra may or may not have syntactic structure or literal meaning.(Wikipedia).


A common and very powerful mantra is "OM". Vibrationally connecting with us on a much deeper level and considered the seed or bija mantra, inserting itself in many other mantras. The mantra of all mantras is the Gayatri mantra, considered the essence of all mantras, bringing enlightenment to mind and intellect.


For a sample mantra, listen to the following which is for removing obstacles


Mantra Resources:
http://thedailymeditation.com/the-best-mantra-books-to-buy (plus some other information on mantras).
YouTube videos

The Breath

Humming Breath (Brahmari)
Benefits:
  • Excellent for speeding up the healing of body tissues
  • Alleviates stress and tension, anger, anxiety, asthma, insomnia, and high blood pressure
  • Strengthens the voice and relieves thyroid ailments
  • Benefits are enhanced when practiced after Nadi Shodhana
  • Balance air and ether, especially in the vata Fall season (Ayurvedic)
How To: 

  1. Sit comfortably, with lips closed and teeth slightly opened. Make sure the jaw is relaxed.
  2. Raise the arms to the sides, bend the elbows, and bring the hands to the ears, plugging the ears with the index or middle fingers.
  3. Bring the awareness to the center of the head (ajna chakra) and keep the body still.
  4. Inhale through the nose, and while exhaling make a deep, steady humming sound like a bee for the duration of the exhale.
  5. Then, while inhaling, contract the throat to produce a humming sound on inhalation (if this sound is difficult to make at first, focus only on producing the sound while exhaling).
  6. Practice 5 rounds, ending with a humming exhale.
The Poses

Legs up Variation (incline)

 Chair Version
Props: two bolsters, two blocks, two blankets, neck roll
Benefits: good transition and resting pose, open chest, relax legs and reduce fluids in legs

Place two blocks under one bolster, one block higher than the other and do the same for the other bolster, making sure that they are facing each other. A blanket goes between the low end of the bolsters. Use a neck roll or rolls for under the neck, hands, etc.  Come to sit on the blanket and extend legs up the one bolster and upper body rests on other bolster (like you are sitting between two mountains and your pelvis is in the valley!). Rest arms by your side and cover with any blankets you have available. Don't forget your eye pillow.


Wide Angle Forward Fold

Props: bolster, two blocks, at least 2-3 blankets, neck roll
Benefits: decompression, good pose for transitioning from your day, stretches the hanstrings, spine, regulates the breathing pattern, good for digestion, create inner focus and awareness.


Place two blocks at height to accommodate you as you lean over bolster, place bolster on top vertically with a blanket or neck roll to support your forehead.  Sit at edge of blanket on the floor and if your knees need more support, roll up to blankets to place under the knees.  Lengthen the spine on an inhale and lean slowly over the bolster support bringing hands to legs, floor or even placing them on the bolster.  Stay with even rhythmic breath for 10 minutes of release.  Additional grounding if needed, add a rolled up blanket to lower back.


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Supported Forward Fold with Legs Extended (Paschimottasana)
Benefits: calming, gently stretches lower back, nice transition from the days activities.  A good pose to do if you need a few minutes break from your daily work, easy to do and easily accessible.  Good for headaches.  Breathing is easier since muscles of the respiratory system are relaxed. Massage for the digestive system.
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Bridge Pose - Supported
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