YogaX Guided Meditations

Guided Meditations

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Meditations on the Mat with Chris

Enjoy these guided meditations lying comfortably on your back or resting in a restorative yoga pose.  Use as many props as needed to invite ease and comfort into the body.  On a cool day, consider covering yourself with a blanket.  Your nervous system will be better able to calm if your forehead is higher than your chin.  Thus, consider a blanket or small pillow under the head.  If you have a tendency toward back pain, place a pillow, rolled blanket, or yoga bolster under your knees. 

 

Take a few deep breaths to center yourself and then click on the meditation of your choice.  

Guided Meditation: Tonglen

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Meditation Video on the Mat with Chris

The COVID-19 pandemic is stretching our ability to cope.  In part this is due to the fact that coping is greatly facilitated by being in community and by being able to help, support, actively intervene in what is happening.  With the requirements for physical distance, it is challenging for us to reach out to loved ones who are suffering and to give them comfort and support.

The ancient Tibetan Buddhist practice of tonglen is a wonderful way of providing comfort and support to others when we cannot share physical space with them.  Our YogaX offering today is a guided meditation of tonglen – of taking on another’s suffering and transforming it into comfort, peace, and healing.  With each inhalation, you are guided to draw in the suffering of another, transforming it in your heart.  With each outbreath, you are guided to send transformed suffering to another as healing energy, as wishes of comfort or peace.

Tonglen can also be practiced in a single breath.  Any time, throughout your day, when you think of your loved one who is suffering, breath in to absorb their suffering.  Then transform this suffering with your own inner light.  Breathe out and send comfort to your loved one.

My own practice today is dedicated to my dear friend KW.  May you have peace, comfort, and healing.

Take a few deep breaths to center yourself and then click on the meditation of your choice.  

This meditation is 10 minutes long.  Click here for the YouTube link.

Guided Meditation: Breathing a Four Part Breath

Meditations on the mat with Chris

breathing - four part - gap- breath mediChris
00:00 / 12:38

The yogic four-part breath draws our attention to how we breathe in, pause, breathe, out, and pause.  It helps us discover the gap between inhalation and exhalation, the gap between stimulus and response.  When we settle into a breath that allows for a pause at the top and bottom of the breath cycle, our nervous system begins to calm and our resilience and forbearance strengthen. Find your four-part breath:

  • Inhalation

  • Pause at the top of breath

  • Exhalation

  • Pause at the bottom of breath

This meditation is 12 minutes long.

Guided Meditation: Breathing the Five Winds of Energy

Meditations on the mat with Chris

breathing - prana vayusChris
00:00 / 31:07

Yoga recognizes five types of energies, breaths, or winds (depending on translation), called prana vayus. These five winds have subtly different qualities and directions.  A balance of the winds or vayus increases awareness, health, and resilience. Briefly defined:

 

  • Prana vayu – draws breath and energy inward toward the heart and lungs; it is the seed of action

  • Vyana vayu – moves breath and energy outward to the extremities, it is enlivening  

  • Samana vayu – directs breath and energy to the center at the abdomen; it is stabilizing yet fiery

  • Apana vayu – drops breath and energy downward into the lower half of the body; it is cleansing and rejuvenating

  • Udana vayu – lifts energy and breath upward; it is inspiring and uplifting

 

This meditation is 30 minutes long.

Guided Meditation: Breathing into the Five Layers of Self

Meditations on the mat with Chris

Breathing through the koshasChris
00:00 / 15:55

Yoga recognizes four layers of self.  This calming and centering meditation uses the breath to explore these layers of self. The koshas briefly defined are:

  • Annamaya:  physical self as composed of muscle, tissue, bones, blood, and flesh; anatomy

  • Pranamaya:  energetic self that animates the body and processes sensations, including breath, translating them into feeling positive, negative, or neutral

  • Manomaya:  mental and emotional self; comprised thoughts, experiences that shape us, affects, emotions, and expressions of acquired personality

  • Vijnanamaya: intuition that links us to self and others; innate intelligence, talents, traits, and natural inclinations or temperament that brought to bear in relationship with self and others

  • Anandamaya: the connected self; our connection to pure joy or bliss, to each other, and to all there is; soul or spirit.

This meditation is 16 minutes long.

Guided Meditation: Breathing into Your Self

Meditations on the mat with Chris

Breathing into your SelfChris
00:00 / 16:21

 

This meditation invites self-exploration and awareness.  The breath is a recurring anchor as you are guide increasingly deeply into stillness and curiosity.  This meditation supports self-awareness and resilience in times in challenge.

This meditation is 16 minutes long.

Guided Meditation: Breathing Body Scan

Meditations on the mat with Chris

Breathing body scanChris
00:00 / 20:30

 

This mindfulness meditation focuses on the interaction of breath and body, guiding you through an exploration of your own interdependence and capacity for resilience. It calms and strengthens the nervous system inviting allostasis, the capacity to recover and cope.

This meditation is 20 minutes long.

Guided Meditation: Exploring the Layers of Self with Curiosity

Meditations on the mat with Chris

Kosha exploration.MP3Chris
00:00 / 09:31

 

This meditation guides you through the five layers of self (koshas in Sanskrit), exploring and creating self-awareness of body, breath or emotion, mental fluctuations, inner wisdom, and joyful connection. 

For more information about the koshas, read our related blog or check out the breathing meditation that explores these layers of self.

This meditation is 9 minutes long.

Guided Meditation: Settling the Layers of Self with Compassion

Meditations on the mat with Chris

koshas - settling the layers of self 010Chris
00:00 / 16:37

 

This meditation again guides you through the five layers of self (koshas in Sanskrit), creating self-awareness of body, breath or emotion, mental fluctuations, inner wisdom, and joyful connection. It focuses on finding ease in each layer of self, settling into its full experience and calmly getting to know your deeper, more subtle self/

For more information about the koshas, read our related blog or check out the breathing meditation that explores these layers of self.

This meditation is 16 minutes long.

Guided Meditation: Exploring the Mind States

Meditations on the mat with Chris

exploring your mind statesChris
00:00 / 15:08

Yoga recognizes five mind states and invites us to explore which ways of being are our defaults and how to increase capacity to find more settled and adaptive mind states.  This meditation, and yoga in general, supports our mental movement toward concentration and lucidity.  The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, in fact, suggest that this is a central purpose of the practice of yoga – the stilling or calming of the fluctuations of the mind. The five mind states, addressed in this meditation, are:

  • kshipta: disturbed, agitated, restless, troubled

  • mudha: dull, lethargic, heavy, forgetful, sleepy

  • vikshipta: distracted, with attention easily diverted to this or that

  • ekagra: one-pointed, focused, fully concentrated – not prone to distraction

  • niradhah: lucid, luminous; fluctuations and afflictions have been stilled  

 

This meditation is 15 minutes long.

Guided Meditation: Remembering a Place of Safety 

Meditations on the mat with Chris

Finding a safe spaceChris
00:00 / 11:45

 

After inducing a sense of relaxation and groundedness, this meditation guides you to a place of safety and comfort from your childhood.  It invites you to explore the features of this place that provided comfort and a sense of being held and supported. 

 

You are guided to investigate this place of safety with all of your senses: touch, taste, vision, hearing, smell.  This journey into your past will remind you of the kind of space that may have contribute to your inner peace. 

This meditation is 12 minutes long. 

Guided Meditation: Remembering a Place of Safety 

Meditations on the mat with Chris

who am i - a journey through your life.mChris
00:00 / 16:53

 

After inducing a sense of grounding into your body, breath, and mind, this meditation guides you into an exploration of your many manifestations of self across your lifespan.  It invites you to remember yourself in ways of being in the past and then guides into ways of being in the future.    

The meditative journey through your life reminds you that you have many layers, many ways of being in the world, many ways of being relationship.  It also invites you to recognize that are not inherehntly any of those things.  In the end the meditation guides you to explore the emptiness of your Self, the transient nature of your existence. 

This meditation is 17 minutes long. 

Guided Meditation: Finding Joyful Community

Meditations on the mat with Chris

finding joyful communityChris
00:00 / 10:37

A central healing aspect of yoga is the creation of community, of a sense of being connected to something greater and more enduring than our individual selves. 

 

This meditation invites you into clear awareness of your own connections and relationships in a joyous way that radiates gratitude.  Connection thus defined provides us stability and resilience during challenge.

This meditation is 11 minutes long.

Guided Meditation: Journey into the Body

Meditations on the mat with Chris

body scanChris
00:00 / 10:25

This meditation takes you through journey of your physical being, inviting you to explore inner sensations and to come into the present moment of your physical experience. 

 

Becoming mindful of the body in the present moment supports physical health and resilience, helps us cope with and manage pain, and allows us to move beyond either preoccupation with or denial of our physical needs.

This meditation is 10 minutes long. 

Guided Meditation: Committing to Mature Emotions

Meditations on the mat with Chris

committing to the brahma viharasChris
00:00 / 12:37

The Brahma Viharas are the four sublime attitudes or mature emotions that guide us to values-based choices, strengthen social relationships, and remind us of the interdependence of all beings. They are the antidotes to attachment, aversion, and delusion. This meditation guides you through these self-expressions of emotional wellness.  Briefly defined, four emotions are:

  • Maitri (or metta) à   lovingkindness, friendliness, and benevolence toward all sentient beings, including self

  • Karunaà compassion, helpfulness, and the desire to end suffering for all sentient beings, including self

  • Mudita à sympathetic joy, rejoicing, or delight in one’s own and others’ accomplishments and good fortune

  • Upeksha (or upekkah) à equanimity, tranquility, and detachment in light of personal or others’ joy or suffering to support positive action on behalf  of self and others   

 

This meditation is 13 minutes long.

Guided Meditation: Feeling the Pulsations of Your Spiritual Imperative

Meditations on the mat with Chris

spritual imperative meditation trimmed.mChris
00:00 / 08:14

This meditation explores the pulsations of your body, breath, and mind to guide you toward a recognition how in every moment you are alive, you balance your biological imperative (the desire to be alive) and your spiritual imperative (the desire to contribute to the greater good).

 

This meditation supports you when you face crises that may want you to shrink back from the world to self-protect versus reaching out and supporting others through compassion, lovingkindness, and equanimity.  It allows you to find a balance between caring for your own wellbeing and that of others.  

This meditation is 8 minutes long.

Guided Meditation: Journeying through the Tree of Yoga

Meditations on the mat with Chris

tree of yoga 11.24.2020 trimmedChris
00:00 / 14:45

This more philosophically-oriented meditation takes you on a journey through the eight limbs of yoga as exemplified by the image of a tree.  Read more about the 8 limbs in our blog.

  • roots: connect with your roots, grounding yourself in ethical practices   YAMAS

  • trunk: keep yourself strong and firm with spiritual practices NIYAMAS

  • limbs: keep limber through physical movement    ASANA

  • leaves: exchange prana with the world through your breath   PRANAYAMA

  • bark: protect yourself from overstimulation and over-excitement by calming the senses   PRATYAHARA

  • sap: nourish all aspects of you (all koshas) through focused concentration    DHARANA

  • flowers: radiate your essence and beauty through mindful, wise, meditative, and compassionate action   DHYANA

  • fruits: appreciate and share the fruit of your labor with lovingkindness, compassion, delight, and equanimity  SAMADHI

This meditation is 15 minutes long.

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