Keeping Quiet By Pablo Neruda Now we will count to twelve and we will all…
“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.” – Rumi
I recently wrote a piece for 8 Limbs Yoga Centers about what we often try to hang on to and what we’d rather release, as we all prepare to say goodbye to another year. Below is an excerpt of the practice portion, click here to read the full article.
Whether included in formal practice, or called upon in the middle of one’s day, these brief (all level) meditations can support the balance and art of holding on and letting go.
Calming Breath: Inhale for a count of 4, pause (for a micro-moment up to a count of 4), exhale for a count of 6. Explore sensations in body throughout the entire cycle. Optional: make a “shhhhh” sound throughout exhales.
Compassionate Breath*: Take a few breath cycles to abide in the way your inhalations energize and nourish while exhalations can relax and soothe.
Sound Meditation: Spend a few moments attuning to ambient sounds. Rather than seeking sounds out, cultivate a receptive quality by allowing sounds to come to you, and to naturally dissipate. Perhaps notice space between sounds as well.
Double Body Scan: Beginning at your feet, and working your way up to your head, notice sensations of stability and grounding. Feel into touch-points between body and surfaces below, and the support these surfaces lend. Bring attention to the way your spine naturally elongates and torso muscles hold you. Take time to savor stability throughout body. Then reverse your scan. In this round, intentionally release unnecessary holding or tension. Soften forehead, eyes, and jaw. Perhaps roll shoulders up, back and down, sensing into ease and spaciousness. Explore feeling hands and feet from the inside as you gently relax fingers and toes. You may want to bring extra attention to common areas of physical tension. Taking time to savor ease.
* Adapted from Dr. Kristin Neff’s Affectionate Breathing Practice.