Over the past few months I have been reading and studying and listening to some amazing teachers. I cannot say that this has not had a profound affect on me. It has in so many ways. One of those ways is the way that I meditate. My previous mediation practice consisted of mediating for 10 or 15 minutes before or after my yoga practice. So much has changed.
I have tried more ways to meditate in the past few months than I ever knew were possible. I have meditated lying down, I have meditated on my knees and I have meditated in postures. I have had my arms extended with palms up to the sky and held it for 11 minutes or more. I have chanted the same verses over and over in my head or out loud for 20 minutes or more. I have counted breaths and I have counted how many seconds my breaths take. I have forced my breath in and out and various intervals and I have let my breath come naturally.
I have discovered many things about my self. One is that it is hard to meditate for 11 minutes or more with your arms extended without feeling some kind of pain afterward. Second is that chanting Gayatri gives me a wicked sore throat the next morning (probably something I need to work on there). Thirdly is that no matter how often I meditate I always find myself focusing on my third eye (ajna chakra) - again something I need to explore more. Lastly, was that I think I really missed my old way of meditation.
So for the next little while I have decided to meditate the old way. I will follow my old ritual of lighting a candle next to my statue of Ganesha (the remover of obstacles). Sit on my meditation pillow, close my eyes with my hands in my lap or in gyan mudra (helping to purify the mind). Set my timer or not and meditate. Allow my thoughts to pass or to have none at all and enjoy the simplicity of sitting.
I returned to this practice tonight. My timer went off and I kept going for several minutes longer. I feel clear and rejuvenated. My hip and my back feel nice - the pain started to dissipate after a few minutes. If history repeats itself I should have a restful nights sleep (not with standing Holly waking me to nurse).
I feel bliss!