Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Centering Narrative
By Ed Meers

Written as a Grounding & Centering assignment for Yoga Teacher Training Certification course
***Please note: unless indicated otherwise, take a 10 second pause between each break
***Approximate duration: 5 minutes

Lie down on your back in Savasana, the corpse pose.

As you lie there, allow your body to relax and sink down into your mat, feeling the earth cradling and supporting your body as you prepare for today’s practise. (20 second pause)

Observe how good it feels to be here, letting go of all those things your mind has been busy with leading up to this moment, giving yourself permission to take this time for yourself, and know that there is no other place you need to be right now – everything you need is right here.

It feels so good with the earth supporting you. It reminds us that as long as we are able to lie above the ground and enjoy these sensations, that we are alive and have this moment to feel, to be ourselves without the weight of the expectations of others, and to seek the sacred connection we all share with the greater whole.

Now draw your attention to the breath. Simply observe your inhalations and exhalations, perhaps taking note as to where you feel your breath the most. Perhaps it is through the nose, in the throat or in the chest area. Do not judge the breath, simply be the watcher.

Perhaps, if visualisation helps you to establish focus, imagine the swirl of your breath as it courses through your body and leaves like the steam of your breath into the atmosphere on a cold winter’s day, gently rolling and dispersing into the atmosphere. Again, you are an integral part of the whole; of the universe... the coolness of each inhalation, and the warmth of the exhalation.

Now, as you lie there, bring your gaze inward and note the sensations of the body. What is your body telling you? Simply observe without judgment (20 second pause)

On your next inhalation, see if you can breathe into the belly area. If it helps, you can place your hands on your abdomen, and breathe into them, filling the belly as if it were a balloon.

See if you notice your hands moving. Perhaps they are moving apart on the inhalation, and coming together again as you exhale, pushing the breath outwards, using the diaphragm and sensing the naval as it travels back toward the spine, feeling the pleasant warmth of your body under your palms.

Now move your hands up to the rib cage area. As you do this, imagine your breath to be like a wave, gently rolling from the belly, up into your middle and lungs, ebbing and flowing. Can you feel your ribs and hands expanding out through the sides? Allow this wave to gently rock back and forth, from the belly, up and back again, massaging the internal organs. Again, observe the rhythm and soft cadence of this movement without judging.

Slide your hands up onto your chest area now, allowing the fingers to feel the area above the collar bone. See if you are able to continue the wave of breath, on an inhalation toward the upper part of your lungs, and then as it returns on its journey back toward the belly.

Try to lengthen your inhalations and exhalations now. You may want to count as you inhale slowly to four, pausing briefly at the top of the breath, and then follow for another four count through to the bottom of the breath.

Continue this breathing pattern, tracing the rise and fall of the breath with your senses, for another three cycles. (25 second pause)

On the next exhalation, allow the breath to travel freely, on its own accord once more. As you are doing this, again, check in with your body. See if you can notice any changes to the breath or how your body feels. Are you feeling more relaxed? Has your body yielded itself further into the earth’s embrace? Do you have the sensation of the universe’s energy cleansing and easing your body; your mind? (30 second pause)

At this time, begin to bring sensation back into your body. You can wiggle your fingers and toes if you like – whatever feels comfortable for you.

Stretch out the body if that feels good, and prepare for your asana practise, remaining mindful of the awareness and connections that you have created, and of how good the breath feels in your body.


  • At 6:37 a.m. , Blogger Blondeau said...

    Sounds like you are digging YTT.

    Notice the use of "good" twice in the beginning of the narrative. "Good" is a judgment. It may not feel that way to some people. Later you say "simply observe without judgment".

    Perhaps make the initial phrases as judgement free?

    Just a thought. Thanks for sharing your work.

  • At 8:42 a.m. , Blogger Ed Meers said...

    Great observation! The sense of letting go can make one feel uncomfortably vulnerable and not good. This is why we often hold on to that sheath of tension in that it becomes as a protective layer. When we put that shield down, we may has a sense of being openly exposed to harm. Thank you for this!

  • At 9:28 a.m. , Blogger Blondeau said...

    Check out Reginald Ray's book Touching Enlightenment. Great book on meditating as a body.


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