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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Yoga Meditation - Whole Body Scan to Balance Your Energy

By Julia Denham

Are you new to yoga? Your entire yoga practice is a meditation. As you perform your yoga poses, you focus strictly on what's happening with your body and what you're trying to do. You move out of everyday consciousness into real concentration which is the basis of meditation.

There are specific yoga meditations you can do. Here is an excellent one: a whole body scan to balance your energy.

1. Sit Down or Lie Down, and Become Aware of Your Body

You can do this meditation either lying down on a flat surface, like the floor, or when you're sitting upright in a chair. If you're lying down, relax completely, and become aware of your body. Take several long slow deep breaths. Close your eyes if you wish.

2. Follow Your Energy Throughout Your Body

Starting with your left foot, become aware of it. Be aware of your toes, be aware of your ankle, then be aware of the sole of your foot.

Next, be aware of your left leg's calf muscles. Be aware of your left knee. Gradually move your awareness to the top of your left leg, and then focus your awareness on your right foot. Gradually focus on every part of your right leg, then focus on the rest of your body.

Move your awareness slowly right throughout your body, going as quickly or as slowly as you like.

3. Let Thoughts and Feelings Go

Thoughts and emotions will interrupt your focus as you move your awareness through your body. Just be aware of any thoughts and emotions, and then let them go. Return to your body scan.

4. How to Manage Strong Feelings: Welcome Them

Strong feelings will arise in you. You could treat these emotions in one of two ways. You can either let them go, or you can welcome them, and feel them deeply. Feelings and emotions are stored in your body. Every trauma you have ever experienced has laid down its traces in your body.

This is why occasionally you'll find yourself weeping, or laughing as you do yoga. You're not going crazy, you've just encountered one of these traces.

One way to remove these emotional traces is to welcome your emotions and to focus on them completely for a few moments. Some emotions are very strong, and if you feel an emotion is becoming too much for you, go back to your body scan.

However if you can welcome an emotion, and allow it, you'll find that the emotion rises to a crest and then slowly dissipates. You need to feel emotions to remove the emotional traces in your body, so never be scared of any emotions which are aroused by your yoga. They're perfectly natural.

When you've completed your whole body scan, lie still for a moment, and assess what's changed since you began the meditation. This is a powerful, balancing yoga meditation. If you're stressed, it will relax you, and if you're tired, it will energize you.