Most people lives are busy, full of expectation and commitments. There are many practices available to help manage but research tells us this: good health relies on access to a nutritious diet, regular exercise and a good night’s sleep.
This class can be part of your bedtime ritual, or an easy morning stretch. It can be 5 minutes or 60. Done on your mat or in bed. Do what feels good and right, according to the time you have, how you feel and what you intuitively know you need.
The poses selected will bring relaxation to the body and mind; allow yourself to always feel comfortable and comforted. Set up your practice space (could be your bed) with any pillows, blankets, blocks or other props you have. Remember, you want to feel relaxed and organizing your space beforehand will help. Ideally, the space remains setup in anticipation of your next bedtime ritual practice.
In addition to the poses, the class includes pranayama with mantra and a meditation to take you into Savasana.
Attention to your breath – pranayama and meditation with mantra
Attention to breath is key. In this practice we focus the breath and quiet the mind using the universal mantra so’ham. The sound of it is like the sound of our natural breath: inhale (so), exhale (hum). Breath is smooth, in and out the nose, while silently chanting “so ……. hum”.
The class can be done using these components, together or interchangeably:
- Flashcards of poses (PDF format)
- Audio recording of So’ham mantra meditation
Each of these offerings are available below and described in detail.
Getting ready to practice
To make your practice relaxing and peaceful, here are our suggestions:
- Before practice, organize your practice “space” (mat or bed) – gather extra pillows, bolsters, or rolled-up blankets. Once you become familiar with your needs, keep your space clutter free by removing items you do not used;
- Do your nightly hygiene routine before practice – this allows you to crawl into bed immediately after you finish;
- If using your mat – consider doing the meditation in bed;
- Gently exfoliate your entire body and take a hot shower or bath -this will refresh your skin while warming it. A slightly elevated body temperature helps you fall asleep;
- Dress in comfortable clothes – perhaps your pjs;
- Set the scene – keeping safety in mind, light candles and soothing incense, creating a peaceful ambiance. Or keep it simple by turning down the lights and play calming background music;
- Mostly – don’t get hung up on doing all the poses if you don’t feel like it or have time. When you feel ready to sleep, climb into bed and get cozy;
- If you need some extra help falling asleep, use the audio of the meditation.
Please remember, this practice is about relaxing before bed or enjoying a sweet stretch at the start your day. Quite intentionally there is no downward facing dog or warrior poses. The purpose is to quiet the mind and restore the body. If you feel like doing those poses, keep it easy. Pay attention to your breath and heart rate. If they go up, then maybe they’re not the right poses at that time. Remember – comfortable and comforted.
The video is 58 minutes; the practice is 45. The introduction shares suggestions for making the most of your self-care routine. Once you’re familiar with the poses, use an electronic device only if you prefer a lead practice. Instead, use the flashcards or your own intuition to do your own thing. Click the image to right for video.
The breath is used to determine how long poses are held. Generally, it’s five (5) rounds of breath, the minimum duration recommended for the poses and coordinating breath to make an impact. If you want to stay longer, pause the video to avoid the next pose interrupting you.
The Flashcards of poses illustrates the poses in the video. Print the page, cut along the borders, and sequence the poses (some or all) any way you wish, creating your own home practice. As a bonus, they travel quite nicely in a Ziploc bag.
So’ham Mantra Meditation Audio
This is a simple, yet impactful meditation, that is easy to learn and practice. Attention to the breath using so’ham mantra is combined with a subtle body meditation. Together, they quiet the mind and relax the body. It’s a beautiful practice that can be used anytime, anywhere and adapted by the meditator in anyway that serves.