Welcome to our 21-day meditation group! They say it takes 21 days to establish a new habit so this is your chance to incorporate a daily meditation practice into your life with the help of a supportive on-line community!
By joining us on this three week meditation journey, you are giving yourself the ultimate gift; the treasure of well-being. Meditation is the process of quieting and bringing clarity to the mind. It is valued across cultures and traditions for exactly this reason. You may notice other positive effects as a result of your practice, the benefits are profuse and profound, beyond words!
Meditation is one of Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga. It is an aspect that is commonly overlooked in a modern asana based yoga practice but is a necessary key in the process of self-discovery. Pratyahara, withdrawing from the stimulation of the senses; dharana, concentration or one-pointed focus; dhyana, meditation or contemplation on an object of focus; and samadhi, absorption into cosmic consciousness and universal unity; are linked together as a progression. First we direct our focus inwards or on a specific object, next we concentrate on that object with uninterrupted attention. Through the portal of concentration we arrive into the equanimous state of meditation, and possibly tap into the blissful realm of samadhi.
There are some common misconceptions about what meditation is and what should happen when we sit down to meditate. Depending on the day, depending on the technique, depending on how long you sit, depending on your intention, depending on what you eat, depending on how consistent you are; different experiences will arise. Most likely, your mind will be thinking it’s thoughts when you sit down to meditate. As you continue to practice, you may notice more and more space in-between your thoughts, they arise with less frequency, and you become less reactive towards them. Meditation is the process of training the mind. You get stronger over time. This is where the positive side effects of a consistent practice benefit our modern lives. Instead of the thoughts and emotions controlling us, we develop the awareness to observe thoughts and feel emotions so that they are not so overwhelming. We no longer cling to them or base our identity upon them. We develop control over our mind. This leads to a mindful relationship with life, greater contentment and inner peace.
Let’s begin this journey together by setting an intention. Keep a journal throughout this program to observe your progress. To make it even more meaningful, get a special notebook that inspires you to fill it with your musings, sketches, and observations. Begin this three-week ritual of personal growth and self study perhaps by lighting a candle and incense, create a simple altar reflecting your inspirations, protectors and guides or just create sacred space in your own way. Commit to participating fully for the duration of this experience. Your intention can be that simple; to participate fully. If other goals exist for you; maybe to meditate for 10 minutes each day instead of 5 minutes, or to be more mindful in your daily activities, or to have more presence in your relationships, or better physical and mental health… get clear about it. It is helpful to write your intentions down in precise, concise language in the positive tense. Hold yourself accountable by referring to your intention whenever you notice a lack of motivation.
Other things that will be helpful to have around for certain meditations are mala beads and a candle. We will let you know the day before if there are any special tools or instructions recommended. If you don’t have access to them while you are meditating with us, no worries. You can practice without. All you need is to organize your time and give yourself 5-30 minutes daily to invest into yourself.
Our first techniques are the body scan and Durga Breath. This can be done in any position; seated in a chair, laying down or even standing. You can spend as much time as you like, beginning with the body scan.
Bring your awareness down to your toes. Depending on how much time you have, move the awareness from toe to toe, right side and then left, focusing for a moment on each area all the way up each leg. Do this for the entire body in a general way if you only have a few minutes, or in greater detail when you can spend more time. You can add progressive relaxation by engaging the muscles followed by relaxation of each region.
Once you have finished your body scan, direct your awareness to your breath. Watch it for a moment.
Expand into the belly as you inhale, soften and draw the belly back in as you exhale. Repeat 1-10x. Next, inhale into the belly until it is full and then expand the lower and side ribs. The ribs move apart on the inhale and closer together again on the exhale. The pattern goes: inflate the belly, inflate the ribs. Empty the ribs, empty the belly. Inhale: belly, ribs. Exhale: ribs, belly. Repeat 1-10x. Now add the chest. Inhale: belly, ribs, chest. Exhale: chest, ribs, belly. Repeat 1-10x. Release the technique and return to normal breathing. Rest here as long as you like.
Write about your first meditation in your journal. Log the technique you used, the beginning and ending times, how you positioned yourself, and your general impressions of the experience(and anything else you’d like to note).
This is what we will be doing during our 200 hour yoga teach training immersion in Costa Rica from January 19 – February 8. We will be doing it together! During our yoga instructor training course we have a daily meditation practice, which is what this group is modeled upon. We offer the best yoga teacher training programs in the world at The Sanctuary at Two Rivers in Costa Rica, in Tuscany and Verona, Italy and also in the South of France. Whether you are a yoga teacher, or are curious about how to become a yoga teacher, or a yoga student, thanks for being a part of our community!
About Dr. Liz Lindh:
I am Dr. Liz Lindh, Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, holistic skincare and natural beauty expert, Yoga Teacher and Yoga Teacher Trainer. I am also the Director of the Sanctuary at Two Rivers in Costa Rica and Founder of Lakshmi Rising School for Yoga & Wellness.