Beautiful guided visualization from Carmen this week. I was instantly transformed to this majestic scene. I loved the smooth water and the image of the white swans swimming by with the slightest of ripples in the water. I could feel myself being rocked gently. In yoga, the use of guided imagery or visualization is known as Bhavana. Bhavana traces its lineage to the ancient yogis. A bhavana creates a safe sanctuary which you can turn to when times are tough. The place may create a feeling of calmness, peace, support. The bhavana can use the senses as it takes you along the journey For example, “imagine that you can see blue sky all around you, as you come to the soft green meadow filled with gently swaying grasses.” “You find a patch of earth that has been warmed by the sun and lie down on the warm earth.” The images, senses and even various sensations you may visualize, tap unto our primitive areas of our brain before we had the language areas developed. This is important when working with those that had trauma early on.
- Excellent for speeding up the healing of body tissues
- Alleviates stress and tension, anger, anxiety, asthma, insomnia, and high blood pressure
- Strengthens the voice and relieves thyroid ailments
- Benefits are enhanced when practiced after Nadi Shodhana
- Balance air and ether, especially in the vata Fall season (Ayurvedic)
- Sit comfortably, with lips closed and teeth slightly opened. Make sure the jaw is relaxed.
- Raise the arms to the sides, bend the elbows, and bring the hands to the ears, plugging the ears with the index or middle fingers.
- Bring the awareness to the center of the head (ajna chakra) and keep the body still.
- Inhale through the nose, and while exhaling make a deep, steady humming sound like a bee for the duration of the exhale.
- Then, while inhaling, contract the throat to produce a humming sound on inhalation (if this sound is difficult to make at first, focus only on producing the sound while exhaling).
- Practice 5 rounds, ending with a humming exhale.
Place the two blocks at either the lowest or medium height, equidistant from each other bolster lengthwise on top of blocks. A s-fold or triple fold blanket on top of bolster. It may be more comfortable without blocks. Legs straddle the props at one end, and lengthen body over them. Head will rest on props. Additional blanket(s) may be used behind knees. Ideally props should extend all the way to the pelvis area but this may not be the case with your body structure. Stay here for 10 minutes to begin with, rotating head side to side.
Modify as needed with a chair or in a straddle position.
Props: blankets, block or neck roll (for forehead)
Benefits: calming to the nervous system, gently lengthens legs, stretches upper chest, grounding, helps with going inward.
Place 1 or 2 blankets on your mat or floor to support the area between your pelvis and the top of the ribs. Lie down on your stomach and either stack hands to rest forehead on or use the block or neck rolls. Cover with a blanket for more comfort.
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