Earth Witness Meditation
This mudra simulates the Buddha ’s gesture on forgoing his final liberation to stay on Earth and serve others. In the same way, this meditation grounds and roots us to our worldly life. Use this meditation when you ’re having difficulty being present or lacking faith that everything is exactly as it should be. This is a great basic mindfulness meditation and mudra to practice daily for 10 to 30 minutes, especially in the morning. With the right hand rooting into the earth, you can sit up and be more present in your meditation. With your left hand open, you can receive the simple blessings available in every moment.
1 Begin in the basic meditation posture. Allow your shoulders to melt down your back, opening your chest, and keep your gaze toward the earth about 6 feet in front of you in your commitment to stay present and awake to life.
2 Touch the ground with your right finger-tips, rooting them into the earth, and sit up tall. Place the back of your left hand on your left knee with your hand open toward heaven. Root down into the earth with your right hand, feeling your connection to every being, and inhale through your fingers to receive strength and nourishment. Exhale through your open left hand and surrender to the moment. Inhale receiving, exhale giving.
Earth Witness Meditation Photos
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3 The Vietnamese zen master and activist Thich Nhat Hanh teaches a beautiful breathing and mantra practice that can be used with this meditation: “Breathing in, I know I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know I am breathing out. Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is the only moment.”
SIX Balanced Routines
“I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. ” —martha graham
Yoga is meant to be fluid. The practice involves poses, meditation, and developing a deep connection with your body. It’s less about following a certain order ofposes or doing each one perfectly, and more about self-reflection and becoming more in tune with your body, your life, and the wider world. The most wonderful thing about yoga is that you can adapt it to your body and circumstances.
In this chapter, I outline a variety of routines for you to choose from. No matter the time of day, how much time you have, or how you’re feeling, you can find a routine that works for you. An important part of practice is sequencing—thinking about the unique qualities of each pose and how to string them together so they flow naturally and work for your body. I use the sequences of these routines all the time in my own practice and my classes. Feel free to do partial routines or adapt them as you get more comfortable. Bringing creativity to your practice will make it even more satisfying and personal to you.