Inspired by the power of the recent super moon, it only seems fitting to share an evening meditation. It's a wonderful way to transition from the brightly lit, rapid-news-fuelled world to a peaceful slumber between the sheets.
I started an evening meditation a few weeks ago thanks to yoga visionary and teacher Shiva Rea, whose Meditations DVD offers a matrix of practices depending on the time of day and your desired energy shifts. She shares two lunar meditations, one that incorporates Nadi Shodhana Pranayama, alternate nostril breathing, and another, which honors the setting sun while gazing inward and breathing to the mantra, Hum-Sa. I follow both meditations consecutively before ending with a final Savasana on my back (also a guided meditation on the DVD). These three practices total 20 minutes.
I'm including a step-by-step of the Lunar #1 practice for you to try at home. However, if you're anything like me and keep time to a watch, having someone guide you through a timed practice means you can meditate deeply without the stress. All you need is space on the floor of a dimly-lit room, a candle (I like the clarifying Garnet candle by The Sage Lifestyle), and a DVD player*, because the visuals of Santorini bathed in a setting sun are simply amazing.
Lunar #1 (5 minutes)
Begin in a seated comfortable position. You can sit in either a regular cross-legged asana, or come into Half Lotus.
Sweep your hands in front of you and as you exhale, let your hands cascade over you like a flow of calming energy; not only bathing any stress from your body, but also bathing yourself with blessings. Do this six times.
As you enjoy this movement, feel your body shift into the lunar qualities of relaxation, a smooth and graceful movement.
Let you hands settle onto your knees to begin Nadi Shodhana Pranayama. With one hand, make a peace sign, stabilizing it at your forehead. Now, close your right nostril with your thumb and slowly inhale through your left nostril with Ujjayi. That is, breathing from the base of the throat.
Now pause, balance at the top, close your left nostril with your 4th finger, and exhale slowly through the right nostril. Inhale fully through the right, pause, and exhale fully through the left nostril.
Continue a few more rounds on your own, inhaling from the left to the right, and the right to the left, creating internal balance between your active and receptive aspects of your nervous system.
When you exhale out through your left nostril for the last time, bring your hand back down with your fingertips in Gyan mudra, thumb touching index finger - the mudra of inner knowledge.
Feel your breath like a scared wave, rising from the base of the spine, into the fullness of your heart. Become totally absorbed in the rhythm of your breath. Releasing, grasping and gripping; receiving and feeling the scared flow of your life force.
As you exhale, let go of anything that you're holding onto that's not present in this moment.
As you inhale, go into the grace of your flowing breath... As you inhale, feel the flow of your sacred breath.
As you are ready, slowly gather that peace and inner tranquility between your hands. You can listen here with your whole body as you make a dedication with which to infuse your life with the energy of your practice.
So, listen, and make that dedication now: What is your offering to your life? What is your inner prayer?
As this meditation comes to a close, gather that energy and offer it to the next moment.
Transcribed with permission of RLJ Entertainment. *These meditations are also available via acacialifestyle.com/tv