You know what moving your body means , but do you know about inner motion?
On the Mat Yoga and Off The Mat Yoga are the two sides of the same coin. The way you understand and perform movements in everyday life affects how you understand and perform yoga poses or how you sit in meditation. When you “hold” a yoga pose or “hold” yourself upright on the meditation cushion or chair, inner motion is difficult to experience . Unnecessary muscle tension is used to hold the skeleton. True stillness is effortless. Holding is an effort. This is why at the end of a meditation, you may feel an urge to collapse in relief!
What is inner motion? Does it bring about an easier way to sit in meditation?
Inner motion is an ability you have to release unnecessary tension all over your body without loosing your skeletal height. Instead of releasing tension by stretching your body, do it on the inside without moving. Like sand in an hour-glass, allow tension to drip down your body into your support while you stay tall.
As the constricting muscles soften around the skeleton, your whole body is free to expand up and out like bread dough rising. This is inner motion in action. Your postural reflexes get activated when the released tension reaches your support. As they activate, your posture realigns itself with ease. No holding or stretching is necessary to be relaxed, tall and wide as you sit on the meditation cushion.
What is meditation?
Meditation is the art of being aware of what you are doing while you are doing it. Breathing in, you are aware that you are breathing in. Breathing out, you are aware that you are breathing out. You are in the present moment. Yesterday no longer is. Tomorrow does not exist yet. Your mind tends to be distracted by ongoing thoughts pertaining to the past and future. Meditating is coming back to the now, over and over.
Stay present to whatever arises. If a thought comes in, don’t push it away, just choose to not engage with it, let it go like a little cloud passing by in the sky. You do not need to sit to meditate but sitting meditation does help you strengthen your ability to come back to the now in daily life. Anything you do, with awareness of what is in the now, becomes a meditation. With inner motion, yoga and meditation become deeper practices!
THE PRACTICE OF SITTING MEDITATION
– Choose a quiet space with no draft but not overly warm either so you can stay alert
– Preferably, sit on a leveled chair, feet flat on the ground, the back of your hands resting on your legs
– If you can, do not lean against the back of the chair as you want your torso to stay aligned
– If need be, you can use a firm pillow for extra back support if you can stay upright
– Make sure however you can release any excess tension straight down into your seat
– Aligned above the sits bones tip, there is no urge to arch your back to sit up and no urge to slouch when you relax.
– Your meditation can begin!
Just listen to the silence of your mind, observe your breathing and go back to it as often as you can. Enjoy!
For more instructions on meditation or being mindful, check Vietnamese Monk Thich Nhat Hanh’s books
such as “The Miracle of Mindfulness” or Spiritual teacher Eckart Tolle’s books such as “The Power of Now” or “A New Earth”.
Here is a very short U Tube videos just to give you a taste: