I adore this meditation. It is so simple, rhythmic and serene.
Translated as a-napana “breathing in and out” and sati “to watch or to observe’, one can deeply relax whilst silently focusing upon the breath. Our breath is the connection from our outer world to our inner world, guiding us internally away from all external distractions and disturbances.
And so, we gaze upon the breath from within, breathing slowly and smoothly.
Sit in a quiet, tranquil place. There is no point being uncomfortable. If being crossed-legged is too challenging, a chair is a great alternative.
Being relaxed and comfortable is the key. Sitting up straight is important. Slouching and stooping interfere with the natural flow of energy. In fact, being curled over can exacerbate anxiety and not diffuse it. Forcing yourself to sit up is not an option either as this may cause tension in the body and defeat the purpose of relaxing into the moment.
Some prefer to meditate early in the morning when the mind is fresh and ready to greet the day. Others prefer to meditate at dusk in order to ‘let go’ of the experiences of the day. Some like to meditate twice daily. Do what you have time to do. But, do make time!
The following is a rendition of ‘Anapanasati’ which I have modified for my yoga students. You may wish to use these words or download Deepak’s Chopra’s 8-minute meditation which is available on iTunes.
Often I start the day with Deepak’s deeply soothing voice or just recite these words when I have a moment or two. Whether you modify and learn the words yourself or listen to Deepak Chopra, enjoy! Over time you will become so much more relaxed, clearer and happier.
Let’s begin –
- Take in a deep, full, breath, from deep down in the belly 1, 2, 3, 4 hold for a second
- Release the breath calmly and slowly, 1, 2, 3, 4,
- Again Breathe in 1,2 3, 4, hold for a few moments and breath out 1,2,3,4.
- Do this a few more times
And now say these words to yourself as you breathe in and out calmly and peacefully:
- I know I am breathing in a long breath, I know I am breathing out a long breath
- I know I am breathing in a short breath, I know I am breathing out a short breath
- I am aware of my body, I am aware of my body
- I soothe my body, I soothe my body
- My heart swells with joy, my heart swells with joy
- I feel happy, I feel happy
- I am aware of my thoughts, I am aware of my thoughts
- I release my thoughts, I release my thoughts
- I focus my mind, I focus my mind
- I liberate my mind, I liberate my mind
- I observe the impermanence of all things, I observe the impermanence of all things
- I release all yearning, I release all yearningI am still, I am still
- I am letting go, I am letting go
‘Now is the Knowing’.