• Michele Olson

Cat/Cow Pose, Awareness Breath & Heart Chakra Meditation

Asana Practice (Yoga Posture)

Cat/Cow Pose

  • Begin on all fours with fingers spread apart, wrists under shoulders, knees under hips.

  • On your inhalation, slowly lift the head and tailbone up. (Fig. 2) Feel a stretch in the abdominals.

  • On your exhalation, slowly drop the head and tailbone, tucking your chin into your chest. (Fig. 1) Feel a stretch in the upper back and shoulders.

  • Continue alternating slowly between cat and cow flowing with the breath.

  • Continue as many times as you feel comfortable, stopping at around 3 minutes.

Benefits

  • Increases suppleness along the spine.

  • Stretches the muscles along the back, neck and arms.

  • Improves circulation.

  • Helps maintain good posture and an overall feeling of well-being.

  • Releases tension in the neck and back.


Pranayama Practice (Yoga Breathing)

Awareness Breath

  • Set your intention to bring awareness to your breath for an entire day.

  • Practice your favorite yoga breathing technique and remain focused on it throughout the day.

  • Notice your breath as you wake up and get ready for the day.

  • What happens to your breath as you begin to battle the first signs of stress?

  • Take a deep breath and notice yourself becoming calmer.

  • When your day comes to an end, practice the Heart Meditation just before bed.

Benefits:

  • Releases tension and stress.

  • Calms the mind and body.

  • Allows us to keep our focus on the present moment.


Dhyana Practice (Meditation)

Heart Chakra Meditation

  • Sit comfortably with your eyes closed.

  • Bring your thumbs and forefingers together to form a triangle over your heart center.

  • Inhale through your nose for a count of 8. Exhale fully through your mouth.

  • Imagine the color green or pink (the colors of the heart chakra) radiating from your heart center.

  • Focus on your heart center.

  • With each inhalation the color brightens and with each exhalation the color radiates further into your meditation space creating a calming and peaceful presence around you.

Benefits:

  • Slows the mind.

  • Calms your entire being.

  • Promotes peace and serenity.

  • Brings you back to the present moment.

  • Reduces blood pressure and heart rate.

  • Balances the heart chakra.


Mantra (Positive Affirmation)

When you are feeling stressed at any time during the day, try repeating a mantra, or positive affirmation. Repeating a mantra will allow you to feel peaceful and obtain a calm mind.

  • Sit comfortably.

  • Close your eyes.

  • Focus on the breath.

  • Repeat the following mantra:

"The most beautiful things in life cannot be seen or even touched.

They must be felt with the heart." ~Helen Keller

  • Continue to focus on the breath while repeating your mantra for several minutes.

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