Yoga and Meditation Tips

The following tips come through calm-abiding sitting practice at the Dharma Fellowship Hermitage here on Denman Island.

Advice about turning negative cycles to positive ones:

  • Turn the mind from worry to aspiration.
  • Turn the mind from anxiety to refuge
  • From effort to control external condition to attending to basic needs.  (Basic needs:  food, shelter, clothing, medicine, air, light, movement, sleep).
  • From experience of the past as grief/regret to experience of the past as insight.
  • From experience of the present as pain to experience of the present as metta.
  • From experience of the future as dread to experience of the future as trust.
  • From depression to energy.

Daily mindfulness practice includes mindfulness of body (posture, breathing, activity, temperature, pressure, sound, taste and smell), and mindfulness of feelings (pleasant, unpleasant, neutral).

The Four Efforts:

1)  Strive to prevent unwholesome formations from arising.

2)  Abandon unwholesome formations that have already arisen.

3)  Strive to support the arising of unwholesome formations

4)  Strive to maintain and perfect those wholesome formations that do arise.

Tips for refreshing Tadasana – the Mountain Pose

If you feel like the coming new year is a mountain you must climb, then try this pose from a fresh perspective.

Tadasana, the Mountain Pose, may seem like the most straightforward of asanas, but don’t be deceived by appearances. Even in the most simple of standing positions there is much to be gained by doing it right – for you.

  • Stand on the 4 power points of your feet (2 on the ball, 2 on the heel)
  • Spread the feet to a sturdy position
  • Keep a feeling of space in your joints
  • Don’t lock the knees, it strains the back
  • Bow-legged people should stand with a block between their knees
  • Check your alignment against the corner of a wall
  • Hold the tailbone in a neutral position
  • Imagine holding an egg in the second chakra, hold it softly, don’t armour
  • Keep your feet a fist width apart
  • If you are wobbling, place the feet further apart (especially seniors, obese people)
  • Thigh muscles are engaged only somewhat
  • Lift up through your crown chakra
  • Breathe into your belly, middle and then upper chest. Let out the breath that way.

Contraindication: People with foot pain should not attempt standing postures.