Yoga Asanas Rise and Shine Morning Yoga Meditation

Rise and shine: The Beginner’s Guide to Yoga Morning Asanas for More Energy

The English proverb “The early bird catches the worm” may have been referring to people that prepare in advance, but it is also true in a literal sense.

Studies show that “morning” people are healthier, happier, and more productive. A morning person has no trouble hopping out of bed before 7 am and facing the day with a smile. If you are among the snooze-hitting tribe and drag yourself grumpily out of bed in the morning, there is an easy solution.

While you can do yoga at any time of the day, there are specific asanas (literally meaning, “to be seated in a position that is firm, but relaxed”) that can turn the clock around for you. If you are like most night owls, your body probably feels heavy and aches all over.

These asanas will wake up your body, lighten your mood, and give you the energy you need to get through the day with more grace.

1. Crossed legs posture (Sukhasana)Crossed legs (Sukhasana) yoga asanasPicture source!

This is probably the easiest, and most familiar, pose in yoga.

Sitting with your back straight, pelvis in a neutral position, and bring up your knees on either side of the body, tucking your feet under the opposite leg. You should see a triangular space between your legs and pelvis. Rest your hands on your knees.  Do the Dirga or yogic breath for three to five minutes. 

2. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Mountain Pose (Tadasana) meditationWitold Fitz-Simon – Picture source!  

Exhale, and as you do so, straighten up, arms on your sides in a relaxed position.

Repeat the sequence; only substitute the right leg for the left leg.  Do at least one full cycle of the sun salutations every morning, more if you have the time.  This works all seven major centers (chakras) of the body, so you should be rearing to go (and hungry) when you’re done! 

3. Hand to Foot pose (Hasta Padasana) 

Hand to Foot pose (Hasta Padasana)Picture source!

As you exhale, bring the arms and body forward, aiming to bring the palms flat on the floor on either side of your feet and your face to your knees. You may bend your knees a little to get your palms to the floor, as you will need them there for support for the next steps. 

4. Prayer pose (Pranamasana)Prayer pose (Pranamasana)Picture source!

Stand with your feet together, shoulders relaxed. Breathe in to expand your chest, and as you do so, bring up your arms to your sides. Breathe out slowly, and as you do so, bring your hands together as if in prayer. 

5. Raised Arms pose (Hasta Uttanasana)Raised Arms pose (Hasta Uttanasana)Picture source!

As you inhale, bring your hands up straight above your head and reach up as far as you can go, looking up and curving your body slightly to get the full stretch. The aim is to get the maximum stretch from the heel to the fingertips.

6. Sun salutations (Surya Namaskar)Sun salutations (Surya Namaskar)Picture source!

It is time to get out of bed (if you haven’t already) and say hello to the day. Salutes to the sun are a sequence of 12 poses that wakes up the body and fills it with energy.  It is important to observe the breathing directions as you do each one. It will take a little practice, but you will soon get into the swing of it.

7. Two-knee spinal twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)Two-knee spinal twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)Picture source!

Lying flat on your back, arms stretched on either side, bring both knees to one side. Slowly extend the inner leg out while keeping your upper back flat on the surface.  Hold this for a few second, then draw your knees back together. Go to the other side and do the same thing.

Do the whole sequence two or three more times. This will stretch and relax your spine, chest, shoulders and thighs, and ease muscle pain. It also wakes up your internal organs, including your abdominals for better digestion. 

8. Reclining bound angle pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Reclining bound angle pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)Picture source!

Lying flat on your back, bring your knees up, feet together. Let your thighs open naturally, and relax. You can use pillows or foam blocks to support your knees. This will help you avoid putting too much strain on your back and inner thighs. Now comes the important part – breathing.

Use the Three-Part Breath or Dirgha. This is one of the foundations of yogic breathing, and you have to practice it consciously. You will inhale air to fill your lung, lower chest (diaphragm), and abdomen to capacity in that order, hold it, and then exhale in reverse order: abdomen, chest, lungs.

Do these several times, with the inhale count at four, and exhale count at six. This will decrease your levels of stress and anxiety, although it may make you feel a little lightheaded at first from all the oxygen you’re getting. Don’t worry, you will get used to it. Do this for three to five minutes.
These simple morning yoga exercises are suitable even for beginners. More importantly, they will definitely help night owls get the energy they need for the day. Try them out and share your experience with us!

Author bio:

Stacey Marone is traveler, yoga lover and contributor for https://essays.scholaradvisor.com/coursework/. She is an enthusiastic yoga advocate. You can connect with her on Twitter.

The Magic of Simple Meditations

In the article How to Meditate for Clarity, Intuition, and Guidance, Jack Canfield answers the question What is meditation? with:

“Meditation is a practice where you train your mind or induce a state of consciousness, either to realize some benefit, such as relaxation, stress reduction, healing, strengthening your life force, or developing certain qualities such as love, patience, generosity, and forgiveness.”

He presents the 4 steps of the Simple Meditation: The 4-Part Meditation Technique:

1. Find a quiet place, close your eyes, and focus on slowing down your breathing;

2. Repeat an uplifting word or phrase;

3. Move into a state of quiet;

4. Imagine yourself surrounded by a sphere of light.

He also draws the following conclusions:

  • Meditation takes practice and is a natural progression;
  • Practice the above methods to calm your mind;
  • Learning to meditate is a journey, this guide will help you take the right steps.

Find at Positive Words Research a wonderful article about 20 Simple Meditations to Create Peace of Mind and Joy.

Jack Canfield, America’s #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul® and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you’re ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com

20 Simple Meditations to Create Peace of Mind and Joy

lotus-flower_meditation

Positive Words Research shares with you 20 simple meditations which will help you create for yourself peace of mind and joy. These simple meditations can be done by anyone and in any place, because they don’t take a long time.

20 Simple Meditations to Create Peace of Mind and Joy

1. Your heart and the hearts of the other living people

Picture that you have a heart, which you do. Picture that all of the other 7 billion people living in the same moment as you, also have a heart, which they do. Picture that your heart is beating at the same time as other 7 billion living hearts. Take 10 minutes to visualize this, after you made some relaxation exercises.

This meditation will generate compassion, joyfulness, magic, self-love, connection, warmth, blissfulness, deep awareness, amazement, and serenity.

2. Sit, don’t talk, smile

Sit in silence, don’t talk and gently smile for 15 minutes after you’ve made some relaxation exercises.

This meditation will generate an inner smile, serenity, and relief.

3. Sit, don’t talk, smile and mentally scan your body

Sit in silence, don’t talk, gently smile and mentally scan your body for 15 minutes after you’ve made some relaxation exercises. When you mentally scan your body picture that every organ is also smiling.

This meditation will generate peacefulness, healing, health increase, vitality, joy, gratitude, appreciation, relief, and self-love.

4. Large smile with your mouth and eyes

Make a large smile with your mouth and eyes and keep it like this for 60 seconds while counting from 60 to 1.

This meditation will generate happiness.

5. Give up good things

Take 10 minutes to affirm internally that you give up all the good things, good feelings and good experiences you lived in the past, present and future.

This meditation will generate relief and space for more good things, feelings and experiences to come your way. It will make you let go of future thinking and a lot of expectations that you have and are weighing you and making you feel tense. It will make you give up attachment to the good which is sometimes a more powerful type of attachment than the attachment that you feel for bad things which we cannot forgive and let go.

6. Cut connections between your body and all other bodies or entities

Visualize your body and ask him to disconnect and cut connections will all other living bodies or any entity. Affirm that all other people are free and they have the right to be free and you are free and you have the right to be free. Set them free and set yourself free. It is good to set yourself free and be free.

This meditation will generate feeling light, freedom, releasing a lot of tension, healing, increase synchronicity for future good things to connect and happen.

7. Forgiveness – give up bad things

Picture yourself. Picture a person, event, and state of things, an experience that has or is upsetting you. It might be something that happened recently, some situation that hasn’t changed for years or some tensed memory that you hold. Picture yourself staying face to face with this person or event that is generating tension for yourself.

Ask him to forgive you for any wrong you’ve done to him. Picture that the other person has his higher-self behind him, which is much bigger than that person. Picture his higher self quickly forgiving and giving you a warm hug. Receive his forgiveness and warmth in your heart. Next, picture his higher-self asking you forgiveness for any wrong he’s done to you. Forgive him immediately and give him a virtual warm hug. See him accepting your forgiveness and hug while smiling at you. Do the same with a tense event, experience, yourself, God or life in general. Forgive everything and let yourself be forgiven.

This meditation will generate peace, releasing a lot of tension, healing, a significant increase in your vibration, generosity, love for yourself, others and life, acceptance, lots of strengths, and resilience.

8. Enlarge yourself more than Earth

Picture your body. Imagine that your body has a subtle energy inside your heart connected with your mind. Picture this energy heart-mind becoming bigger and surrounding your body, then becoming even bigger and covering your house, your neighborhood, town, region, country, the continent, the Earth, the solar system and going far-far in the Universe. Feel yourself limitless.

This meditation will generate inner super-power, powerful intuition, the ability to think beyond Earth consciousness, the ability to think beyond the duality law (good-bad, cold-heat, light-dark, positive-negative etc.). This meditation will also instantly give you the ability to get over your problems, to be above your problems, bigger than them. You will not feel most of your problems and the ones that your still feel will seem smaller than before.

9. Give up everything as in the moment of death

Give up everything by completely emptying yourself. Picture that you are at the moment of death which is a future real event, which will happen in your life. In that moment you will be forced to give up everything, good or bad. And you will do this giving up of everything very fast. Don’t be afraid. You cannot control your death. You will still die in the future, not now. Do this for 5 minutes, after you have practiced a relaxation method.

How to do it in the simplest way? Consider each memory that you have, each thing that you know as being “only concepts”, concepts that you don’t have to deal with them after death when everything will disappear. Use your imagination. Consider food, relationships, air, sky, spoon, knife, hands, hair, thoughts, heart, head, yourself, phone, laptop, the internet, facebook, water, trees, pills, emotions, diseases, sport, marriage, kids, adulthood, being old, life, movement etc. as just concepts which you don’t have to deal with them anymore after death. All these are only things that are happening on a planet called Earth. After death you will not be on the planet Earth anymore and therefore will not be concerned about anything that exists on this planet and how things are done on this planet.

This meditation will generate full releasing of all present attachments. It will fully empty you. You will download the second best power you could have in this world, the power of death, the power of full emptiness. You will realize that everything is impermanent, good or bad. Energy is always in movement, you are always in movement, taking different forms through eternity.

The first power that exists in the world you can get by practicing the next meditation.

10. Treasure life

After practicing meditation number 9 “Give up everything as in the moment of death”, practice feeling alive. Do it in a simple way. Just become aware that You are still here on Earth, You are Alive. You gave up everything as in the moment of death, and yet here you are, still here, still breathing. Smile. See, you are still able to smile. Treasure this smile. Give thanks to it. Say: “I am grateful for being alive in this moment, I couldn’t be able to smile if I wasn’t alive.”. Do you have thoughts crossing your mind right now? Treasure that. You couldn’t have thoughts crossing your mind if you weren’t alive.

This meditation will generate something that is hard to explain with words. It is a sense of knowing that, now, you are such a blessing. You are alive and there is nothing more valuable than this. Your own existence is more than enough. Nothing more needs to be done from you, than to be alive, and you already are. All that you do comes from the fact that you are alive and breathing.

11. Powerful Light Human-Being

Picture yourself very powerful, having and mastering the secret of light, being one of Earth protectors. Tell yourself that because you are here on Earth, everything is protected.

This meditation will generate much self-power and shining light that will go deep inside you.

12. Joyful & Happy

Take 10 minutes to picture yourself joyful and happy. You can even be joyful and happy in this meditation to help you feel yourself for real, joyful and happy.

This meditation will generate joyfulness, happiness, contempt, satisfaction, fulfillment and the feeling that your joy and happiness are under your control.

13. Calculate your remaining years of living deducting your current age from 100

Deduct your current age from 100 and tell yourself that you will live the difference. For example, if you are 34 years old, do 100 less 34, which is 66 and tell yourself that you will live 66 more years. Reflect on 66 more years in this way: ask yourself how many times you will still eat, breath, sleep, go to the toilet, wash your body, talk with different people, get a cold etc. Ask yourself how much water you will still drink in 66 years and the Earth will provide for you all this water. All the air that you need to breathe in 66 years the Earth will provide to you. Then think what will you do with 66 more years of living? What if tomorrow you would start writing a book? Would you think you could solve how to write a book and actually finish and publish it in 66 years? I think even if you had 3 more years of living you could definitely do that. But you have 66 years.

This meditation will generate a full relaxation of all your struggles. You will instantly feel how much time you actually have, to do anything you could want to do in your life.

It will also make you realize that your life will not be significantly different from now on, as compared to how it was before. This is valid in terms of you needing to take time, every day, to eat, breath, sleep, wash your body, go to the toilet, talk with people, think etc. In this terms, your life will be the same. It will make you feel that what you did until now it was all good and it will be all good in the future. And that is enough just to take care of your basic needs. You will understand that all other things that we do are only for our own fun, only so that we could occupy, with something, the remaining time that you don’t spend on basic needs.

14. Focus on your breathing

Make some relaxation exercises. Then focus for 15 minutes only on your breathing. Alternate your breathing, play with your breathing. Keep your eyes semi-closed. Focus for the last 5 minutes only on the place from your nose where the air comes in and out while breathing normal.

This meditation will generate mental relaxation and stomach relaxation.

If you sing while you play with your breath it will also relax your throat. If you take very fast the air out while making a short powerful relaxation sound, it will relax your heart. If you move your middle while breathing it will relax your middle. Basically, any part of the body that you move while focusing on your breathing it will get more and more relaxed, will release more and more the tension accumulated in those muscles.

15. Inspired meditation

Take 15 minutes to meditate without any method. Don’t have any intention for this meditation. Begin by sitting in your most common meditation position. Then let yourself be guided by your intuition on what to do. You might feel to move your hands up, to do a certain sign with your body that you don’t know the meaning, to breath in a certain way, to make strange and funny faces, to stay in “strange” positions with your body. Anything that comes to you, do it. Let yourself be moved from here to there, by your own body.

This meditation will generate more intuition, more connection between your active consciousness and your body and release of tension specific only to you.

16. Gratitude

Re-acknowledge and recollect events that happen to you. Think of 1 to 3 things you are grateful for in every area of your life: yourself, your projects, relationships etc. and say that you are grateful for them. Think of 1 to 3 things you are not grateful for, in every area of your life, and intentionally say that you are grateful for them.

Do this meditation either intentionally taking 15 minutes of your time or from time to time during the day.

17. Being and feeling blessed

Stay for 15 minutes after you’ve made some relaxation practices and picture yourself being blessed by everything, spiritual beings or people. Picture that God is blessings you with pure love and light (if you are a God believer). Picture that other spiritual entities are blessings you will light, it can be your protective angel, Archangel Michael, Buddha, Krishna etc.

This meditation will generate peace in you, self-love, self-acceptance, clearing of negative energies, peace of mind, loving-kindness, and blessings.

18. Give and receiving thanks from things around you

Picture that everything around gives thanks to you and you give thanks to them. Do this meditation as you walk on the street, at work, at home or while taking lunch or dinner with your friends. Picture that the trees are saying thank you, to you. Say back thank you to them. The air is saying thanks to you, for breathing it, you say back. The water is saying thank you for drinking it, you say thanks back. And so on with every object around you that you encounter during your day.

This meditation will generate a lot of gratitude, awareness for the many things that are serving you, joy, blessings, blissfulness, and magic.

19. Positive expectations

Practice the following three affirmations:

  1. Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen!
  2. Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and focus on what could go right!
  3. Expect to find joy as you move forward!

This meditation will generate faith, hope, joy, and stop negative thinking.

20. Positive words

Scan this list of positive words and create your small list of positive words. Memorize it or keep the list somewhere where you can have quick access to it. Take 15 minutes to reflect on your list of positive words. Repeat in your mind or with a loud voice the positive words. Search the meaning of the positive words on the internet to better embody their meaning.

This meditation will generate positive thinking, clearing negativity, attract the cumulated energy of the list of positive words.

Notes:

  • Do only one or few of these simple meditations during a day, except the gratitude meditation which can be done many times during the day;
  • Skip some days and don’t meditate at all;
  • Do these simple meditations wherever you are.

Source of the featured picture: 1

Which meditation is your favorite?

Why Is Important To Take 10 Mindful Minutes And Do Nothing

Here is an incredible video from TED. The speaker is Andy Puddicombe. His speech is called “All it takes is 10 mindful minutes”. The following words are the transcript of this talk and at the end of this post, you will find the video. Enjoy below the speech:

“All it takes is 10 mindful minutes”

 

Transcript of “All it takes is 10 mindful minutes”

We live in an incredibly busy world. The pace of life is often frantic, our minds are always busy, and we’re always doing something.

So with that in mind, I’d like you just to take a moment to think, when did you last take any time to do nothing? Just 10 minutes, undisturbed? And when I say nothing, I do mean nothing. So that’s no emailing, texting, no Internet, no TV, no chatting, no eating, no reading. Not even sitting there reminiscing about the past or planning for the future. Simply doing nothing. I see a lot of very blank faces. You probably have to go a long way back.

And this is an extraordinary thing, right? We’re talking about our mind. The mind, our most valuable and precious resource, through which we experience every single moment of our life. The mind that we rely upon to be happy, content, emotionally stable as individuals, and at the same time, to be kind and thoughtful and considerate in our relationships with others. This is the same mind that we depend upon, to be focused, creative, spontaneous, and to perform at our very best in everything that we do. And yet, we don’t take any time out to look after it. In fact, we spend more time looking after our cars, our clothes and our hair than we — okay, maybe not our hair, but you see where I’m going.

The result, of course, is that we get stressed. You know, the mind whizzes away like a washing machine going round and round, lots of difficult, confusing emotions, and we don’t really know how to deal with that. And the sad fact is that we are so distracted that we’re no longer present in the world in which we live. We miss out on the things that are most important to us, and the crazy thing is that everybody just assumes, that’s the way life is, so we’ve just kind of got to get on with it. That’s really not how it has to be.

So I was about 11 when I went along to my first meditation class. And trust me, it had all the stereotypes that you can imagine, the sitting cross-legged on the floor, the incense, the herbal tea, the vegetarians, the whole deal, but my mom was going and I was intrigued, so I went along with her. I’d also seen a few kung fu movies, and secretly I kind of thought I might be able to learn how to fly, but I was very young at the time. Now as I was there, I guess, like a lot of people, I assumed that it was just an aspirin for the mind. You get stressed, you do some meditation. I hadn’t really thought that it could be sort of preventative in nature, until I was about 20, when a number of things happened in my life in quite-quick succession, really serious things which just flipped my life upside down and all of a sudden I was inundated with thoughts, inundated with difficult emotions that I didn’t know how to cope with. Every time I sort of pushed one down, another one would pop back up again. It was a really very stressful time.

I guess we all deal with stress in different ways. Some people will bury themselves in work, grateful for the distraction. Others will turn to their friends, their family, looking for support. Some people hit the bottle, start taking medication. My own way of dealing with it was to become a monk. So I quit my degree, I headed off to the Himalayas, I became a monk, and I started studying meditation.

People often ask me what I learned from that time. Well, obviously it changed things. Let’s face it, becoming a celibate monk is going to change a number of things. But it was more than that. It taught me — it gave me a greater appreciation, an understanding for the present moment. By that I mean not being lost in thought, not being distracted, not being overwhelmed by difficult emotions, but instead learning how to be in the here and now, how to be mindful, how to be present.

I think the present moment is so underrated. It sounds so ordinary, and yet we spend so little time in the present moment that it’s anything but ordinary. There was a research paper that came out of Harvard, just recently, that said on average, our minds are lost in thought almost 47 percent of the time. 47 percent. At the same time, this sort of constant mind-wandering is also a direct cause of unhappiness.Now we’re not here for that long anyway, but to spend almost half of our life lost in thought and potentially quite unhappy, I don’t know, it just kind of seems tragic, actually, especially when there’s something we can do about it, when there’s a positive, practical, achievable, scientifically proven technique which allows our mind to be more healthy, to be more mindful and less distracted.

And the beauty of it is that even though it need only take about 10 minutes a day, it impacts our entire life. But we need to know how to do it. We need an exercise. We need a framework to learn how to be more mindful. That’s essentially what meditation is. It’s familiarizing ourselveswith the present moment.But we also need to know how to approach it in the right way to get the best from it. And that’s what these are for, in case you’ve been wondering, because most people assume that meditation is all about stopping thoughts, getting rid of emotions, somehow controlling the mind, but actually it’s quite different from that. It’s more about stepping back, sort of seeing the thought clearly, witnessing it coming and going, emotions coming and going without judgment, but with a relaxed, focused mind.

So for example, right now, if I focus too much on the balls, then there’s no way I can relax and talk to you at the same time. Equally, if I relax too much talking to you, there’s no way I can focus on the balls. I’m going to drop them. Now in life, and in meditation, there’ll be times when the focus becomes a little bit too intense, and life starts to feel a bit like this. It’s a very uncomfortable way to live life, when you get this tight and stressed. At other times, we might take our foot off the gas a little bit too much, and things just become a sort of little bit like this. Of course in meditation — we’re going to end up falling asleep. So we’re looking for a balance, a focused relaxation where we can allow thoughts to come and go without all the usual involvement.

Now, what usually happens when we’re learning to be mindful is that we get distracted by a thought.Let’s say this is an anxious thought. Everything’s going fine, and we see the anxious thought. “Oh, I didn’t realize I was worried about that.” You go back to it, repeat it. “Oh, I am worried. I really am worried. Wow, there’s so much anxiety.” And before we know it, right, we’re anxious about feeling anxious.

You know, this is crazy. We do this all the time, even on an everyday level. If you think about the last time youhad a wobbly tooth. You know it’s wobbly, and you know that it hurts. But what do you do every 20, 30 seconds?

It does hurt. And we reinforce the storyline, right? And we just keep telling ourselves, and we do it all the time. And it’s only in learning to watch the mind in this way that we can start to let go of those storylines and patterns of mind. But when you sit down and you watch the mind in this way, you might see many different patterns. You might find a mind that’s really restless and — the whole time. Don’t be surprised if you feel a bit agitated in your body when you sit down to do nothing and your mind feels like that. You might find a mind that’s very dull and boring, and it’s just, almost mechanical, it just seems it’s as if you’re getting up, going to work, eat, sleep, get up, work. Or it might just be that one little nagging thought that just goes round and round your mind.

Well, whatever it is, meditation offers the opportunity, the potential to step back and to get a different perspective, to see that things aren’t always as they appear. We can’t change every little thing that happens to us in life, but we can change the way that we experience it. That’s the potential of meditation, of mindfulness. You don’t have to burn any incense, and you definitely don’t have to sit on the floor. All you need to do is to take 10 minutes out a day to step back, to familiarize yourself with the present moment so that you get to experience a greater sense of focus, calm and clarity in your life.

Related relevant article: 4 Scientific Studies On How Meditation Can Affect Your Heart, Brain And Creativity.

All it takes is 10 mindful minutes meditation