Resistance is one of the biggest causes of stress. Resistance to change or, to the situation we are in or even resistance to the way others treat us as well as resistance to our true selves! We tense up unconsciously and our breathing changes and if that tension is held for a long time, it can gradually cause ilness and dis-ease.
So here’s a simple meditation practice to relieve resistance.
You can sit in a chair, on the floor with your legs crossed ( put some cushions underneath your sit bones so that your knees are in line with your hips, because if your knees are higher than your hips, it engages the ego!) or you can even lie on the floor. It doesn’t matter, so long as you are comfortable and your spine is straight.
Start by bringing your attention to your breath. Don’t try to change your breath, just be aware of its ebb and flow. Be conscious of how your body doesn’t resist the breath, it just acccepts it as a gift. Now, with no judgement or critisism, take your attention around the body and see if you can locate any tension…. You could start with your toes, one by one sensing them, relaxing and moving on to the next, then the foot, the ankle, the lower leg, the thigh and the hip. Start with the right leg and then the left. When you have got to the second hip, bring your attention to the pelvis, the torso, then the fingers of the right hand, the hand then the wrist, the forearm, upper arm and shoulder, then do the same with the upper arm. After getting to the second shoulder, bring your attention to the neck, the ears, the face and then the head. If you’ve located any serious tension in a particular spot, go back to that place and bring your attention to it again. Imagine you’re breathing in cool relaxing life into the spot and on the outbreath you’re breathing out all the hot dark resistance.
Finish off your session by just gently bringing your attention to the ebb and flow of the breath for a few minutes, then have a little wiggle and a stretch and gradually bring yourself back into full consciousness.
It’s possible you may fall asleep for a while if you’re laying on your back, but that’s not such a bad thing if the aim is to relieve resistance!
This practice is a short variation of what is called yoga nidra or yogic sleep. Every fifteen minutes of yoga nidra can be worth the same as four hours of normal sleep. Done regularly you will find yourself becoming a lot more relaxed and happy. The practice obviously is good for insomnia, anxiety and high blood pressure.
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