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Meditation as Medicine

Healing meditations should be simple, appealing, and useful.

By Carol Krucoff

Healing meditations should be simple, appealing, and useful, says T.K.V. Desikachar, who teaches the following practice. The experience begins with easy movements and breathing to prepare body and mind, invokes a personal comfort item to bring healing throughout the body, and concludes by offering healing to the entire world.

Begin Standing

Inhale and raise your arms overhead. Exhale and lower your arms as you recite the word namaha, which means “to honor.” Repeat six times.

Inhale and raise your arms overhead. Exhale, hinge forward at your hips, and touch your feet as you recite the word namaha. Inhale as you return to standing, and raise your arms overhead. Exhale, hinge forward at the hips, and touch your knees as you recite the word namaha. Continue this practice, moving your hands up your body with each exhalation, touching—in turn—your hips, belly, heart, throat, mouth, ears, eyes, and crown of the head as you recite the word namaha.

Sit Comfortably

Close your eyes and tune in to your breath. Inhale as you count to six, hold your breath as you count to three, then exhale as you count to six. Repeat 10 times.

Lie Down

Close your eyes, surrender your body to the earth, and bring your attention to your breath. Place your hands on your heart and breathe gently. Now, think of something that brings you great comfort. It can be a person, a place, a color, an object, a prayer, a word—whatever you like. Visualize this thing of comfort in as much detail as you can.

Continue to visualize this thing of comfort as you take your hands to your belly—inhale for a count of six, hold for a count of three, exhale for a count of six. Then, continuing to visualize this thing of comfort, move your hands to your heart—inhale for six, hold for three, exhale for six. Continue this practice— moving your hands, in turn, to your throat, mouth, ears, eyes, and head.

Next, scan your body, looking for any place of disturbance, tension, or pain. Now, visualize your thing of comfort as you move your hands to this place. Inhale for six, hold for three, exhale for six. Repeat 10 times.

Sit Comfortably

With eyes closed, chant namaha three times. Open your eyes and chant it three times, inviting this healing to help you and to benefit the entire world.

For information about Desikachar’s yoga teaching and therapy, visit the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram website, www.kym.org. For information about its yoga therapy training, visit www.healingyogafoundation.com.



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Reader Comments

Jan

Thank you for your article. I'm a senior citizen and I've practiced yoga for 8 years on a very regular basis. Now it's been 6 months since I've even done one Sun Salutation because I've been too busy! I can feel the stiffness and my BP has risen. Hopefully your article will be an inspiration to get back in gear...today!

ellen S. Siegel

as your yoga teacher begins class, try keeping your eyes closed.... (before the chant begins) totally concentrating on the beauty of sound chanting with a group can bring... you will truly feel the vibration ... with time you will feel much more comfortable. it was only after I had chanted within the yoga community that I could even begin to chant alone with myself!

Rivka

Thank you for the article. Just reading it was restorative. Imagine how helpful it will be to practice namaha. My son was killed 2-1/2 years ago at age 21, and Yoga has been the best help for me to go on living. This is another step forward.

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