Get Focused Series
A practice that combines energizing and calming principles (brhmana and langhana) has a balancing, or samana, effect. Begin with a Sun Salutation series and standing poses to engage the body and mind. While you're doing these, try taking inhalations and exhalations of equal lengths. Movements that bring your focus from the center of the body to the periphery and back, and bilateral exercises, which require the left arm and the right leg (and the reverse) to work in unison, can help cultivate balance between focused attention and relaxed awareness. This is a powerful practice to prepare for meditation. Because it does not include static poses that emphasize alignment, you can pay more attention to lengthening both inhalations and exhalations evenly and allowing space in between the breaths.
Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (Alternate-Nostril Breathing) is a wonderful pranayama technique to help you feel centered, with a clear and bright mind for meditation. To start, inhale and exhale normally through both nostrils. Then inhale through only the left nostril while closing off the right. Next close off the left nostril, and exhale through the right. Inhale through the right nostril, then close off the right nostril to exhale through the left. Do 12 rounds, pausing between breaths.
Begin by standing in Tadasana (Mountain Pose), taking a moment to feel the ground and your breath moving in and out of your body. To bring your mind into focus and prepare for the following postures, inhale and sweep your arms out to the side, up to shoulder height. Continue raising only your right arm overhead. On an exhalation, lower your right arm to shoulder height, then bring both arms down to your sides. Repeat several times, alternating arms.!--page-->