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Yogini Sadhana Practices (Self Study)

rp_MG_5220-200x300.jpgThis is your Yogini Sadhana tool basket.

In the 21 day Sadhana we will send you practices many days a week,
this page is only meant for those who want extra inspiration.

Listen to the signals from your body and trust that the right practices will call out to you.
(And remember you are a woman, you can always change your mind.)

We have included a lot of practices, you are not expected to do them all.  If you already have a daily practice, consider adding a few from this page as well.

Many of these practices are adapted version of ancient scriptures from the Goddess traditions in India and Tibet, and some arose from the circle itself,  while others found their way to us by grace.

I dedicate the fruits of my practice to all sentient beings.

 

Body Love

The body is your vehicle, your teacher, your temple.
Tend to it and keep it relaxed, healthy and strong.


Awakening the Hips

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, with your knees slightly bent and loose, not locked.
Hold your upper body erect but relaxed.

Scan your body, making sure that your jaws, shoulders, hips,
and knees are all loose and relaxed.
Breathe in and tilt your hips slightly backward. Breathe out and tilt your hips forward.

On the in-breath open your hips and fill your pelvis with air.
On the out-breath, push the air down the legs and into earth.

On the in-breath allow the air to flow up as if you were sucking it up from the earth
and up through your legs.
On the out-breath press the air down through your legs and into the earth.

Let your breath find its own rhythm, sometimes soft and subtle,
sometimes wild and energetic.
Let your body release into the rhythm of the breath, allowing your neck and hands to relax.
Let sounds come if you are in a place where you can.

If you get tired, allow your upper body to fall forward,
hanging loosely toward the ground, knees still bent.
Continue the exercise for about 10 minutes.
Complete it by putting on some music, shaking your legs vigorously,
and letting your body dance. Notice the energy flowing in your body.
If you have more time, lie down on your back and rest for as long as you like.


Yoga

:: Join a yoga class

:: Do 3 sun salutations every morning

:: Breath of fire
Sit comfortably. Raise your hands up in the air forming a V.
Bend all fingers into the palm of your hand except the thumb: keep the thumb up.
Engage your pelvic floor muscles in a root lock.
Breath rapidly and strongly out and in through the nose.
Use your stomach muscles to pump the air in and out. Keep doing this for 2 minutes.
Breathe in, hold your breath, breathe in some more;
then let go of the arms slowly as you exhale.


Walk/Run

:: Walk in nature, receive nature with your whole body

:: Walk with a friend and share with each other what’s going on in your lives.

:: Run in the no-mind zone


Dance

::  Join free-movement classes in your area

::  Create a playlist/CD with 20 minutes of songs, all with a different “mood” to them.
Dance your feelings

:: When you dance, close your eyes and wait. Connect with the subtle tremor within
and let it move you.


The Goddess Rinse

Sit or stand.
Breathe deeply.
Put your hands on the top of your head.
Slowly begin to stroke down your head, face, neck, and down your body.
Gently stroke your body, all the way to the feet.

Hang down, bent over from the waist, for a few breaths.

Allow your upper body and head to be loose and heavy.
Then move up the body again all the way to the head.
Take a moment to open deeply to and fully feel the sensations in your body.
Now you can move on with your day.
The effects of this practice are cumulative. Daily use will reap great rewards.


Feeding the Temple

::  How about a daily green smoothie?

::  Do an inner cleanse (colon? liver?)

::  Make a commitment to add more vegetables into your diet for the time of
the sadhana intensive

::  Any habit you would like to take a break from (caffeine? sugar?)

::  Want to make the most divine raw fudge? No sugar and only healthy fats:
click here to learn how


Gratitude to Gaia Practice

Sit down to your meal in a relaxed and comfortable state of being.
Now, as you begin to eat, open yourself up as if you were being fed directly by Gaia.
Offer praise and gratitude for your food and take in the nourishment knowing that it comes from mother earth, who wishes only to nurture you and strengthen you.
As you sip your drink, envision it too coming from mother earth.
Give her gratitude for your drink and your sustenance.
As you drink, you drink from your mother, and as you eat you eat from her.
You can extend this practice, noticing and appreciating that
as you sit you are supported by her,
and as you walk she sustains you.
Even your breath is a gift of her air.
Gaia is all around you, loving you and nurturing you.
Give her thanks for all that she gives you.
Through your receptivity, you will open to her wisdom and communicate with her from a place that is much deeper than your intellect.
Gaia will share secrets with you through the leaves, through the shadows on the asphalt, and by the ripples dancing across the water.

 

Meditation


Inner Mudra Practice (Audio)

This is a live recording from our morning practice in Corfu Greece 2013.
You will notice some background sounds.

To read the instruction click here

At the end of the recording we sing the Gayatri Mantra,
a prayer for the awakening of the world,
followed by the Loving Kindness Prayer 4 times:

Pray it first for yourself,
then for someone you love,
then someone you feel separation from,
and complete with praying for the whole world.

 

Prayer


Gayatri Mantra

People all over the world are chanting this deeply moving prayer at this very same time.
No matter what time of day or night you may chant, there are others chanting the mantra too.
Gayatri is an ancient vigil surrounding the planet. The Gayatri Mantra is one of the keynotes
for the transformation of consciousness and is an identical vibration to the vital force in
nature. The mantra is chanted in its original language, Sanskrit. It is one of the oldest prayers
known to humanity; its sentiment is as ancient as light. This prayer appeals to the highest
wisdom, to the brilliance of the cosmos, to illuminate a realization of our true nature.
~ Shantimayi

 

Say a Gayatri Mantra for the world. For the people in Africa. For whichever place comes to mind.

AUM BHOOR BHUWAH SWAHA,
TAT SAVITUR VARENYAM
BHARGO DEVASAYA DHEEMAHI
DHIYO YO NAHA PRACHODAYAT.

Here is Shantimayi reciting the mantra:

Here is Deva Premal’s version:

 

Lakshmi Prayer
If it feels right, you can begin and end this prayer with a Lakshmi Mantra:
Om Shri Lakshmi Jay Namaha

Step 1 – Gratitude
Open your heart in gratitude. Bring your awareness to all you are grateful for,
and say your thanks. You can speak aloud, whisper softly or speak inside.

Step 2 – Ask
Ask for that which your heart longs for. Ask with innocence, like a child.
Put your desires and longing into words. Speak out loud, inside or whisper softly.

Step 3 – Let Go
Now release your prayers as if you are opening your hand and letting it go.
If you like, whisper inside “I give it to you. It is up to you now.”

Loving Kindness Prayer
As you say the prayer the first time, say it for yourself.
As you say the prayer the second time, say it for a loved one.
As you say it the third time, say it for someone you are in conflict with.
When you say this prayer the final time say it for all of humanity.

May I have loving kindness
May I be well
May I be happy and at ease
May I have loving kindness

May you have loving kindness
May you be well
May you be happy and at ease
May you have loving kindness

May you have loving kindness
May you be well
May you be happy and at ease
May you have loving kindness

May all beings have loving kindness
May all beings be well
May all beings be happy and at ease
May all beings have loving kindness

 

Inner Yoga


The Throne in the Heart

Visualize an empty throne on your heart, ready to receive the Goddess.
Open yourself, be available and ready for Her.


Be that Which You are Longing For

Mahatma Gandhi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
To cultivate the deeper love you long for, you must be it.

If you long for respect, be respectful.
If you are longing to be seen, be someone who sees others.
If you are longing for kindness, be kind.
If you long to be loved, give love.

Guru Yoga

Choose a Goddess or a saint or a teacher to do this practice with.
You can also do it with the Yogini Circle as guru.
With closed eyes imagine this being in front of you.

On the in-breath breathe in her qualities, fill yourself up.
On the out-breath, melt into her.

 

Welcome All Feeling

Whenever you feel provoked,
Irritated, pulled to make a response,
Stop.
Sit back in the saddle.
Scan your body and notice what you are feeling.
Seek out any areas of strong emotional tension,
Feel what is there.
Stay with the sensations,
Dropping the story—the why and the because.
Do everything you can to experience what is here,
To the maximum possible degree, for no more than a few minutes.
Then, relax.
Feel your interiority as though for the first time.
If there’s more emotional tension calling to be felt in this moment,
Take a few extra minutes to welcome feeling even more totally.
Keep going till the charge is gone.
Feel yourself now, you are not just a loving person,
You are Love itself.

 

Feel ~ Kiss ~ Flow

This practice will help you to move from being stuck in the mental story about a feeling,
and into the actual feeling itself. It cultivates the capacity to stay present with feelings,
even strong ones, so they can flow through, and leave you open and fresh for the next moment.

Feel ~ the feeling, any feeling, as a sensation in the body…

Kiss ~ touch the sensation with your breath, as if you would kiss it with the breath from the inside…

Flow ~ now the feeling has space to flow. When feelings are allowed to flow they change very quickly.

Now you are ready for a new moment ~ Feel-Kiss-Flow…

 

The inner offering mudra

Place the thumbs and ring fingers together, rest of the fingers are straight.
Rest you hands on your thighs or lap in this mudra as you pray or meditate.

 

The five first Tatvas ~ Touching the elements

I am touching earth with my whole body and being.

I am touching air as it moves within me. I am touching air with my skin.

I am touching fire in my digestion, as I feel the heat from the sun.

I am touching water, as I drink, as I take a shower.

I am touching ether, the space between everything. I am touching ether with awareness.

 

Express Feeling Free of a Story

For this practice you will need to make a compilation of many different kinds of music
on your iPod or computer.
Find some music that is soft and soothing, some which is angry and defiant.
Find some that has a strong vibrant beat of sexual energy,
and some which is soft and devotional.
Find music to evoke every kind of feeling:
Grief, longing, rage, joy, passion, and resentment.
Your compilation should be about 30 to 45 minutes altogether.
Now, go to your room, switch off the phone, make sure you are undisturbed.
Play the music.
Enter into each of these feelings one by one.
You can dance, you can cry, you can call out in longing.
Use your whole body to express each feeling.
Make sounds.
Let the music guide you into each wave of feeling,
Free of any reason why.
When it is finished, lie down for several minutes and feel your body.

 

The Heart Meditation

:: This version of Atisha’s Heart Meditation is by Arjuna Ardagh:

Allow your breath to move gently in and out of the middle of your chest,
enlivening the center of the chest.

Imagine that there is an open window in the middle of your chest,
an open window into the vast sky of the heart,
an open window into consciousness.

As the in-breath moves through the open window of your heart,
you can breathe in whatever is here in this moment,
allowing it to dissolve back into the source of all.
If you’re noticing thoughts, allow them to ride the in-breath,
to be absorbed into the open window of the heart
and to dissolve back into the vast sky of consciousness
as a drop dissolving back into the ocean.

You can allow this quality of presence and love to ride on the out-breath
and to bless the world around you.
You can do the same with feelings and body sensations.
Allow them all to ride on the in-breath and to be absorbed back
into the open window of the heart, dissolving into the source of all.
On the out-breath, allow blessings to ride out, blessing your surroundings.

As this becomes easier and more natural for you to do,
you can now expand your awareness to include other people’s
feelings and thoughts and body sensations,
absorbing them all in through the open window of your heart
and allowing blessings to ride on the out-breath.
Keep on expanding, breathing in all suffering, all pain and all misunderstanding,
just breathing it into the alchemy of the heart,
allowing it all to be transformed, and breathing out blessings.

You can even expand your awareness to include the whole earth,
starting with your town, country, and continent and expanding
until you can feel the whole earth and all beings from all times
with their hopes and dreams, joys and sorrows, fear and anger;
and just breath it all in. Then breathe out blessings.
You can do this for a short time in the morning or evening,
but it is also a way of meeting each moment.

 

Relationship


Practice: I Want to Force You to

You can do this with a partner or alone internally.

Partner A:  Think of something you would like to change in your partner.
Example:  I want you to be more present with me.

Step #1
Partner A, says the sentence “I want to force you to…”(fill in what you want to change).
Example: I want to force you to be more present with me.
Repeat this three times, building the energy of forcing.

Step #2
Partner A says again, “I want to force you to…” and add this to the end “…so I don’t have to feel…”
Example: “I want to force you to be more present with me so I don’t have to feel so  alone, so I don’t have to feel that I’m not interesting enough or good enough for you.”

Step #3
Partner A says “I give you the freedom to be as you are and I am willing to feel …”
Example: “I give you the freedom to be exactly as you are and I am 100% willing to feel alone and to feel not good enough for you.”

Step #4
Partner A, look at your partner and connect with the love you have for this person.
Now say a sentence starting with “Out of my love for you, I wish for you …”Example: “Out of my love for you, I wish for you to be 100% present in your life.
Out of my love for you, I wish for you to really relish life, to really experience  every moment and to really experience the love that is available to you.”

Step #5 (if done with a partner, the partner can share how it feels to receive you)
Partner B, say, “ I feel supported,” or “I still feel forced.”

 

Practice: Couples Puja

This is a powerful practice to do with your intimate partner or
in front of an altar representing your future partner.
Once you are awake in the morning,
Sit opposite each other on the bed.
Take turns doing this practice.
Look into one of your partner’s eyes.
One of you will go first:

When it is your turn
Express love, devotion and surrender to your partner.
See your beloved as the deity.
Tell your beloved of the depth of your commitment,
That your beloved knows you better than you know yourself.
Surrender to the guidance of the beloved.
Bow to your beloved, bring your head all the way to the mattress.
Surrender yourself completely.
Then switch roles.

 

Give Appreciation

Every day make sure you express five things
That you appreciate about your partner.
You can sprinkle these appreciations throughout the day
Or you can sit down and do them all at once as a structured practice,
Which will only take a few minutes.
Appreciate qualities rather than practical actions:

I really appreciate how loving and caring you are;
I appreciate your sense of humor;
I appreciate how much I can count on you;
I appreciate how much beauty you bring to our home.

Do this every day, whether you feel like it or not.
It will reawaken a quality that is easily forgotten.

 

Talk Gibberish

Whenever there is disagreement or disharmony in the family,
Or any time at all just for the fun of it,
Switch to gibberish.
You will all continue to communicate
And connect fully with each other,
Just stop making any sense.
Express everything that needs to be expressed inside you
Using nonsense words.
Keep going like this for a minimum of five minutes
Or for as long as fifteen minutes.
Have fun, be generous in your nonsense.
When you are done,
Try to remember what the problem was
With a straight face.

Image: Bibbi Friman