As a teenager, I was told by my mother that I needed to “grow down”: She was referring to my predilection for dreamwork; astrology; mysticism, and other esoteric and spiritual pursuits. I gravitated toward, and was curious about and comfortable with the non-earthly elements of Life, whereas the material world increasingly stirred anxiety. It turns out that Mom was on to something, though neither of us had yet encountered the framework or language for it. I now realize that my Upper Chakras (Four through Seven) tend to dominate my existence: I have had to jump-start and strengthen my Lower Triangle of chakra energies, in order to provide a solid foundation for my consciousness in the Earth realm.
Although my chakra balance challenge is a lifelong endeavor, each of us have periods—short or long—wherein one or more chakra(s) tend to take over our attitudes or behaviors. Today’s Silent Sunday practice first enlivens the Throat (Fifth) Chakra, which enhances the flow of energy between the Heart (Fourth) and Intuitive Mind (Sixth). Thus, we awaken our ability to see people and situations clearly, i.e., to read between the lines: We connect with divine wisdom.
Then, in order to make our heightened perceptions relevant for the material realm, today’s mudra and pranayama steady the nervous system and create a feeling of secure rootedness. Whereas the Heart Center is the energetic fulcrum between the Upper and Lower chakras, the Solar Plexus (Third Chakra) corresponds with our physical center. Thus, Rudra Mudra, ruler of the Solar Plexus, opens communication with the Upper Chakras from an Earth-bound station. Consequently, Higher Consciousness flies freely, yet does not become “flighty”: As the actions of “growing up” and “growing down” function simultaneously, one achieves a profound state of centeredness.
To begin today’s practice, I recommend 1-2 minutes of Cat/Cow spinal flexes and organic undulations on all fours. Both the first and second part of today’s practice require ease and alignment through the torso: The simple, yet complete combination of Cat/Cow and free movements release and relax your hips, shoulders, neck, and spine. Once you feel warmed up, move from all fours to sit on your heels. (A pillow between buttocks and heels can help less-flexible hips and knees.) Then ease your torso forward to place your forehead on the ground in front of your knees. (A modification here would be to place your forehead on a thick pillow, rolled blanket, or yoga block.) Then, allow your arms to rest naturally by your sides on the floor, fully inhabiting Baby (or Child’s) Pose.
In this posture, breathe in deeply and steadily; upon your exhale, vocalize the sound, “Hunh.” The “nnn” sound helps to create a vibration; at first, the sound may be raspy, or sound like a growl. You may have a trouble establishing or sensing any vibration for the first 30-60 seconds: However, once the “hunh” becomes smooth and steady, the vibration will begin to resonate in your throat, and perhaps even into the back of the neck.
After about three minutes of sounding, rise to sit upright, preferably still on your heels. If you need to switch positions, come into aligned cross-legged pose. (A further modification would be to sit on the edge of a chair, feet hip-width apart, parallel to each other, and fully rooted to the ground.) Now you may create Rudra Mudra: On each hand, touch the index and ring fingertips to the thumb tip; the other fingers relax naturally. Place each hand, palm up, at the crease where your legs meet the pelvis, nestled neatly into the lower belly. The up-facing palms “speak” with the Upper Chakras, thus allowing Rudra Mudra’s grounding, centering energy to merge with the energies of elevation and insight.
Comfortably ensconced with the mudra, begin the breath pattern that will help to consolidate and integrate the newly achieved energetic balance within your total being. Inhale through the nose fully for a count of 4; suspend the inhale for 2 counts. Then, exhale slowly and steadily through the nose for a count of 8, allowing the breath to remain out for a count of 4. Continue the mudra meditation, closed eyes gazing upward at the Third Eye, for 5-11 minutes.