Today’s practice works wonders for those times when circumstances, thoughts, or energies seem to be running circles through and around you: Such occasions can cause one to lose focus, to become depleted, or experience heightened anxiety. I created the following pranayama and moving mudra routine to balance the entire chakra system, calm the nervous system, and revitalize the physical body. The result is that regardless of distractions inside or out, you will move through them with poise and focus.
To begin, assume a simple standing position, or Mountain Pose. Take a moment to find your breath and consciously develop complete inhales and exhales through the nose. Then, as you inhale, rock gently forward on the feet toward the balls and toes. As you exhale, rock naturally back toward the heels. Connect this small, but distinct movement fully with the calm, steady breaths: inhale to rock forward, exhale to rock back.
If you have not yet closed your eyes, do so now. Place the back of your hands on your lower spine, on or slightly above the sacrum: Bring the index finger tips to touch each other, and the thumb tips to touch each other: The other fingers are long and relaxed, resting against your back. This diamond-shaped mudra will beckon energy to the First Chakra. With the mudra in place, inhale to rock forward, exhale to rock back.
As you begin to inhale again, move the hands around your waist to rest the palms on the belly button: right hand covered by left for women, and the opposite for men. The hands will have arrived at the end of an inhale; remain with the mudra in place for the next exhale. Then, begin to transition to the next mudra “station” upon your next inhale.
With this inhale, the hands travel up to the heart center, resting there as they assume Prayer Mudra by the end of the inhale and throughout an exhale. Remember to maintain the rocking forward and back on the feet as you move the mudras up through the chakra system: Inhale to rock forward and move the hands; exhale to rock back with the mudra in its new position.
After the Fourth, or Heart Chakra has been greeted, inhale as you move the hands fluidly up to the back of the neck: Softly, seamlessly interlace the fingers behind the neck, creating Venus Lock as you exhale (left thumb over right for women, opposite for men). Inhale to rock forward, and transition the hands and arms straight overhead, arms long and palms together. Overlap the thumbs: again, left over right for women, opposite for men.
Exhale into this extended, exalted full-body mudra stretch. Remain with the arms overhead, palms together, for another full inhale and exhale. Upon the next inhale, release the hands, and lower them smoothly down to the original position on the lower spine. They will arrive and assume the diamond mudra as you exhale.
Practice the full upward journey through the chakras two more times. As you become more familiar with the mudras and the breathing/rocking rhythm, your entire system of energies will stabilize, calm, and focus. As you achieve fluidity through the transitions, your mind will connect this steadiness during movement with your ability to remain centered throughout unsettled situations.
When you have arrived at the final station for the third time (arms overhead), inhale to rise on to the balls of the feet, heels lifted: Exhale as you separate the hands and arms; drop them to your sides as you drop down onto the heels. Do this twice more: Inhale arms up (palms do not touch in this final cleansing and consolidating move); exhale to drop arms and thump back down onto heels. When you have completed three full rounds of heel-drops, stand quietly in Mountain Pose, arms by your sides, eyes closed and gazing at the Third Eye. Sense your inner stability and cohesion, and cherish the renewed, balanced energy circulating throughout your entire system.