Everything Elsa is dedicated to offering practices that help instill, improve, or eliminate that which one wants to change about themselves or their Life. As humans, those concerns comprise the substance of earthly existence; and as spiritual creatures, those aims create a powerful motivation to evolve. Yet every so often, a moment, or day, or an even lengthier period sets in when we simply want to retain: Perhaps we feel still, or quiet, or inexplicably positive or hopeful; when that happens, all we want is to inhabit and relish the ease and calm.
Today’s Silent Sunday suggests a way to more deeply integrate and abide a time of peace. As the practice begins to shift physical and mental sensations of peace into the more ethereal Subtle and Soul bodies, Peace becomes a quality, rather than a moment. Using unwavering focus and visualization, pranayama, and mudra, the practice creates a state of being that simultaneously grounds and elevates.
The key to today’s experience is awareness: Can you identify the kinesthetic sensation of what it feels like to be fully present in a space of peace? Is there a textural component to your emotional or physical state? Could a color, sound, or word be associated with what it is to be wholly serene? The idea is not to overburden the brain with analysis: Rather, when one can connect to their own being-ness, the goal of abiding is en route to fulfillment.
Once you have a sense of your current state, come onto your back. Extend arms and legs into the air, straight up at 90 degrees: The body forms an upside down U or staple-shape. With the eyes closed, begin to breathe fully and deeply: Do not cheat yourself of either a complete inhale or exhale. Beginning with the left leg, take your mind’s eye to the sole of the left foot. Inhale through the foot, and draw the breath up (or down, given the supine position) through the center of the entire leg, all the way to the groin; as you exhale, picture the breath swirling just above the pubic bone. Repeat on the right side.
Then, do the same exercise through the left and right arms: Inhale first through the left palm, sending the breath into the armpit; exhale to swirl the breath in the chest cavity. Do the same on the right.
Now, for the next 3 minutes, inhale through both the left and right soles, and up both legs simultaneously; exhale, and stir the breath in the lower-most belly. Repeat with the left and right arms, starting the inhale in the palms, drawing it into the armpits, and circulating it in the chest.
Next, briefly draw the knees into the chest, and hug the legs. Rock a bit back and forth, and then come to sitting, and then immediately into Baby Pose. Bring your hands into Prayer Mudra under the forehead: The Third Eye point between the brows, at the top of the nose bridge, rests on the large (base) knuckles of the thumbs; pinky edges of the hands rest on the floor.
Here, take your inner eye to the perineum, the flat spot between the genitals and anus. Begin the breath here: As you inhale through the nose, draw the breath up the front cross-section of the spine, all the way to the Third Eye. Exhale through an open mouth, and move the breath first to the back base of the skull, then continue to breathe out as the energy travels all the way down the spine, and back to the start. Breathe within this spinal ellipse for 3 minutes: Closed eyes remain focused on the Third Eye.
Finally, roll yourself up to sit on the heels; if this is not tenable for you, find the most comfortable position that allows you to keep the spine upright and aligned. Make a soft fist of the right hand, and place it on the Heart Center. Gently over the right fist with the left palm: The sense is that of nurturing protection and support. Hold the mudra as if it were a precious creature with whom you are sharing your peace.
Sitting easily but firmly, begin a sounding rhythm: Inhale through the nose; exhale as you whisper or out loud utter, “Ahhhhh.” Inhale again; exhale, “Oooo,” through rounded lips. Continue this breath with sounded exhales for 3-5 minutes.
If you prefer to end the practice with the above mudra and sounding, continue the meditation for 11 minutes. Otherwise, move into Svasaana after 3-5 minutes, and deeply experience the integration of Peace within.