The Urban Yoga Den

…where it's all yoga.

Clearing the Obstacles August 6, 2011

I am sorry to hear your pain.  You are a wonderful human being and deserve tranquility, peace, and love.  I would suggest that you stay focused on what is good for YOU, rest will follow.  –  letter from a friend

This quote sounds like something I would say to a student or friend.  Instead, it is an e-mail that a friend just sent to me.  I know he meant to write, “…stay focused on what is good for YOU, THE rest will follow.”  Yet the fact is, if I stay focused on what is good for me, indeed, rest will follow.  And I really, really need some rest.  The kind of rest that allows the heart to remember its yearnings, yearnings to cultivate clarity, clarity to turn into action, and action to yield change.

This has been the hardest blog to write, ever.  I keep starting and stopping; switching directions; adding this and that.  Stopping.  Sobbing.  And starting again.

It’s difficult to be 100% honest, and that’s what I need to do.  It’s difficult to not shade my current negative state with the positive solutions of yoga.  Is it yogic to admit that I am in pain, and that my usual solutions seem out of reach?

*  *  *

I feel it’s time for big change and I’m starting with small things.  But I wish I could crack myself open and re-program.  – letter to a friend

Last week, on my 46th birthday, I started parting my hair on the opposite side.

Ganesha, new hair part, pneumonia and me on my 46th birthday.

Immediately, I felt like a new person.  I saw myself differently.  My eyes looked happier.  My head felt lighter.  My mind was clearer.

The weekend before, I’d hit an emotional bottom where I spent an entire day acting very un-yoga-like.  OK, I’ll say it – although I haven’t had a drink or drug in nearly 9 years, I was acting as toxic as a drunken addict.  It was not pretty, people.  Some who went through that day with me were very forgiving.  Some were not.  Some recognized that stress from recent physical illness and emotional difficulties fueled my offensiveness.  Some didn’t care, because they were hurt.  And still others (thank goodness for the others) offered amazing advice and insight – including the belief that I’m hitting a bottom because big change is coming.

So last week, after a series of Facebook posts about fighting demons, letting go and changing…I parted my hair on the other side.

*  *  *

In the past month alone, notable events forced me to reevaluate my behaviors, activities and needs, and to reignite my practices, beliefs and vision.  – August “Yoga Update” (see “newsletter” tab)

To complement my fresh hair style, I’ve also been wearing my Ganesha charm more frequently.

Not only have I felt a need for newness, but also for a strong shove of old things out of the way.  When I first started practicing Vinyasa yoga, my teacher constantly spoke of “letting go of what doesn’t serve in order to make room for what does.”  I don’t frequently pray to specific deities, but being reminded of Ganesha’s power to clear obstacles (and provide protection) has been motivating.

These days, I know I need to release many things that compromise my deepest well-being in order to create space for what cultivates sustainable, lasting inner peace.  For instance, on mornings between the full and new moons, I used to pray, “Let me let go of anything that gets in the way of your will for me.”  Regretfully, that practice has faded off…but it’s time to bring it back.

*  *  *

Hindsight is 20/20.  – popular phrase

As you might know, I was mugged in June.  Feedback on my blog, “The Yoga of Being Mugged” has been positive.  People have used words like “resilient” and “compassionate” regarding my response to the situation.  I agree, and am thankful to be someone who uses yoga and other tools to recover from and address life’s difficulties.

Now here comes the 100% honesty – because I don’t want you to think that I am responding with perfect strength and forgiveness to an assault.  I want you to know that it hurt.  I want you to know that I now walk around scared and suspicious and over-reactive.  I want you to know that my past traumas have been triggered since the mugging.  And I want you to know that I sometimes act like a jerk because of this state.

If you’ve read my other blogs, you know a bit about my painful childhood and rough road toward adulthood.  These last 18 years of yoga practice, complemented by 8+ years of addiction recovery, have sparked a journey of mending and growth.  Still, I am just hitting the tip of the iceberg in undoing 25 years of destructive patterns and related consequences.

When I look back on my life’s traumas, I see the lesson behind each one.  So why am I so stuck in the pain of the past?  Because, due to my childhood isolation and later impulse to kill emotions with substances, I did not properly process and/or grieve these traumas at the time that they took place.  Making sense of them is one thing; authentically expressing and healthily processing the emotions is a whole other ball game.

Thankfully, these days I am feeling weary from past traumas robbing me of day-to-day happiness.  I am feeling a low tolerance for anything that does not match my craving for inner peace.  I am fed up with these obstacles keeping me from my intentions to be of service in this world.

So I am willing to do whatever it takes to change.

At the same time that I am willing to let go of limitations, I am somehow holding on.  I have taken the reigns, and have been gripping them tightly.  Terrified of feeling more pain, I have taken complete control of my life.  Regretfully.  Because when I am in complete control, there’s little room for you, for anyone, for a higher power, for healthy risk, for trust, for faith.

*  *  *

I’ve been learning to drive, my whole life. – Arcade Fire, “In The Backseat”

It’s time to let someone else take the wheel.  Let go.  Change.

In the Mahabharata – an ancient Hindu text – there is a story about true surrender.

A king wants to ruin a man’s reputation, and so decides to shame the man’s wife, Draupadi, by stripping off her sari in public.  A sari is a traditional Indian dress, made from several yards of material wrapped around the body.  In the story, the king begins to unwrap the sari, and in turn, Draupadi clings tightly in fear.  She continues to use all her strength while crying to god for help.

After much struggle, Draupadi realizes that, as long as she clings in fear, there will not be space for god to help her.  Bravely, she lets go of the sari, holds her hands up and exclaims, “If you want me to face this disgrace I will accept it.  I totally trust you; my life is in your hands.”  Miraculously, Draupadi’s sari becomes infinitely long, and the king becomes exhausted.  Draupadi was saved.

The first time I read this story around three years ago, I was struck by Draupadi’s willingness to accept god’s will, even if it means disgrace.  In the margin of the book I wrote, “WOW.  I wish for this surrender.”

At this very moment, I feel that exact yearning.  Since June, I have been so racked by fear that I wake up each morning with my fists clenched so tightly that my thumbs come out of their joints.

Shifting from self reliance to accepting help takes deep work.  A PTSD therapist has been helping me work through my past so I can heal from it.  Most days, I feel quite vulnerable, like a wounded animal, backed into my protective corner.  You know what “they” say about wounded animals – don’t go near them.

But circumstances have prohibited this isolation, and demanded togetherness.  Shortly after the mugging, I came down with pneumonia and had to ask for a lot of support.  All through my birthday week, my home was filled with friends bringing fresh produce, fun gifts and positive energy.  It chipped away at my rock-hard walls of “That’s OK, I can do it myself.”

I am continuing to reach out for the company, wisdom, experiences and advice of those prepared to step into the corner with me.  Yes, when they come near me, I might act overly protective.  I might swat them away.  I might misunderstand their concern for judgment.  I might mistake their discomfort for dislike.  I might offend them.  I might piss them off.  And they might or might not forgive me.

I will, however, forgive myself.

*  *  *

Here is the hardest part to write.  In my current state of imbalance, can I honorably teach the Eight Limbs, and how they outline a simple process for taking yoga’s principles off the mat and into everyday life?  How can I share “Yogas Chitta Vritti Nrodhah” and encourage yoga as a practice for calming the mind, when my mind is far from calm?  How can I authentically pass on yoga’s tools, when they don’t seem to be working for me in this time of extreme challenge?

Or does this messy phase of life illustrate yoga’s transformation?  Maybe this is my own version of “Draupadi’s Sari.”  Maybe my wish for absolute surrender is coming true.

One thing is for certain – this is my emotional bottom, and the only way out is up.

*  *  *

My god, Holly, you got mugged and now you have pneumonia?  The universe is trying to tell you something.  – a friend

My sassy answer to this remark?  “Uh-huh, the universe is telling me that I am a tough broad who can get through anything!”  Perhaps.  That would certainly match my self-reliant conditioning.  At the same time, I’m open to a totally different point of view.  By sending me a mugging, pneumonia and related challenges, the universe could be urging me to ‘fess up and say, “Come closer to me.”

See me, accept me, love me for exactly who I am – right now.  Vulnerable, fearful, distrustful and resentful.  Wounded.  Ready to focus on what’s good for me.  And more than ready for (the) rest.

OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.

Advertisements
 

Focus Wrap Up: Back to Basics February 2, 2011

Over the weekend I taught the final classes in our January Back to Basics focus. To complement our fine-tuning of alignment, review of three-part breathing and return to proper resting, these last sessions invited students to deepen their commitment to setting an intention.

Personally, I can’t imagine getting on the mat without exploring some kind of purpose for my practice.  To set an intention, I like to let the thoughts naturally flow through my mind while arriving, and see which one most strongly asks for my attention – it might even be a thought that’s been tapping me on the shoulder for a few days.  Maybe weeks!  Or longer!  Then I shape that thought into a dedication, affirmation or reflection.

Using the three-part Deergha Swaasam breath, I deepen my reflection by imagining filling with intention on the inhale, and simple resting with it on the exhale.  Later in my set, during the internal focus and natural surrender of seated forward folds, I inhale to fill with intention, and exhale to surrender (dissolve and let go of) any obstacles (distractions, old stories, self-imposed limitations) that might stand in the way of realizing my intention.  And I reconnect with my intention before settling into Yoga Nidra – a process of deep relaxation, between a state of sleep and consciousness.

Although I’ve been shying away from the word “resolution” this new year, I will say that having a Sankalpa (a firm, prayerful, resolved intention) during my time on the mat makes a huge difference in my practice, my day and my life. Different traditions approach Sankalpa with unique perspectives – for example, setting a Sankalpa during Yoga Nidra so this process of yogic sleep helps us realize that intention; belief that Sankalpa can erase negative Samskara (imprints on or patterns in our lives); or using Pratipaksha Bhavana (replacement of negative thoughts with positive) to create a resolution.

There’s that word again!  Resolution.

I can’t escape it – if I am going to reflect deeply on intention, I must have resolve.  So I’ll try to ease up on my anti-resolution attitude!  Your encouragement is always helpful; I’m not the only teacher around here.

I hope you’ve found something useful during this Back to Basics month of reviewing and fine tuning Asana, Pranayama, Yoga Nidra and Sankalpa practice.  Looking forward to starting a 9-month look at the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the Eight Limbs beginning in February!

Wishing you peace, joy, love and light.  OM Shanti.

P.S. Remember, the fine-tuning tips for Asana and Pranayama that I’ve taught over the past month can be found on the Tips-n-Tools tab of this blog.  Enjoy!

 

Focus Wrap Up: Yoga In Action October 28, 2010

To wind up our September/October class focus of “Yoga In Action,” we are expressing appreciation for noble acts of service through Pranayama and Asana.

Whether your service occurs within your family, your workplace, your community or otherwise, please take some time to breath deeply into your beautiful, generous heart center and celebrate your efforts.  Lift your heart to the sky in Chair Pose, Crescent Lunge, Cobra and Bow in gratitude for the service of others.

Whether you held the door open for your neighbor, were patient with an anxious child, rescued a pet, volunteered to teach a yoga class or fortified an at-risk population through your grant writing – I encourage you to now inhale self-appreciation, and on your exhale (ahhhhh) simply rest.

Back in September, we began our exploration of Yoga In Action by practicing self-care.  We acknowledged that self-care often includes asking to be cared for.  We drew upon the infinite resources of the earth beneath and air around us to enhance our yoga practice – and our daily well-being.  We opened our minds to the concepts of forgiveness (of self), acceptance (of self) and surrender (to other).

In October, we identified the tangibles from yoga practice that fortify our service off the mat in the form of Karma Yoga. We took the balanced calm of Pranayama, the supportive foundation of standing poses, the motivating wisdom of the Yama and Niyama and more to our challenges, our opportunities and our efforts to be there for others in Seva (selfless service).

Now it’s time to celebrate, appreciate and recognize your deep intentions over the past two months!  To close our classes, we offer gratitude to those who have been of service to us, as well.  And as we close our Bi-Monthly Yoga In Action focus, I offer gratitude to those who intend take their yoga off the mat and into the world however possible – even by simply sharing your glowing smile at the end of your yoga class!

Be gentle with yourselves, take good care, identify your resources and offer all of this to others.

I leave you with a Hebrew prayer for those who serve humanity, below.  May you continue to serve sustainably.  OM Shanti.

May the one whose spirit is with us in every righteous deed, be with all who work for the good of humanity and bear the burdens of others, and who give bread to the hungry, who clothe the naked, and take the friendless into their homes.  May the work of their hands endure, and may the seed they sow bring abundant harvest. – Mah Tovu prayers for Shabbat morning

 

God Rest Ye December 23, 2009

…Merry Yogis and Yoginis!

So, we’re winding down our November and December class focus of “Rest.”  We’ve spent two months exploring yoga’s balance of effort and ease.  We fine-tuned our Asanam to the “nth” degree, soothed our nervous systems with Pranayama and rested flat on our backs to some pretty Yoga Nidra songs.

In addition, I tried to share quotes from various sources to complement our Restful theme.  Here is a compilation:

  • Patanjali: “Sthira sukham asanam.”  (Asana is a steady/firm, comfortable/pleasant posture.)
  • Satchidananda: “Take it easy, but don’t be lazy!”
  • Lao Tzu: “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
  • Thich Nhat Hanh: “Smile, breathe and go slowly.”
  • Lily Tomlin: “For fast-acting relief – try slowing down.”

For a compilation of practices, song lists and other tools that have supported our “Rest” focus over these months, please see the Tips-n-Tools page.

It has been a pleasure to pass on resources that have helped me find comfort and joy through the holiday craze – plus before and beyond.  I hope you found something useful!

And a reminder – check out the Events page for info on a special NEW YEAR’S EVE WORKSHOP.  Launch an abundant 2010 under the Full Moon!

Thanks, all, for sharing mellow spirits and soulful OMs.  Wishing you peace, joy, love and light – in this season, for the new year, and always.  OM Shanti.

 

Comfort Songs for a Restful Holiday Season December 18, 2009

stormking.org

Sorry, my dears, you’ll find neither Christmas Carols nor Hanukkah Songs on this list.

These are the Comfort Songs.  The songs that say, “Everything’s gonna be OK,” “I understand” and “I’ll be there for you.”  The songs that paint rich pictures, give you permission to slow down, warm a snowy day and complement clouds, mist and rain.  They lull you to sleep, encourage you to connect, inspire you to awaken.

These songs may or may not be considered appropriate for yoga class.  But they’re A-OK in my book.

Enjoy.

  • Calexico – Slowness
  • Donna De Lory – Sanctuary
  • EastMountainSouth – Hard Times
  • Eddi Reader – Lucky Penny
  • Grant Lee Phillips – Little Moon; Nightbirds; Buried Treasure
  • Jack Johnson – Breakdown
  • Joshua James – Pitchfork
  • KD Lang – The Valley
  • Neil Halstead – A Gentle Heart
  • Nick Drake – Pink Moon
  • Nora Jones – Seven Years
  • Robert Plant/Alison Krauss – Killing the Blues
  • Ryan Adams – In My Time of Need
  • Sera Cahoone – Baker Lake
  • Son Volt – Windfall
  • The Low Anthem – (Don’t) Tremble; Charlie Darwin; Keep on the Sunny Side; Coal Mountain Lullaby
  • Townes Van Zandt – If I Needed You
  • U2 – Grace

You’ll find this list permanently archived on the Tips-n-Tools page.  Some of these performers are not the original writers of these songs.  I just like these versions.

Wishing you misty mornings, understanding hearts and awakening souls this holiday season and beyond.  OM Shanti.  Holly

 

Comfort… December 3, 2009

Again, a yoga class moved me to tears.

Tonight’s closing “OMMMMMMM” had the sweetness and harmony of a lullaby.  It hummed out to the universe to join the OMs I’ve heard in other teachers’ classes lately (thanks, Jenn).  Perhaps there’s something about a mid-holiday season yoga class that releases the peace from students’ souls.  It seems so to me.

Continuing our bi-monthly focus of “Rest,” (see the “Firm and Pleasant” post) we enter this second month with a more conceptual approach – versus our very physical exploration of restfulness in November, when we re-visited Sutra 2:46’s exploration of the balance between a firm steadiness and restful comfort in Asana.  We engaged the heck out of every inch of our body, breath and mind, then released all effort within or between poses to cultivate a deep stillness.

In December, as the pace of the world quickens with work cramming, gift shopping and party hopping, we get to sloooooowwwwww down in yoga class.  We gently shift from the physical aspect of our “Rest” focus to concepts like slowness, comfort and joy.  Focusing on the breath, movements can flow effortlessly.  Between poses, transitions can be quiet and mindful.  Keeping the set simple, eyes can stay closed.  Body, breath and mind float away into a much-needed comfort.

Also this month, Yoga Nidra is a huge part of our practice.  In addition to the usual deep relaxation session toward the end of my classes at Past Tense Yoga (and elsewhere), the studio is hosting a donation-based Yoga Nidra each Sunday, following the normally scheduled 7pm Detox class.  (See “Events” page for details.)  Contributions for this luxuriously restful session of Nidra, Pranayama and meditation benefit Rosemount, an early childhood education center in our Mt. Pleasant neighborhood.  So if you’re burnt out from going, going, going all weekend, join us each Sunday, 8:15-9pm for some stopping, stopping, stopping.

Who knew you could save the world while laying flat on your back?

For Yoga Nidra during regular classes, I’m playing my favorite “comfort songs.”  (Set list below and on the “Tips-n-Tools” page.)  Typically, I use devotional Sanskrit chants, quiet instrumentals or other meditative music.  During December, a variety of folk, alt-country or other artists will sing their nurturing, peaceful messages.  Tonight, we rested our heads on the beautifully dreamy pillow of “(Don’t) Tremble” by The Low Anthem.

“If the wind surrounds your house, do not turn and twist about.  Just wait it out.”

Tonight’s Nidra lullaby connected to the quote we shared to both open and close the class, inviting us to make time this holiday season for comfort, slowness, nurturing and of course, rest.

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”  – Lao Tzu

Hope to see you Sundays for Yoga Nidra at Past Tense (again, details on “Events” page).  And thank you, students, for tonight’s sweet and soulful OMMMMMMMM.  Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.  Peace, Peace, Peace.

COMFORT SONGS - THE LOW ANTHEM

COMFORT SONGS FOR A RESTFUL HOLIDAY SEASON

(updated 12/04/09 – how could I forget Joshua James???)

  • The Low Anthem – (Don’t) Tremble; Charlie Darwin; Keep on the Sunny Side (yup); Coal Mountain Lullaby
  • Calexico – Slowness
  • Donna De Lory – Sanctuary
  • Sera Cahoone – Baker Lake
  • Grant Lee Phillips – Little Moon; Nightbirds; Buried Treasure
  • U2 – Grace
  • EastMountainSouth – Hard Times
  • Son Volt – Windfall
  • Neil Halstead – A Gentle Heart
  • Eddi Reader – Lucky Penny
  • Nick Drake – Pink Moon
  • Robert Plant/Alison Krauss – Killing the Blues
  • KD Lang – The Valley
  • Joshua James – Pitchfork
 

Firm and Pleasant November 12, 2009

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.  Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.  The winds will blow their own freshness into you…while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”  – John Muir

This morning a group of students and staff from Past Tense Studio (see “Services” page) went for a Yoga and Meditation Hike in Rock Creek Park.  We first walked chattily to our starting point – a bridge crossing a particularly rocky and rumbling section of the creek – then settled into our practice.

It’s not hard to do Asana in plain sight of the public eye when surrounded by the Autumn beauty of Rock Creek – a true refuge where one can completely forget the rush and trash of city life.  We opened our journey in a strong and engaged Tadaasana (see instructions below), breathing the deep three-part Deergha Swaasam breath (see “Tips-n-Tools,” Sept/Oct focus), and inviting the mind to soften into the neutral space of the present moment.

Flowing through our Sun Salutations without yoga mats, in jeans instead of yoga pants and with sneakers instead of bare feet, I felt a surprising authenticity.  Simple connections – face raised toward the warm fall sunlight, ears filled with the sound of rushing water, bare hands pressed into the cool concrete bridge – forged a humble oneness of human and nature.

For our hike, we explored our senses, one-by-one (one of my favorite styles of meditation, as many know!).  After exploring sound (crunching leaves underfoot and weepy children passing by), smell (wet earth as well as runners’ cologne), taste (indeed, I could taste fresh air) and touch/feeling (limbs swinging freely, bodies heating on the uphill climb), we paused at a peak of the trail to transition to the sense of seeing.

Taking advantage of the elevation and view, we practiced Netra Vyayamam (see instructions below), circling our open eyes around the periphery of the sockets, taking in the closest details and stretching our gaze to far off vistas.  As we walked back to the bridge, we gradually activated and enlivened each sense, reaching our starting point in full sensory awareness.  To close, we stood again in a firm Mountain Pose, and allowed the senses to soften back to neutral, releasing all effort, resting in the here and now.

Sounds like a lot of work for a walk in the woods, eh?

This balance of effort and ease is the essence of yogic living.  In the Yama and Niyama – yoga’s first two limbs – it is the skilled practice of ethical living while exercising compassion and love for our humanness.  In Pranayama, it is the healthful benefits of deliberate breathing; in Yoga Nidra, it is a conscious restfulness; in Dharana, it is concentration toward the meditative state of Dhyana.

And in Asana, it is the engaging of structure to find stillness in a pose.

In the text “Raja-Yoga,” Swami Vivekananda translates Sutra 2:46 as, “Posture is that which is firm and pleasant.”  For the months of November and December, our yoga classes, meditations and field trips (see “Services” page to join us!) will explore this fusion of effort and ease…a fusion that inevitably leads to deep, profound rest…a rest that we all need during the holiday craze.  Visiting, shopping, eating.  Family time, financial stress, physical imbalance.

Read below for tips to reach restfulness.  Try (just try) to let go of pushing, straining and reaching.  Engage as much as possible, breath the deep three-part breath, fine-tune, then surrender into stillness.

Let’s take refuge in yoga.

shavasana-3

Savaasana is the ultimate resting pose!

BI-MONTHLY FOCUS: November/December – Rest

“When you have succeeded in controlling the body and keeping it firm, your practice will be steady…  This is the only real rest you can give to the body.”  – Swami Vivekananda, “Raja-Yoga,” Sutra 2:46

Here are two exercises for practicing the balance of effort and ease, leading to rest.  Enjoy!

TADAASANA – MOUNTAIN POSE

Tadaasana is a standing pose and a foundational posture for other Asana or yoga movements.  One can apply Tadaasana’s principles of alignment to any pose.

  • To engage Tadaasana, stand tall with the arms by the sides.  Scan the body from the soles of the feet to the crown of the head.
  • Stand with the feet parallel and a little bit apart (aligned with hip bones).
  • If the knees are locked, unlock them; allow them to relax.
  • Tighten the quadriceps – the long muscle in the front of the thighs.  The knee-caps will raise, safely straightening the legs.
  • Bring the awareness to the hips, pelvis and “sit bones” (aka ischium – the two bones at the base of the buttocks).
  • Imagine the sit bones reaching down the backs of the legs toward the heels; allow the hips and pelvis to float above the legs.
  • Feel the grounded sensation in the lower half of your Mountain Pose.
  • Bring the awareness to the spine.
  • Inhale a deep three-part breath from the tailbone, through the backs of the ribs, up to the shoulder blades.
  • Exhale, release the shoulder blades toward each other and down the back.
  • Inhale, breathe into the front, sides and backs of the ribs, filling the lungs like a barrel.
  • Exhale, open and extend through the sides of the ribs.
  • On the next inhale, reach the crown of the head to the sky.
  • Exhale, close the eyes, breathe, find stillness.
  • Rest.

NETRA VYAYAMAM – EYE MOVEMENTS

Netra Vyayamam tone the optic nerve and stretch the eye muscles.  The exercises can be practiced to rest the eyes from staring at computer screens, studying, driving and so on.  When practiced outdoors, they allow the depth of focus to stretch.  Try the palming described at the very end to relieve eye strain anytime.

  • Sit (or stand in Tadaasana) with the spine long and the crown of the head reaching toward the sky.
  • Close the eyes and breathe deeply in three parts.
  • Gently open the eyes and bring the gaze to the top of the vision.
  • Begin circling the clockwise, exploring the edge of the eye socket, stretching without straining.
  • Inhale as the eyes circle from bottom to top; exhale from top to bottom.
  • After three slow, fluid repetitions, return to the top of the vision.
  • Close the eyes, center them and relax.
  • Repeat circling counter-clockwise.
  • If outdoors, explore the range of vision, from the closest objects to the farthest vistas.
  • After completing three repetitions in each direction, keep the eyes closed, and rub the palms together at the heart center.
  • Generate heat in the palms from the friction.
  • Cup the palms over the eyes and allow them to drink in the darkness and warmth.
  • Rest.
  • As the heat begins to dissipate, gently sweep the fingertips across the eyelids.
  • Gradually open the eyes.
  • Rest some more.

Please visit the “Tips-n-Tools” page for an archive of these instructions.