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We Bless This Year (12-min) Meditation

A short meditation with Bastrika pranayama and poetry to create space for gratitude. Open the meditation with a poem by John O’Donohue. Bastrika Breath follows to build heat and connect you to your body. This style of pranayama works to energize and clear slow or stagnant energy. Do this pranayama at any time of the day to clear the mind and body and stimulate the flow of Prana. Take seated meditation or savasana to close.

Style: Meditation

Duration: 12-mins

Level: open

Props: none

Focus: meditation, pranayama, and poetry.

Location: Lila Familia Production Studio, Vancouver, BC

Poem to anchor the meditation:

 

AT THE END OF THE YEAR

The particular mind of the ocean

Filling the coastline’s longing

With such brief harvest

Of elegant, vanishing waves

Is like the mind of time

Opening us shapes of days.

As this year draws to its end,

We give thanks for the gifts it brought

And how they became inlaid within

Where neither time nor tide can touch them.

The days when the veil lifted

And the soul could see delight;

When a quiver caressed the heart

In the sheer exuberance of being here.

Surprises that came awake

In forgotten corners of old fields

Where expectation seemed to have quenched.

The slow, brooding times

When all was awkward

And the wave in the mind

Pierced every sore with salt.

The darkened days that stopped

The confidence of the dawn.

Days when beloved faces shone brighter

With light from beyond themselves;

And from the granite of some secret sorrow

A stream of buried tears loosened.

We bless this year for all we learned,

For all we loved and lost

And for the quiet way it brought us

Nearer to our invisible destination.

— John O’Donohue (To Bless The Space Between Us/Benedictus)

​​Bastrika Breath or Bellows Breath

This style of pranayama works to energize and clear slow or stagnant energy. Do this pranayama at any time of the day to clear the mind and body and stimulate the flow of Prana.

How to do it:

  • Inhale through the nose and arch the spine
  • Exhale sharply through the nose and round the spine
  • Take this pranayama seated and place the hands to the thighs
  • Pull against the knees as you exhale

Do three rounds:

  • Round 1: do 5 cycles with kumbhaka (breath retention after last round)
  • Round 2: do 7 cycles with kumbhaka after the last round
  • Round 3: do 9 cycles with kumbhaka after the last round

Benefits of Bastrika Pranayama:

  • Strengthens the digestive system
  • Stimulates the respiratory system
  • Energizes the body and mind
  • Increases oxygenation to the blood to support organs and tissues
  • Tones abdominal area
  • Drains excess fluids and phlegm from the lungs
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