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Practice with Clara

Winter Solstice Intention (20-mins) Meditation

About

A short meditation that honors the darkness, this meditation includes intention-setting, mantra, pranayama, and journaling questions.

Honor transformation with a chant to Shiva, the Lord of Darkness and Destruction, and sit in silence to contemplate the questions posed within.

You’re welcome to take the meditation seated or reclined.

Style: Meditation

Duration: 25-mins

Level: open

Props: block or cushion to sit on

Focus: the shadow, transformation, winter solstice

Location: Vancouver, BC

Intention:

To honor the darkness and all that is unseen, the shadow and the hidden aspects of ourselves that we may see and feel within.

The shadow is the unseen- it is what is felt or probing around the periphery of the light. It is the halo of darkness. Winter Solstice is the ultimate day of the shadow, it being the longest day of the year.

With everything new, including our lives and the chapter we are in, there must be an ending. Everything comes to an eventual close; all things must die and end in order for the next phase to start. Let us honor the destruction and the deaths we are experiencing to create time for closure. Sometimes, with the end of things, there is grief and sadness and a period for mourning. This is an important Sadhana to do in order to release what has occurred before we move forward into the uncertainty of what is to come.

Questions to Contemplate:

  • What do you feel shifting in your life right now that you may not be able to see?
  • What has or is probing around the periphery of your awareness?
  • What elements of destruction/death are you/have you witnessed recently ?
  • What are you grieving right now?
  • How do you move through phases of mourning to release what has occurred and shift into what is to come? What are your rituals?
  • Who supports you in your Sadhana practice? Who shows up for you?
  • Have you slowed down to recuperate, reflect, and restore before the next cycle? What do you do to take care of yourself?

Pranayama:

Khumbaka (breath retention)

  • Inhale for 6-counts
  • Exhale for 8-counts
  • Hold for 4-8 counts

Do several cycles of this pranayama OR breath in and out for 4-counts if breath retention does not serve. 

Benefits of Kumbhaka include:

  • Better oxygenation to improve overall health and concentration occurs when we retain the breath as it increases the carbon dioxide level. This event activates the respiratory center in the brain and leads to a greater exchange of oxygen.
  • Improvement of lung capacity
  • Strengthening of the diaphragm

Mantra:

jai shiva shankara boom boom hare hari 

Meaning = to Shiva, the Divine power that brings about change and transformation.