At the Tips of Your Fingers

At the Tips of Your Fingers
A simple way to relax.

Sit in a comfortable posture. If in a chair, sit with feet flat on the floor with knees hip width apart.

Have the chin level to the floor, with a light Jalandhara Bandha. This basically means your chin is level to the floor. Extend the spine with the chest gently raised, shoulders relaxed and back.

Rest your hands on your thighs with your palms up. Slide the elbows back by the ribs.

Allow your hands to rest on your thighs so you do not have to hold them there so as you relax the hands they will not fall off.

Relax your legs. Relax the feet and toes, which oddly may still be tight. (If in a chair they may come apart a bit.)

Close your eyes.

Now focus all your attention on your fingertips. During this time allow your breath to manage itself.

Relax your fingers. Relax your hands. Have all your attention on this process – relaxing your fingers and hands.

Continue to relax your fingers and hands more and more.

When you get distracted, when your thoughts start to process things, go back to relaxing your fingers and hands. The moment you start to THINK about relaxing your fingers and hands you are no longer feeling or focusing on it. Stay out of your thoughts.

As you continue to allow the fingers and hands to relax notice the breath.  It will regulate itself.

 Practice for 3-7 minutes.

 To finish: Inhale smoothly and deeply. Hold for 10 -15 seconds, keeping the eyes closed, be still and release the breath. Stay still with the palms down on your thighs and feel how you feel. Breathe.

Comments: This is a simple relaxation practice that anyone can learn in any circumstance. It will lead to a very calm overall relaxation. You will notice the breathing will change automatically and manage itself. With firm focus on the fingers you will realize the entire body will relax in a few minutes. It is an introduction to Pratyahara, the first step of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras stages of meditation on learning to be non-reactive.

An additional practice is Jiva Bandh. It is practiced by touching the tip of the tongue lightly to the place above the teeth where we make the “N” sound. Called a “butterfly kiss”. Keeping it touched very lightly relaxes the jaw and ultimately a deeper relaxation of the breath, upper body. Another interesting effect is when the tongue is still the thoughts are still since speaking is a manifestation of thoughts.

Shabad Kaur KhalsaComment