Using the Power of Your Mind in rest pose
Here is a nice meditation using the power of your mind to take a tour through your body. These are excerpts taken from Beryl Bender Birch’s (my first yoga teacher) book “Power Yoga”, along with some of my interpretations and additions. It’s a nice way to use your mind to help keep the systems and organs of your body healthy and clean and functioning optimally — although the last part always makes me giggle when I read it to a class:
Settle in and align yourself for a lying meditation, so get comfortable on your back; put a pillow under your knees if necessary, roll your shoulders open, lengthen the back of your neck, take a nice deep inhale through your nose and a long sigh through your mouth. Now connect with your deep slow NASAL breathing with jaw relaxed, lips closed, teeth parted.
Are you fairly symmetrical? Check your hip bones, heel bones, shoulders, are your bones spaced evenly? After arranging your superficial structure of your bones and muscles, sink a bit deeper.
Enter your respiratory and circulatory systems. You can start by entering through your nose and traveling along your breath to your lungs. Bump around inside your lungs like a helium balloon. Hop on an oxygen molecule and squeeze through the walls of the lungs and travel to your heart. Imagine the passages into and out of your heart; see them as clear and smooth and free of debris and obstacles. See all the little trap doors swinging easily and functioning without resistance or stress.
From there be pumped out of your heart and sent tumbling into the vast networks of rivers, streams, and creeks that make up your circulatory system. Construct a little boat or raft for yourself and set out down the main artery leading from your heart. << excerpt from Bobbi: Although I have been told the pressure in the arteries is so high that this would be more like white water rafting 😉 >>
As you travel downstream, notice the condition of the “banks” of the river. Look for debris or litter. If you see any , then imagine a big trash collecting “boat” (a white blood cell) traveling down the river, sucking up the debris and transporting it to the recycling station. Imagine that all the walls of the blood vessels are plaque free — pink and smooth. The banks of the river and pristine and untrampled. See a beautiful and healthy environment. Notice the branches and tributaries of the main river that go off to the various organs and how well organized the delivery of supplies and removal of waste are along these passageways.
Sink deeper still — into the nervous system. The scenery changes. Now you will see great networks of tracks and trails and pathways. Observe how well maintained they are. Polished, shiny stainless steel. No rust. No broken tracks. Check the connections, the intersections and the switching stations of the countless nadis (channels). Look around for static or interference, especially if you have had a stressful day. If you find any impediment that is creating poor reception, do some rewiring and breathe a little prana to that stretch of track.
<<Bobbi’s 2020 addition to Beryl’s meditation>>
Let’s pop in on our immune system. Now in your mind’s image you see your immune system kind of like spaceship that is monitoring your entire body, watching for perpetrators. In my minds eye I see Marvin the martian from Bugs Bunny cartoons . . . watching over with his blaster, blasting away at suspicious molecules. We do have to keep him in check so he does not get too trigger happy, as he does in the cartoons — and as with auto immune diseases, imagine he is a good shot and has a good eye not mistaking self for foreign bodies.
In this space ship we have a “command center” where we can monitor our entire body watching for perpetrators and monitoring our Marvin martians to make sure they are not overworking.
Settle deeper still — into the digestive and elimination systems. Now you get to roam around in your stomach and get a look at that last meal, close up. This can be frightening or rewarding. If you have been eating nutrient dense food and lots of vegetables, things should look pretty good, matter that is easy to digest and move along the system. No problems. But let’s suppose you had a bagel for breakfast, a cheese sandwich for lunch, and pizza or a hunk of beef for dinner. You’ll be lucky if you can make it through from one end of your stomach to the other, and you’ll have a hard time squeezing through your intestines. The intestines will be clogged up like the local expressway at rush hour . . . anyway pay attention to your intestines. They can bring you years of joy or misery — its up to your mouth.