The energetic body, or pranamaya kosha, and the mental/emotional body, or manomaya kosha, make up two of the subtle sheaths that are easily affected by stress, illness and injury. Below you will find a very gentle practice to move the attention inward, away from external stressors to enable you to find peace and calm.
Curl ring finger into palm; bring together tips of thumb, index & middle fingers; extend the little finger. Rest hands with palms up.
Benefits: Draws energy down from head, draws awareness inward
Practice Tips: Use when you have head congestion or over-active thoughts
Mantra and Mala
A mala is a set of 108 prayer beads that are used to count the recitation of a mantra or sound. Many different mantras may be used but in this meditation we will focus on repeating the mantra A-HAM which means "I am".
Hold the mala over your middle finger with the thumb being used to draw the beads toward the body. You do not count the larger tasseled bead, called the meru. For each recitation of A-HAM, count off another bead until you reach the meru bead again.
As you work with the mantra and mala, dissolve all of your awareness into the movement of the fingers, the feel of the beads, the sound you are making and the vibration of the sound inside of the body to bring a calmer state to the energetic and mental/emotional bodies.
Mantra & Finger Counting
If you do not have access to a mala, you may use your fingers in order to count to 108. You will count to twelve on your dominant hand using your thumb as the counting finger. Each of the long fingers has three bones (tip, center and base) and we will count each of these segments to make twelve (4 fingers x 3 segments = 12). With the other hand you will keep track of the sets of twelve in the same pattern. Once nine sets of twelve have been counted, you will have reached 108.
Begin with the thumb touching the end of the index finger on both hands. With the dominant hand begin counting in the following pattern moving down one finger and up the next like so:
1 - thumb on index finger tip
2 - thumb on index finger center
3 - thumb on index finger base
4 - thumb on middle finger base
5 - thumb on middle finger center
6 - thumb on middle finger tip
7 - thumb on ring finger tip
8 - thumb on ring finger center
9 - thumb on ring finger base
10 - thumb on pinkie finger base
11 - thumb on pinkie finger center
12 - thumb on pinkie finger tip
When you get to thirteen, move the non-dominant hand to position #2, the thumb on the index finger center where it will remain while you use your dominant hand to count 13-24 in the pattern above. Continue to count until nine sets of twelve have been counted and the non-dominant hand will be on the base of the ring finger.
I attend Cheryl's class regularly and feel that my practice has improved immensely over the past few years due to her expert coaching. Her teaching style is clear and compassionate and her previous experience in teaching adults is evident in her organized approach and easy to understand instructions. I also appreciate that Cheryl not only teaches us about how to correctly position ourselves, but also touches on many aspects of yoga philosophy, which in turn has deepened my personal practice and heightened my awareness of the connection between mind and body, breath and relaxation.