Nightly Meditation Preperation
NIGHTLY MEDITATION PREPARATION
In Dr. Gopala's Prophetic Vision, Dream Lottery System, yoga postures are used to prepare the body for meditation and an enhanced dream state. They are meant to relax and oxygenate the large muscles in the body allowing the mind to settle into a meditative state prior to a restful night's sleep. They are very simple to do, take about five to ten minutes, and work very well with the Lakshmi Mantra given above. When the body is properly prepared, the sound vibrations associated with Mantras can more easily encourage the mind to experience the Source of Thought.
These postures are very old. They were developed as Mantric
tools to encourage transcendence while meditating. Although they are over 6,000 years old, our modern culture has made yoga postures very popular. Many studios have sprung up around the world. The most popular is Bikram yoga. In Bikram yoga 26 postures are performed over a period of 90 minutes in a studio heated to over 100 degrees. Bikram yoga is known for its ability to flush out toxins and deeply stretch oxygenated muscles. Besides preparing the body for meditation, Bikram speeds up recovery from an injury, enhances flexibility, and cleanses the body. There are many other yoga schools that are popular around the world such as Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, and Iyengar. Each yoga school has created its own niche, some for spinal alignment, some for detoxification, and some for flexibility. Google these yoga schools, for more information about each.
Fortunately, for our purposes, we do not need to spend 90 minutes a day in postures. In Dr. Gopala's system, we only need to take a few minutes every night to de-stress, unwind, and proactively relax and oxygenate our muscles before meditating and approaching the Source of Thought. Dr. Gopala recommends four postures or exercises prior to going to sleep. These posture should be done at the bedside or while in bed before sleep.
If you suffer from lower back pain, please be careful. Do not strain. These postures are meant to be accomplished effortlessly. Nonetheless, if do suffer from lower back pain, then each forward bend is done with your tummy muscles tightened.
First, while sitting on the side of the bed gently massage your whole body. Start with a deep breath and rub or massage your head and shoulders pulling downward toward the navel. This light body massage coupled with deep breathing will rid the surface of your skin from tension and stress from a hurried work day. So, take a deep breath and gently massage your scalp moving down to the shoulders. Think of the stress on the surface of your skin as water droplets. Imagine you are moving the water droplets from your head and shoulders gradually down to your navel. Grab you wrist,
with your right hand, take a deep breath and massage up your arm. Visualize you are moving the water droplets up your arm to your shoulder. Take a deep breath and do the same with the other arm. Begin to visualize all the water droplets accumulating around the chest, and move them towards your navel. Take another deep breath and massage your chest, moving the stress to your navel, where eventually we will collect all the stress of the day and throw it into the night sky where it will evaporate. Take another deep breath and start massaging you feet and calves, moving the water droplet stress toward your navel. Another deep breath and do the other leg, moving up from foot to calf to thigh and into the navel area. Take another deep breath and collect all the water droplets, all the stress that accumulated during the day into your hand and symbolically throw it out the window. Imagine the stress eventually being drawn into the sun where it evaporates. Take a final cleansing breath. Now that we have removed the surface tension on our body, let's move on to stress and tension ingrained into the deeper muscle tissue.
Knee to Chest Pose
Take a deep cleansing breath and lie down flat in the bed. Bend your right knee up toward your chest. Interlock all ten fingers and grasp the right leg two inches below the knee. Keeping the right foot relaxed pull the knee down toward your right shoulder avoiding the rib cage. Elbows should be close to the body and both shoulders are relaxed. Keep pulling the knee continuously and smoothly toward your shoulder until you feel a pull in your right hip joint. If you do not feel a strong tug there, you are not pulling hard enough. Tuck your chin into your chest but do not lift your head off the pillow. The calf of the left leg should continue to touch the bed. Once comfortable in this posture, breathe deeply for five cleansing breaths.
Lower the right leg to the bed, then bend the left knee and do the same posture on the other side. Once you are comfortable in the posture, take five cleansing breathes.
Next take hold of both legs and bring them to the chest. Clasp your arm around your legs below your knees and reach your hands across to grab the elbows. If you can't reach them then grab your forearms, wrists, or fingers – whatever you can reach. Shoulders are down on the bed and your chin is tucked. Knees are glued together and as close to the chest as possible. Once comfortable in this posture, breathe deeply for five cleansing breaths.
This posture oxygenates the large muscles of the thigh and abdomen. In addition to oxygen, the compression brings in to these large muscles vital nutrients and subtle energies needed when meditating. When finished, sit up straight.
Head to Knee Pose
The Head to Knee pose increases circulation and oxygen to organs and glands including the liver, spleen, pancreas, thyroid, thymus, and intestines.
Start with a deep breath and an upward sitting position. Stretch your left leg out diagonally so that your two legs form a 90-degree angle. Bend your right knee and bring your right foot into the groin area near the top of your right leg. Try to lock the right knee. If you cannot that’s okay, you can keep it bent. To protect your lower back tighten your stomach muscles. Raise both arms over your head and interlock your fingers. Tuck your chin into your chest and bend down over the out stretched left leg. Grasp the left foot in both hands beneath the ball of the left foot and toes. Again try to lock the left knee and then bring the forehead to the knee. If you cannot keep the leg locked, its okay to bend it. It is more important to try to get the forehead to the knee. Once you are comfortable in the posture, take five long, cleansing breaths. If you struggle to relax in the pose you have gone too far and need to back off. The breath should be relaxed and feel energizing. Straighten both legs and come out of the posture very slowly remembering to keep your stomach muscles tight throughout the posture. Reverse the pose with the right leg extended, left leg bent. Remember to breathe properly and go into and out of the pose slowly.
Now raise both hands over head and bend forward tightening the stomach muscles. Reach for your big toes with the first two fingers of each hand with palms facing each other. If you cannot reach the toes, reach as far as you can below your knees. If you need to, bend your legs. Again, tighten the stomach muscles. Once you are comfortably in the pose, take five deep relaxing breaths. If you are having problems relaxing into the pose or trouble holding your stomach muscles tight you are trying too hard and need to back off. These poses are not meant to build muscle. They are used to relax, de-stress, and oxygenate the muscles and organs. They are meant to prepare the body for meditation. When you have finished the pose lie straight back into a comfortable position with your head on the pillow.
With the Cobra pose we move the spine in the opposite direction as the prior pose. In addition to strengthening the lumbar spine, the Cobra pose relaxes and oxygenates the lower and upper back muscles. According to Bikram Choudhury, founder of Bikram Yoga, the Cobra pose is one of the best all around conditioners we have for the entire body. Other benefits include: improved digestion, relief from menstrual disorders, and improved appetite. The Cobra pose also strengthens the deltoids, trapezius, and triceps muscles in the upper body.
To begin this posture, turn over onto your stomach with your legs and feet together and take a deep breath. Tighten the muscles in your legs and hip area, including the glutes, lock your knees, and point your toes. Place your palms on the bed with your finger tips under the tops of your shoulders, fingers pointed forward – take a deep breath. Elbows are in, touching your sides. Now, look up at the ceiling, raise your head, and using the strength of your back, lift your torso off the bed. Arch your head and torso back as much as possible and at the same time press the belly button into the bed. If you are not strong enough to lift your torso up with just your back muscles, use your arms to help you get into the proper position and take a cleansing breath.
Your elbows should be bent at a 90 degree angle, tight to your sides. The shoulders are relaxed and down. Once in position relax and take up to five deep cleansing breaths. If you want you may do a second set of Cobra. Take your time coming out of the pose. Slowly turn over onto your back. If you want you may sit up a bit and prepare to perform a foreshadowing intention.