Yoga Month: Morning Stretch & Meditation


...elusive dreamer
Apr 5, 2009
September is yoga awareness month. I am dedicating my writings to the
power of yoga! Yoga has been a huge influence in my life and has
given back to me in so many ways! So this month, I am introducing the
power of yoga and how it may have an influence over you.

Yoga Month: Morning Stretch and Meditation

The word nourishment is an enriching word meaning to promote the
growth and to furnish or sustain with nutriment. This is what we need
everyday. Nourishing the soul, enriching the mind and strengthening
the body.

When you wake up in the morning, take a few minutes, while you are
still lying in bed, to gently massage your temples, forehead and back
of your head.

Gently open and stretch your mouth and move your jaw around. Rotate
your eyes around in all four directions. Give yourself a long stretch
by reaching your arms over your head and lengthening your spine.
Rotate your arms at the wrist and feet at the ankles. Roll to a fetus
position and gently push yourself up. Place you feet on the floor and
then take a deep, deep breath. Fill your lungs with a big nourishing
inhale and long exhale. Do this a few more times.

Gently stand and reach your hands up over your head. Reach... then
gently bent slowly at the waist and reach your hands to the floor.
Now do this a few more times each with an enriching inhale and
exhale. Wake up your hamstrings and intercostals as you reach and
stretch. Bend and reach to the sides. Clasp your fingers behind your
back and gently stretch your arms and shoulders back. Deep breaths
EVERY time.

Breath Meditation Flow of energy. Air is the primary nutrient.
Survival without it is measured in minutes. It is so important that
you do it without thinking. Your breathing is the voice of your
spirit. It's depth, smoothness, sound, and rate reflect your mood. If
you become aware of your breath and breathe the way you do when you
are calm you will become calm. Practicing regular, mindful breathing
can be calming and energizing. With the addition of music and it's
rhythm, the "musical breath" can even help stress-related health
problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders. Fall into
the rhythm of the music and breathe. Focus on your breathing and the

Focusing on the breath is one of the most common and fundamental
techniques for accessing the meditative state. Breath is a deep
rhythm of the body that connects us intimately with the world around

Close your eyes, breathe deeply and regularly, and observe your
breath as it flows in and out of your body. Give your full attention
to the breath as it comes in, and full attention to the breath as it
goes out. Whenever you find your attention wandering away from your
breath, gently pull it back to the rising and falling of the breath.
Inhale through your nose slowly and deeply, feeling the lower chest
and abdomen inflate like a balloon. Hold for five seconds. Exhale
deeply, deflating the lower chest and abdomen like a balloon. Hold
for five seconds. Do this three or four times, then allow your
breathing to return to a normal rhythm. You will begin to feel a
change come over your entire body. Gradually you will become less
aware of your breathing, but not captured in your stream of thoughts.
You will become more centered inward. You will just "be there."

Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac