Yoga for Meditators: poses to support your sitting practice
Charlotte Bell, author of Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life, has blended the practices of yoga and meditation since 1986. In her new book, Yoga for Meditators, she writes, "Asana practice, by its very nature, is about preparing the body for meditation. So a book on yoga for meditators may seem redundant. All yoga is for meditators, after all. Still, there are poses that I have found to be optimal in addressing the specific physical challenges that arise during meditation, and it is in this spirit that I offer the practices in this book."
Divided into four parts, the book offers practices that are designed for beginning and seasoned practitioners:
• Taking a Seat: Steady and Comfortable — addresses the most common physical issues that can cause discomfort during sitting in meditation.
• Yoga Poses for Sitting Meditation — outlines asanas to guide you to a more easeful practice. Whether you practice vipassana, Zen, Transcendental, kriya, or any other kind of sitting meditation, these poses will help you collect the mind, awaken the spine, relax the base, soften the shoulders, and quiet the body-mind.
• Practicing Yoga — uses the asanas from part two to create sequences for calming agitation, increasing energy, opening the hips, relieving stress, easing the lower back, and during the moon cycle.
• Alternate Meditation Postures — discusses the other traditional meditation positions — walking, standing, and lying — with ways to settle into each.
"The silent, peaceful mind is our birthright; it lives inside us all," Charlotte writes. "Our minds and bodies are interwoven. When the body is at ease, the mind has a much easier time settling into silence. May your asana and meditation practices uncover the peace that already lives within."