The first four meditations are Yoga Nidras that have been developed in a particular order. Based on the structure of Satyananda Yoga Nidra, each practice has body awareness, body stillness, breath consciousness, and observation of the mental space. The structure goes through the steps of pratyahara (sense withdrawal), dharana (focus), and dhyana (focused concentration or meditation). The perspective each offers is different. The goal of every practice is to observe and witness the mind and how the mind dictates life. We suggest that each one be practiced over several weeks. If you are new to meditation, it would be better to first practice the pranayamas, each one for one to four weeks, till some level of comfort with it has been reached. Go over the base positions in the Pranayama section to determine what is the most comfortable position for you.

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Being a Witness (in the present moment)
Length: 35:28

In this practice, we will learn to be a witness, a neutral spectator, without actively participating in the physical breathing or mental processes. Simply being, observing, has a significant effect in calming the body, mind, and emotions. You will feel it in this practice.

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Who Am "I"?
Length: 35:28

This meditation reveals the perpetual and consequential programming, or the conditioning process, of the mind that began at birth. Think of the body and mind as hardware and software that are constantly growing, and being shaped and formed, by everything the body-mind is exposed to. This body-mind complex takes, absorbs, processes, and stores everything. As we witness it, is “I” the body-mind? Who is the silent witness? Who am “I”? Even if there is no burning desire to seek an answer, just being aware of the continuous, ongoing, cumulative process of conditioning can empower us to reprogram ourselves consciously in positive ways. Conscious thinking can lead to a deeper, compassionate understanding of relationships and less conflict. It does this by slowly breaking down identification of Self with the mind and the thinking process.

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Up to the Summit
Length: 32:04

A mountain is a universal, spiritual symbol, just like light. It implies many aspects of existence. Temples and churches have mountain or hill-shaped domes and steeples. Sometimes the entire structure is built like a mountain. The visual of an unshakeable mountain, the rock of ages, intuitively signifies stability and security. It is simultaneously the mount of aspiration and inspiration. Reaching the high and distant summit, not always visible or clear, requires a great deal of faith with the self. The hard and harsh climb demands discipline, fortitude, and unwavering persistence.

A mountain is a metaphor for living. At the base there is earth-bound life. The routine of daily life can keep us tethered, circling around repetitively around the base. To climb up, what is bound to the earth must be left behind. Going up, there is increasingly less human activity, fewer forms and objects. Even the air is less dense. We reflect our surroundings (and vice versa), beginning to identify less with objects and related activities. There is greater perception of nature and its tremendous force as well as our own vulnerability. That chips away pride. The tiny, frail body is literally and figuratively surrounded by infinite, unobstructed space. We climb out of ourselves, the confines of body-mind.

The higher we climb, the more arduous is the way to the summit, and the more we are compelled to shed and discard. There can be no other thought than being alert and attentive to every step, every breath. At the top we get a physical and spiritual perspective as we view existence from a higher altitude. The air is more charged, crisp, clear.

We are uplifted from the numbness of daily existence but we must overcome our numerous fears and doubts. The process of getting up there is transformational. It can also be called meditation. Mount Kailash is Mount Meru within, the spinal cord within the body. We climb from the base of the spine, the earth-bound center of mooladhara chakra, to the summit, the heaven-bound center of ajna chakra, the guru center, with its trigger at the eyebrow center. Ajna is also known as the point of intuition and inner perception. We climb to the summit to get an experience of "Who am I?" So this is a meditation on faith, inner strength, and inner guidance.

It is being offered in celebration of Guru Purnima. We all successively build upon the base given to us. This meditation builds upon what we have received.

In this meditation, we begin shedding some of the conditioned programming. We learn to discard excess baggage that weighs us down and prevents us from getting where we need to go. The visualization of climbing to the summit, top of the mountain, and the inner guide part is based on a Yoga Nidra done 30 years ago during a course in Mumbai with Swami Buddhananda Saraswati of the Bihar School of Yoga. Over the course of the years, like an evolving recipe, our interpretation and wording of it has also evolved. This is our version, which too will change over the course of time.

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Role of Purpose and Beyond
Length: 43:37

This is the fourth meditation in our series. We first became familiar with the process of witnessing. Then we began to look objectively at the programming and conditioning of the mind. The third meditation was about discarding negative conditioning and connecting with an inner source of strength. This fourth meditation is about looking at various roles each one of us plays. Some roles are easier and more comfortable than others. Do others see us the way we see ourselves? Who plays the roles? Who watches as the spectator? Exploring these questions is a critical step in self-transformation for a more peaceful life for ourselves and others.

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Candle Flame Trataka
Length: 17:15

The word trataka means a steady gaze. The yogic practice withdraws the senses from the external environment to the internal space within. It clears the mental space and uses an external flame to trigger the vision of the internal flame. Trataka is a soothing and comforting yoga meditation. Cancer patients and people with chronic illnesses find strength and peace in it. Trataka is a yoga meditation for focus and concentration as well. If you are not familiar with the practice, please go through the simple instructions below on setting up the space and the candle before you begin.

Get a clear, uncluttered surface ready in a quiet, dark, comfortable room with no drafts. Find a sturdy candle stand and a long tapering candle. Now take a sitting position in front of the candle. Adjust the height so that the flame of the candle is in line with your eyebrow center. The commonly suggested arm-length distance of the flame from the eyebrow center does not work for everyone. Take glasses and contact lenses off and then position the candle where you can see the flame clearly without double images. The flame must be the most prominent object in your field of vision. The flame should be steady and the room dark.

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Yoga Nidra: With Chakras and Bija Mantras
Length: 33:54

This Yoga Nidra is a guided yoga meditation to purify the body through chakras (energy centers) and their individual sound vibrations. The meditation systematically locates important chakras. Each chakra is associated with an element and has a bija mantra (seed sound vibration). Mental and emotional blockages at each center are cleared by focusing on the bija mantra. This purification, clearing of blockages, allows the pranic energy (vital life force) to circulate freely. This free flow of energy rejuvenates the physiological systems that are affected by the health and activity of each chakra.

The Yoga Nidra can be an important preparatory practice for tattwa/bhutta shuddhi (purification of the elements).

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