Day 21 – moving meditation Bhumi Namaskar

I am stressed. I am trying not be. Actually stressed is not the right word. Annoyed. My iPhone is about to go flying out the window of the 19th floor of the Intercontinental, Kuala Lumpur, with my Mac Air straight after it. Well, maybe not because I still have to write my blog first. I woke up feeling exhausted, which is exactly what happens when I oversleep, don’t do any yoga and eat way too much. And now technology is just turning its back on me. I won’t go into the details but basically my iPhone is being stubborn and now I am throwing a tantrum about it. A silent tantrum.

I roll out my mat and start practising a slow vinyasa sequence, moving with intention and slowly building energy. After some back bends I sit still in child’s pose, bringing my mind down to rest for a moment. The rest of my practice, Bhumi Namaskar, is a moving meditation. The word ‘bhumi’ (भूमि) means Earth in Sanskrit, but also means ‘ground’ or ‘foundation’, so in Bhuddism it also refers to the 10 stages or ‘foundations’ Buddha passes through to reach enlightenment. I often come across other languages, particularly in south-east Asia, that also use the word Bhumi for Earth or ground, such as Bahasa Indonesia and Thai. (In Bahasa Indonesia, the word for mother or any respected female elder is ‘Bu’, which I imagine to come from the root Bhumi, mother Earth). The name, Bhumi, also refers to the Hindu goddess of the Earth. It is a vinyasa flow sequence learned from my teacher, Twee Merrigan, http://www.tweeyoga.com/, who teaches Shiva Rea developed Prana Flow. The bhumi namaskar is an Earth sequence, very grounding and slow. It is practised in a mandala, so that the body is constantly in motion and always low to the ground.

Beginning from ‘svanananda’, bliss dog, the right leg moves forward into a low lunge, where I pulse, deepening into the pose with an exhale and drawing back gently with an inhale. From here, I move to a modified frog pose, with toes together, using the breath to move forward and back as I deepen into the hips. Moving to face the ‘back’ of the mat, my left leg is forward now in the same lunge and the practice is mirrored for the other side. I move into anahatasana; the heart chakra pose, sahaja bhujangasana; the dancing cobra, and back to svanananda; bliss dog. From here I keep moving around in the mandala, slightly varying the pose on each round, always staying with some kind of hip opening pose and always staying low, connected to the Earth. This is an incredibly grounding movement and done with intention, can serve as a moving meditation, on its own or as part of a longer vinyasa sequence. What I love about moving meditation is how quickly the mind slips into deep consciousness. The outer world slips away much easier and I start to flow in this organic movement that pulses with the rhythm and vibration of pure shakti, energy. Twenty minutes flows by easily before I eventually lie down in savasana for another five minutes of conscious relaxation. The stress just melts away.

My iPhone is forgiven. So is my laptop. Silently, they forgive me too.

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