Being injured doesn’t mean you have to stop your yoga practice. While you may not be able to practice Warrior 2 or Triangle Pose. Or do a backbend, twist or forward bend, you can still get many benefits by spending time concentrating on the body and breath.
Meditation doesn’t require any special props or clothing. You can do it in your home, at the office on a train. While there are many schools and types of meditation starting a practice doesn’t have to be complicated or arduous.
The only thing it does require is a daily commitment. 5-10 minutes to start. If you do it every day, your practice will naturally lengthen over time.
To begin find a place to sit comfortably on the floor or in a chair for a several minutes. If sitting is not an option, stand with your feet apart, knees, shoulders, elbows, wrists and fingers soft. If you cannot sit or stand lay down on a blanket on the floor with your head supported by another folded blanket. Place the soles of your feet on the base of the wall. It may be tempting to fall asleep, which is why laying down in not suggested, but if for some reason you cannot sit or stand try to practice in a supine position.
Most important is that some part of your feet or sit bones are touching the ground. From that rooting your spine can lengthen away from the earth through crown of your head towards the sky. If you are lying down, think about your tailbone lengthening towards your feet and the roof of your mouth going in the opposite direction.
Close your eyes or keep them quiet, slightly open and looking down. For several moments just watch your breath. Quietly observe your inhale and exhale. Notice when one changes to the other.
After a few moments and when you feel ready, think about your bones and muscles…even the ones with aches and pains. Scan them and recognize that they support and stabilize you. Thank your bones and muscles.
Think about your blood and body fluids. How they flow and allow you to move. How fluids keep you lubricated and bring you nutrients. Scan your arteries, veins and capillaries...don’t worry if you can’t actually “see” them. Getting a quick sense of them is fine. Thank your blood and body fluids.
Think about your stomach and digestive system. How it fuels your body. How it takes food in and eliminates what it doesn’t need. Visualize your gut tube and stomach. Thank your digestive system for all its passionate hard work.
Think about your lungs. How they expand on the inhale and contract softly on the exhale. How the lungs propel your ability to talk, sing and pray. Visualize both your right and left lungs. Thank them for how they animate you.
Broaden your forehead and widen the back of your skull. Think about your brain. How you can make more space inside its many crevices by just sitting still. Thank your brain for all your thoughts and for staying concentrated in this exercise.
Find your heart. Think of it being cradled by the lungs. Watch it beating quietly and for a moment or two tune into its rhythm. The song of your own capacity to be kind and express love. Thank your heart.
Once more come back to your breath. Watch your inhale and exhale. Pause for a moment between each one.
Sense your skin. Gently move your fingers and toes. Open your eyes and softly take in your surroundings.
Thank yourself for taking the time for your meditation and pledge to do it again tomorrow.