Relaxation before Meditation?

I was surprised when the daughter of the family opened the  front door,  dressed in pyjama’s and robe. “Oh have I come at a bad time?” “No no come in, it’s just that we always feel so relaxed after the class we are now in the habit of going straight to bed. To  sleep a dreamless sleep and wake totally rejuvenated. We thought to save time we will meditate in our pyjama’s.” She took me to the lounge room, the family were seated in the cross-legged position on the floor, Dad  on a chair, wrapped like Tibetan monks in their blankets.

I was invited to teach meditation and yoga to the teachers and staff of the local State School.Teaching can be a stressful job, so I began and ended the class with relaxation.Classical yoga begins and ends class with shavasan the yoga name for lying your body still.

At class end the school’s secretary asked me would I come to her home to teach her family relaxation. She also inquired if meditation would help to build her son’s confidence, could Meditation help her husband deal with the stress of a demanding job?A resounding yes to all her questions. We organised a four-week plan to learn basic meditation techniques.Gathering  in the evening after the family meal I chose to seat us all, back straight shoulders released, as I felt the temptation to relax or even dose at day’s end after a meal was strong. As this was a basic introduction to meditation,each week a different technique. Remember different styles suit different people. The husband suggested as my voice was so soothing I make a   relaxation CD. Yes I have but that’s another article.

This family varied in age from 17,  19, 40 and 45 You are never too young to start  to meditate

In fact it is a good technique to learn when you are studying . It clears the mind and aids in concentration.And teaches you focus and one pointedness no matter what is happening in your life. These are the basics for confidence. at conclusion of our meditation practice I would invite the family  “maintaining your inner silence, lie down, cover yourself with a blanket” and I would talk them through relaxation, each week a different style. By the second week I would let myself out the door, leaving them wrapped in their blankets.Meditation is the flower of relaxation. Think of a bud, an immature structure, to flower and bloom to our true potential we bypass the body that is relaxed and enter the mind, stilled, so we can sit with eternity for a time. The opened flower is mature, aware and responsive giving and receiving  beauty.

It is impossible to mediate when you are tense.

Meditation is a practice that requires some discipline  too  relaxed will lead to drowsiness.  The mind needs to remain alert and so we sit the body straight, this way it will not interrupt  your meditation,with twinges of discomfit. But if you approach meditation uptight and tense your mind can only reflect that back to you.If you do fall asleep in mediation, do not worry, it is just your body’s way of telling you to relax more and get more sleep. Learn first to relax, body mind and breath, My teacher Shanti Gowans in her book Calm the Mind

created the The Sutra of Shanti Yoga

Sutra is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘thread’ or ‘string’. When inspiring phrases or words are put together, they are like a garland of flowers or a rosary woven together by a common thread the Divine Essence of their expression. Shanti means peace, Yoga means union. Shanti yoga is the yoga of Peace.The Essence of Meditation is encapsulated in the Sutra of Shanti Yoga.

Slow  down, Expand your Heart, Still your mind, Nourish your body, Honour your soul.

Slow down– slow your breath down. Your breath is the intelligence and power of your body. Expand your heart – This is the reason you are   to share the Love that you are. Still your mind- step back from the world and get off the merry-go-round. To live in a circus is not conducive to deep peace. Nourish your body – It is your temple. It is the temple of God. Honour your soul- Your soul needs to rest in it’s spirit- the Spirit of God.


About lorraine

After a nasty fall from my bicycle, coming home from high school, I began suffering from migraines. After a term of Chiropractic adjustments, which helped but did not entirely stop the migraine headaches, my parents in desperation sent me to yoga classes, The only available evening class in our area was filled with pregnant women. I felt out of place as a shy teenager, but persevered. adjustment,breathing, meditation and yoga proved the only therapy that bought relief from the headaches. Feeling well I got on with life, married moved from my home town and forgot the daily yoga practices and there benefits. Coming back to Yoga and meditation helped me manage during the time of my father's Cancer. and death. Later when my Husband became ill the natural decision was to qualify as a Yoga, meditation teacher to further assist others through the difficult times of illness and recovery or death. I have now been benefiting from the science and art of Yoga, Meditation for well over twenty five years.
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