Sunday, September 20, 2009

Barefoot Meditation for the Mind and Body

“Meditation helps you do less and accomplish more.”
– Deepok Chopra

As summer folds its fiery wings, nature contracts and the fruits of the harvest grow dense with stored sunlight. It feels good to stay home now. In cooler climes, there's still time to bank some first-hand sunlight and take advantage of the opportunity to exercise in the fresh air...even go for barefoot walks.

The following barefoot meditation provides grounding energy through direct connection to the earth. Ideally it should be performed while in a seated position, barefoot, with soles planted – and toes connected firmly to the ground.

Barefoot Meditation
First, find a bench or chair on a grassy spot. You can begin with just five minutes; but aim for twenty. Morning sun (before 11am) is ideal. But sunset also works.
Plant toes firmly on earth, focusing intention on the big toe(s). According to reflexology the big toe is connected to the pineal gland. Said to be linked to the third eye, the pineal is largely responsible for the health of circadian rhythms and prevents against SAD (seasonal affective disorder). In addition to producing melatonin, the pineal gland also controls the release of serotonin, “the mood hormone.' Stimulation through direct contact with geomagnetic energy helps control aging, calms the nervous system, and lays the groundwork for building and opening to higher, more refined energies. Tobacco, drugs, stress, and lack of Vit. A depletes the pineal.
To begin, take deep belly breaths. The abdomen should expand on the inhale, and contract on the exhale. Once a comfortable rhythm is established - visualize a circuit of energy orbiting from the top of your head, (crown chakra), to your big toe(s). Continue for 5- 20 minutes.
For more advanced, coordinate with alternate nostril breathing, and add silent mantra.

If outdoor meditation isn't possible, yogic postures which help preserve and strengthen the pineal gland include yoga mudra, child's pose -- with the forehead to the floor.
Sun salutations (Surya namaskar) also flush and nourish the gland with oxygenated blood.


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