I’ve been under a lot of stress recently, and as a result I’ve been letting my yoga practice slip. When I wake up early in the morning, I roll over and go back to sleep rather than get up for my asana practice. I flip through yoga manuals and see meditations that I know would be good for me, but the thought of sitting even 3 minutes in meditation is totally unappealing. The only thing I’ve been keeping up with is my daily recitation of the So Purkh, but even that has felt strained. As much as I know my yoga practice would be helpful with everything I’m going through, right now my mind is more content to bathe in its own stress.
Sometimes life is like that. As our moods and circumstances ebb and flow, there are times when we experience contraction. Where we might normally want to surround ourselves with others, we may want to go home and simply be by ourselves. And when we may regularly have a yoga practice of an hour or more a day, we might have times when doing even a simple spinal flex isn’t going to happen.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing to experience these times of stress and resistance. The key is to remain aware of what is going on in your life, and honor your feelings. If there is any part of your yoga practice that does still appeal to you, like chanting mantras or doing Long Deep Breathing, take time each day for that. If you don’t regularly wear a lot of white, try incorporating it more into your wardrobe to expand your aura and help uplift you while you’re going through challenging times.
Yogi Bhajan taught a very useful meditation for those times when the stress of life is making you feel frozen in place. Called “Last Meditation,” he said that the practice of this meditation will remove a lot of negativity, and “enable you to think right, act right, see right, look at yourself, imagine and meditate.” If you feel like you can’t talk to anyone about what you’re going through, try this meditation and see how you feel afterwards.
To practice Last Meditation, sit in Easy pose and place the palms in the lap, right hand over left with the thumbs touching.
Close the eyes, inhale deeply and chant “Wahe Guru Wahe Guru Wahe Guru Wahe Jio” 8 times in a single breath.
If your breath cannot sustain 8 repetitions of the mantra, approximately 60 seconds, stop chanting and start again at the beginning of the next cycle. Begin with 11 minutes of meditation, then increase to 22, and finally a maximum of 33 minutes.
There are also a couple of mantras that can be helpful when you’re feeling stressed. Listen to Jai-Jagdeesh’s hauntingly beautiful “Aap Sahaee Hoa” from I Am Thine, or the extended version on Meditations for Transformation: The Expansive Spirit, and connect with feelings of trust and surrender.
I’m doing 40 days of Last Meditation, and know that by the end a lot of the stress on my mind will have been cleared out. If you’re going through a hard time, I encourage you to try this meditation and let it erase your negativity and lift you up!