Yesterday we invited our African brothers and sisters to join us in our morning Hatha Yoga and meditation practice. This was something new to most of them. I began the class by leading them through a few rounds of Surya Namaskaram (sun salutations) to get them warmed up and stretched.
Then we dived into some Hatha Yoga asanas (poses) followed by some basic pranayama (breath control) which involved regulating the duration of the in breath and the out breath. After pranayama we began the guided meditation. We used the analogy that the mind is like a vast land with a variety of landscapes from mountains to rivers and oceans, to deserts to cities to jungles and more. And the same way we travel from one area of a land to another we can similarly travel through the mind as well.
Our guided meditation then took us first to the land called happiness. We visualized being happy and also filled our entire body with the feeling of happiness. We emphasized the importance of visualization and feeling in the practice of meditation. From the land of happiness we moved to the land of contentment and finally the land of love while practicing visualization and feeling for each of those areas. To conclude the meditation we returned our awareness to the room we were in and slowly opened our eyes to adjust ourselves to our surroundings.
We were very happy to have our African siblings join us for our morning spiritual practices and we are looking forward to their drum circle this afternoon which they have invited us to participate in.
One God, one world!