Rita guides you through a most loving and sacred yoga practice. Her gentle nature and lightness allow for the most wonderful unfolding to take place in her class. As a fellow student and teacher I am always appreciative of her gifts and radiant smile she shares with others. ... Aarti Ganesh           Read more...

Brahmamuhurta ... Time for Meditation



O traveller get up; it is dawn-it is not right that you continue sleeping.
One who awakes, he finds, One who is asleep, he loses.
Get up and open your eyes from slumber and meditate on your Master.
-Kabir (Mystic Saint of India)

WHAT IS BRAHMAMUHURTA

Waking up before dawn is Brahmamuhurta. There are varied opinions about exactly which hours constitute Brahmamuhurta. Some say it is from 3am to 6am that is the last three hours of the night & others say it is one and a half hours just before Sunrise when the sky has a rosy-red hue. A few stars may also be visible. Sivananda Yoga says Brahmamuhurta is the morning period between 3.30 a.m. and 5.30 a.m. This sacred interval is also known as the Amritavela. This is the best time to get out of bed and meet the day. All the birds and animals that Mother Nature has assigned to awake at this time are indeed up by then. Hence they are able to enjoy the sacred bliss of those pristine moments during the Amritavela. This is best time for Meditation and obtaining knowledge.

WHY BRAHMAMUHURTA IS THE BEST TIME FOR MEDITATION

After a good night's sleep, the mind becomes refreshed, calm and serene. There is preponderance of Sattva or purity in the mind at this time, as well as in the atmosphere. At this time mind is like a blank sheet of paper, free from Raga-dvesha or worldly impressions (Samskaras). It can be moulded easily. You can infuse it with divine thoughts. Further, all the pure souls start their Meditation during the Brahmamuhurta & send their vibrations throughout the world, benefiting all. So Meditation comes by itself without any effort. It is a terrible spiritual loss for you if you do not utilize the period in divine contemplation because such Sadhana gives quick and maximum progress.

GUIDELINES FOR MEDITATION

• If you are not in the habit of getting up early, use an alarm timepiece. Once the habit is established, there will be no difficulty. The subconscious mind will automatically wake you up at the particular time.

• Do not waste much time in morning ablutions. Answer the calls of nature quickly. Clean your teeth quickly. Be quick. Otherwise the Brahmamuhurta will pass away quickly.

• If you suffer from constipation have vigorous practice of Salabha, Bhujanga and Dhanur Asanas for 5 minutes as soon as you get up from bed. Otherwise, do Meditation as soon as you get up. You can answer the calls of nature after finishing your morning Meditation with the help of a cup of hot milk.

• In the winter, it is not necessary that you should take a cold bath. Wash the face, hands and feet quickly, dash cold water on the face and top of the head. This will cool the brain and the eyes.

• As soon as you are ready, sit in Siddha, Padma or Sukha Asana. Do Meditatation or Japa for half an hour. Then do Asanas and Mudras. Take rest for 5-10 minutes. Then do Pranayama and study of the Gita and other religious books.

• Like Brahmmuhurta, Sandhya time or dusk is also favourable for Meditation. During Brahmamuhurta and dusk, the Sushumna Nadi flows readily. When the breath flows through both nostrils, know that the Sushumna is working. You will enter into deep Meditation and Samadhi without much effort when Sushumna Nadi flows. That is the reason why Rishis, Yogis and scriptures speak very highly of these two periods of time. Whenever the Sushumna functions, sit for meditation and enjoy the inner peace of Atman or soul.

• Before you sit for Pranayama practice, thoroughly clean the nostrils. You can take a small quantity of fruit-juice or a small cup of milk or coffee even before the practice. When you finish the practice take a cup of milk or light tiffin after 10 minutes.

JUST BEFORE JAPA AND MEDITATION- IF FEELING SLEEPY…

• Do Sirshasana or Sarvangasana or any other Asana for five minutes.

• Do Pranayama for five minutes.

• Do both Asana and Pranayama for five minutes.

• Repeat some divine Stotras, hymns or Guru Stotras or chant OM 12 times or do Kirtan for five minutes.

These will quickly elevate you mind and drive off laziness and sleepiness. You must have a routine according to your convenience and time.

BENEFITS

If we arise before dawn, if possible at Brahmamuhurta, and perform our personal spiritual practice and then go to work, we will find that that our intellect and senses are strengthened greatly. We can be certain that our health will be at its best and we can work more efficiently. So get up, start your Meditation vigorously and enjoy the eternal bliss of the Inner Self. He who wants to live long and be healthy should wake up from sleep at Brahmamuhurta.

MEDITATION TECHNIQUE

• Sit in any comfortable posture which you can maintain without difficulty throughout the practice. Close your eyes… let your whole body become relaxed and steady… Keep your spine erect and place your hands on the knees… Feel deep peace pervade the whole body and mind… Become aware of the natural breath… feel the air as it flows in and out of the nostrils…

• Contract the glottis slightly and begin to practice Ujjayi Pranayama… The breath should be natural and spontaneous rather than deep… Practice very soft Ujjayi breathing so that only you can hear it…

• Become aware of the psychic passage between the navel and the throat… Feel the breath moving up and down the psychic passage… On inhalation the breath ascends from the navel to the throat… On exhalation it descends from the throat to the navel…

• Continue to move the breath up and down the psychic passage between the throat and the navel… Count the number of respirations and at the same time… Be aware of the path through which your consciousness is ascending and descending... Be aware that you are breathing up and down and side by side, maintain complete awareness of the counting… Start counting from 1 right up to 100...

• Focus your attention on the navel and notice the movement of your abdomen… With inspiration the navel expands… with expiration it contracts…Maintain awareness of the expansion... and contraction… of your abdomen, and the ascending and descending breath, along with the counting…

• Now take your awareness to Mooladhara Chakra at the base of the spine…Continue to practice Ujjayi Pranayama… As you inhale, send the breath up the spinal cord from Mooladhara to Ajna Chakra. As you exhale, send the breath down through the spinal cord to Mooladhara.

• Continue to breathe up and down the spinal cord… Feel the Ujjayi breath becoming longer and finer… Fix your attention on Mooladhara Chakra… Ascend the inspired breath through the spinal cord to Ajna and descend the expired breath through the spinal cord to Mooladhara… Continue to practice in this way…

• Feel the breath and awareness move up and down the spinal cord in a steady… continuous … rhythmic flow…

• Now leave the psychic passage and the breath…and focus your awareness at the eyebrow centre…Visualize the form of your choice (Om, a point, star, candle flame, crescent moon, flower or any symbol.) and develop complete awareness of that form…Try to see the form very clearly…Hold it for some time…See that the mind does not waver…Watch the form consciously and try to merge yourself within it…Do not lose your awareness of the form…If thoughts come, be aware of them, but go on concentrating on the form…As soon as the mind becomes disturbed… the form will fade… but as long as the mind is quiet and concentrated the form will remain clear…

• Now it is time to end the practice…Again bring your awareness to the natural breath…Become aware of the physical body and slowly open your eyes.

Courtesy: Dr. Rita Khanna

Om Shanti