We all have an inner flame (Agni) which gives us the unique energy of who we are, providing us the sustainability for our body, mind, breath, and spirit. As we ride the waves of life, sometimes the tides are high, sometimes low, and when there is a disruption to the energy of our life’s flow, imbalance occurs. Our inner flame may feel as if it is being blown out, creating unwanted stress in our lives. Although stress finds its way to all of us, it does not mean we have to surrender to it. Meditation is one of the many positive ways to bring stress relief to ourselves. It helps us live our lives each day with more peace and calm, while keeping our inner flame strongly lit as we flow with the tides of life.

Here is a quick meditation for you to practice if stress has made an unwelcoming visit and has settled into your body. Read the meditation a few times to become familiar with the exercise so it will come very naturally to you when you are ready to begin. 
 
Find a comfortable place where you can relax with ease. This can be your bed, couch, favorite chair, or even outdoors. Let it be a place where you will not become easily distracted or interrupted. Close your eyes, take a couple of deep breaths into your body, and settle into the comfortable space that surrounds you. Allow your exhalations to be longer than your inhalations, as this has a calming, soothing effect for the entire body. Feel your chest and ribcage expand and relax while the belly rises and falls as you breathe in and out through the nose. Let the breath be soft, not forceful. As you inhale, feel the cool breath travel to the roof of your mouth, all the way up to your brain, and let the cool breath refresh your mind.  As you exhale, allow the tension to leave your body. Channel your next inhalation throughout your entire body, soothing your nerves, and as you exhale, soften your spirit, and lighten your load. With each exhaled breath, release your cares, empty your mind,  invite calm into your entire being, and come home to yourself once again. Repeat as you wish.

If finding a quiet place to relax is not possible, whether it is because we are stuck in traffic, at work, or waiting for an appointment at the doctor’s office, we may still practice this meditation. Focusing, directing, feeling, and being aware of the breath and its sensations brings us to the present moment and helps us not to concentrate on our stress. This brings a grounding effect to our minds and bodies when stress often makes us feel ungrounded. Also, by taking deep breaths of fresh oxygen into our bodies, it sends a message to our nervous system that all is well, leaving us feeling calmer and relaxed.


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