21-Day Meditation Challenge Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 20

Day 8: Go Deeper

20 min - Practice


Similar to yesterday's practice, we find a seat, align, and establish our base before moving into a counting technique to focus and calm the mind. After establishing our framework, we soften and expand on the mantra AUM.
What You'll Need: No props needed

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Here we are Yogi's meditation number eight. Today's meditation will be very similar to yesterday's, but I'm going to change it up just a little bit when it comes to Aum and the use of the mantra. So I'll describe it when we get there. Let's begin the same way. Find your seat, make sure you're comfortable, and then close your eyes.

And then as always, this should just be something that you now do when you come to sit and meditate, establish your base, anything that isn't quite right in the feet or the knees or the thighs or the sitting bones, you adjust. Sometimes you have to adjust just literally what you're sitting on in terms of height. And then once you've done that, align the pelvic bowls so that you're not spilling forwards or rotating backwards. You want to find center neutral. If it were a bowl, it's level, the water is level in the bowl.

And then up the spine you go, creating the natural curves, optimal energy flow and the least amount of effort required when we align the spine. Covers as well, chin parallel with the floor, and then you begin to relax. You've established your framework and now you can soften around it. Letting go of tension in your body, the kind of tension you can release purely through your awareness, becoming softer and more relaxed and more at ease. And then you begin to check in, you've set up your body, you're moving inwards, truth of your current state right now.

Simply landing on the breath, just a few moments, the simplicity of observing natural breathing. And then repeating, repeating the counting technique. So now you know it and you use it. Starting with 50, even numbers exhalation, odd numbers with inhalations. So we'll drop right into that practice and into the silence together now.

Thank you. you you you you remember if you make it down to 20 without distracting then just count exhalations. Stay with this technique just a little bit longer before we shift into mantra. you you you you you you're still using the counting technique let it go now. We're going to shift into the use of OM. So yesterday when I introduced it I tried to keep it very simple. Just chanting OM in your mind with exhalations. Today a little bit different. So OM technically is considered to have four sections. It's broken down into AH, OO, MMM and the silence that follows. So instead of just chanting OM in your mind with exhale you're going to chant the whole sound in your mind across the span of inhalation and exhalation. So remember breath stays natural. Do not deepen your breathing. Do not try to make it a certain pranayama. Breath is unaltered. As inhale happens naturally in your mind's eye AH, OO, as you naturally exhale you move into MMM and the silence that follows. So with every natural breath that occurs AH, OO, MMM, AH, OO, MMM and it eventually just begins to feel like a continual cycle of OM. So let's try that. Observe your breathing. Remember if it feels a little bit awkward the moment you notice your breath, stay with it until it no longer feels awkward and it just feels like it's flowing completely effortlessly.

And then when you're ready to add in the sound in your mind begin AH, OO with inhale, MMM, into the silence that follows with exhale. So at first do coordinate it with inhale and exhale. So the technique helps hold you mentally. But at some point you might naturally lose the technique and just find yourself chanting OM over and over with no particular association with the breathing. But for as long as it's helpful break it up into inhale and exhale. Bring it back to that inner sound mantra being mind protection. You're regrooving your mind onto the sound of OM.

Remember to sit tall. There's anything accumulating in your body, tension, misalignment. Find the inner lift and let go of any gripping you detect as you hear that inner sound of OM. You you you Last few minutes to three more minutes OM. You you you Now bringing this meditation towards its end. Still hearing that inner sound of OM releasing the technique, having that last moment to pause, take notice, feel the benefits of your practice today, notice the differences maybe in mind and energy and emotional content and that deeper spiritual connection. And as always palms together, hands together at your heart, namaste. And thank you so much for your commitment to doing this work. It is not always easy to sit still and to be with yourself. Tomorrow we move into mantra meditation even more deeply. So we'll change the mantra and extend our time with mantra and we really are linking to the yoga tradition kind of away from a neutral mindfulness based way to meditate into the heart of meditation from yoga. So I'm looking forward to meditation number nine. See you on the cushion. Thank you.


Peg M
3 people like this.
I am eager to communicate with others doing this challenge. And not eager to spread my thoughts all over the cyber world- but here it goes. Just finished day 8 of this meditation challenge. Day 1-5 were easy for me, it was new, I felt focused, calm, etc. Day 6-8 have been quite a struggle. Mind shooting off in all directions, body uncomfortable. I have this habit of falling into ooji breathing whenever I am on my yoga mat, so I can't seem to find "natural" breathing with these various techniques. But I bought a Mala and I am ready perservere.
Nikki Estrada
Peg ! What you are going through is not uncommon. Stay with the process and let yourself observe everything you are experiencing. Some days are easier than others, and by the end you will be able to look back and discover which techniques were best for you and why. I had a challenging time when i went from years of counting breath style to mala and mantra and now its my favorite!!
Curtis Hamilton
Today counting was effortless. I enjoyed the mantra meditation. At the end, I did not want to stop. This was the best meditation experience that I have had maybe ever.
Nikki Estrada
So happy to hear that Curtis !!!
1 person likes this.
great practice. segmenting the AUM into 4 bits made things go deeper without me 'spacing out'. thanks
Chrys M
1 person likes this.
I enjoyed the mantra more today than yesterday. It evolved into the word 'love' though and so I let it go to that. I'm really feeling the benefits of meditation, feeling a calmness in myself that I haven't felt before. Thanks so much.
Glenford N
Thanks Nikki. I'm getting a deeper understanding of meditation, a real learning experience about the subtle layers of mind body and soul. Namaste.
Lori L
1 person likes this.
What a great way to start 2020!  These meditations are amazing.  21 minutes flies by!  Thanks, Nikki
Nikki Estrada
Awesome! Happy New Year Lori
Barbora K
Thank you for today. I am having trouble letting the breath be the way it is, but it will come. Eventually. Im sure :))) 

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