Cyclic meditation is a special type of meditation that combines yoga postures with supine rest, joining stimulating and calming practices together. Beginning meditators are usually able to maintain their focus for longer periods of time due to the changes in position. This allows for longer periods of successful meditation and consequently, more relaxation.
A research study by Sarang and Telles studied oxygen consumption during cyclic meditation vs. traditional meditation in supine and found that combining yoga postures with supine rest reduces the oxygen consumption more than resting supine alone.
So what does that mean? Cyclic meditation is more relaxing then traditional meditation. It is speculated that is could be more beneficial as a result.
Follow the instructions below, holding each position for at least 2-3 minutes. Mountain pose is used as an example, but a different yoga asana could be used if desired.
STEP ONE: Mountain Pose
- Stand with your legs shoulder width apart with toes pointed ahead. Press your feet down into the floor.
- Tighten your thigh muscles and pull in the abdominals.
- Elongate your back and neck as you pull the shoulder blades down and in.
- Relax your arms down by your side.
- Stand tall in this position, focusing on deep even breath for desired length of time.
STEP TWO: Corpse (Relaxation) Pose
- Slowly transition down onto your back with your legs hips width apart and rotated out.
- Rest arms comfortably at your sides with palms up.
- Relax every part of your body and breathe deeply. Remain in this position for the desired length of time, focusing on the breath. Feel free to use a pillow under the head or knees for comfort.
STEP THREE: Repeat
Repeat the cycle at least 2-3 times. Begin with 10 minutes total, working up to 30 minutes for maximum relaxation and health benefits.
Sarang, P.S and Telles, S (2006). Oxygen consumption and respiration during and after two yoga relaxation techniques. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. 31, 143-153.
Photo Credits: Yogajournal.com and personal photo