(Relax and Renew, pp. 109-111; Gururattan Kaur Khalsa, Ph.D.)

When you want to meditate but don’t have time to do a complete yoga set beforehand, try one or more of the following exercises before sitting for meditation. End each by inhaling, pulling root lock (Mulbhand), holding and exhaling (or inhale, exhale and then pull root lock and hold).

  1. Frogs (to stimulate the 1st and 2nd chakras and help you sit): Squat on the toes, heels raised and touching each other, arms between legs, fingertips on floor and head up. Raise buttocks, allowing head to drop and look at knees and repeat 26, 52 or 108 times. (There is a different dynamic when done slowly or rapidly. When you do a slow frog, inhale squat, exhale straight legs. When you inhale, chest and head are up. When you exhale, draw the navel point in and head moves last. Heels do drop. Move slowly using long deep breaths.) Follow with forward bend.

  1. Forward Bends (to stretch legs, stimulate the life nerve and navel energy): Sit with legs stretched out in front, bend over grasping toes and exhale as you pull the heart / head to the knees, inhale as you come up and continue. (It is more important to lead with the heart than the head in this exercise. If you cannot bend your head down to touch your knees, then think of leading with the heart and bend your chest down as far as possible to touch your knees / legs.) An alternate position is to sit with legs spread wide apart, touching heart / knees to alternate knees for 1-2 minutes.

  1. Crow Squats (to stimulate and circulate energy from the 1st and 2nd chakras and make sitting easier): Squat, extending the arms straight ahead (or place hands in Venus Lock on top of head), and stand, repeating for 26 or 52 times. (You’ll be glad to sit down!)

  1. Inverted Camel Lifts (to raise the Kundalini energy up the spine): On back, bend knees drawing heels to buttocks, feet flat on the floor. Grasp ankles and arch the pelvis up, lifting the navel towards the sky on the inhale, returning to first position on the exhale and continue 26 or 52 times.

  1. Triangle Pose (to stimulate the pituitary and relax the spine and the mind): With feet hip width apart, bend over and place hands shoulder-width apart, about 3 feet in front of the feet. Raise buttocks in a triangle, arms and legs perfectly straight and hold with long deep breathing 3-5 minutes. End by pulling root lock (Mulbhand) on the held inhale. Follow with Gurpranam.

  1. Gurpranam (to stimulate pituitary and pineal glands and 6th & 7th chakras): Sit in Rock Pose and rest forehead on the floor, stretching the arms out in front, palms together and hold with long deep breathing for 2-3 minutes.

  1. Januirasana (for concentration): sit with the left heel in the perineum and the right leg stretched forward. Inhale, stretching arms overhead and exhale as you slowly bend forward and touch the heart / head to the right knee, clasping the toes of the right foot with both hands. Breathe long and deep for 2 minutes and then reverse legs and repeat. This is a classic meditation facilitator.

  1. Yoga Mudra (for moving energy up and opening the spine): Sit in easy pose, Lotus Pose or Rock Pose and lower the head to the ground, clasping the hands in Venus Lock on the back, breathing long and deep for 1-3 minutes.

  1. Adha Shakti Chalnee Kriya (to stimulate the 6th and 7th chakras): Kneel and bring the head to the ground, lifting the feet and shins up off the ground and balance with the hands in Venus Lock on the back. Meditate at the Brow Point for 3 minutes.

  1. To Open the Crown Chakra: A) Right hand in Gyan Mudra on the right knee, lock left nostril with thumb of left hand, fingers pointing straight up, Breath of Fire through the right nostril for 3-5 minutes. Inhale deeply, hold and savor the space, exhale, relax and meditate. (For a clear, relaxed mind.) B) Hands in Venus Lock on top of the head, with Breath of Fire for 3-5 minutes, focusing eyes on the Crown Chakra, tongue pressing the roof of the mouth.

After any of the facilitators assume or continue in meditation posture with a perfectly straight spine and a slightly tucked chin (neck lock). Place the tongue on the roof of the mouth and begin long deep breathing (4 or fewer breaths per minute). Then begin your meditation.