A Standing Meditation is not only an excellent DIY Stress Relief technique – standing still is also good exercise!
Standing meditation is a tai chi technique that focuses your mind, relaxes tension, and cleanses your entire body. Our unbalanced and sometimes unhealthy lifestyles cause the internal energy flow in our bodies to become blocked... to be able to cope with stress effectively, energy and oxygen need to be able to flow effortlessly into and throughout the entire body from the tips of your toes to the ends of your fingers.
With the practice of any type of meditation, your state of mental and physical relaxation deepens, health improves and you can induce the relaxation response at will... In short, the negative effects of stress become less and less!
Ideally standing meditation should be practiced 1 to 3 times daily. Start out by doing 5 minutes at a time, building up to 20 minutes, and not doing more than 45 minutes at one time. At any time that you notice your mind wandering, take it back to simply following your breath. You will soon see why advanced students of meditation do so much standing meditation.
I will take you through a simple Standing Meditation. As you become more adept at it, you can try other postures. You can also include a meditation to open and activate the various energy centres.
Stand with your feet parallel, shoulder width apart, toes straight ahead. Keep your knees slightly bent so that your feet, knees and shoulders are vertically aligned. Have your arms hanging loosely at your sides to begin with. Or you can place one hand on your stomach and the other on your lower back to make sure that your abdomen is contracting in and expanding out with each breath.
(Get used to Abdominal Breathing for optimal breath benefit!)
Keep your back straight. Imagine your head and spine are suspended on a string connecting you to the sky. This allows your lungs to breath at full capacity and increased oxygen flow improves cell function of every cell in your body.
Gaze into a space far in front of you and slightly above your normal line of sight – this helps with concentration. You can have your eyes slightly closed.
Keep your mouth relaxed, it can be slightly open, but breathe through your nose.
Have a slight smile on your face (“si xiao fei xiao – “like smile, not smile”)
Now, slowly raise your arms to shoulder level. Bend them, as if embracing a big, slightly flattened balloon.
The palms of your hands must face your body and be more or less one foot apart. Keep your fingers apart and slightly bent. Your elbows are slightly dropping down but still pointing outwards.
This position might feel uncomfortable at first and needs effort to maintain BUT don’t use excessive force. To help you relax, imagine that your arms are resting on a ball floating on water. Remember that balloon between your arms?... Keep holding it lightly without letting it escape, but don’t push on it and damage it!
Follow your breath with your mind, feeling it go in and out of you. Relax your mind and your body!
Do a Body Scan and breathe out any tension. As you exhale, imagine the tension flowing down, releasing and dispersing into the Earth.
Deepen your relaxation by using your imagination... Visualize yourself being in beautiful surroundings, smell the flowers, hear the birds, feel the breeze.
Imagine that you are submerged in warm water that is lightly massaging your body.
Do this for between 5 – 20 minutes . Don’t strain yourself.
Slowly drop your arms, or allow them to drop. Place your feet together, place your hands behind your back.
Stretch out your legs by raising one of your legs straight out in front of you, and then bending it as you bring it in. Raise each leg in turn, keeping it absolutely straight, then bend it as you bring it in. Do four of those on each side.
Continue to breathe slowly and easily as you walk around the room. Be aware of how you feel and how your body feels.
Take it easy for the next few minutes as you slowly come back to your normal life.
Seems too easy? Try it and feel the results of a Standing meditation.
Click here to read why standing meditation is such an effective form of exercise, as well as being a highly recommended stress relief technique.