Review: Meditation For Relaxation – 60 Meditative Practices To Reduce Stess, Cultivate Calm, and Improve Sleep

Meditation For Relaxation –
60 Meditative Practices To Reduce Stress,
Cultivate Calm & Improve Sleep

Author: Adam O’Neill
Althea Press
2019
ISBN #978-1-64152-396-7

“Meditation For Relaxation” is all about using meditation as a tool to help enrich your life. In his introduction, O’Neill talks about meditation improving our quality of life in many ways. (Having practiced meditation for many years, I would add to this that meditation improves the quality of our lives on all levels.) O’Neill also notes that the practice of meditation is not inherently religious, and that it can be practiced by anyone, no matter what their belief system. He talks about his mother encouraging him to “use the breath” – to tune into the present moment to improve mental preparation, focus, and performance. The bottom line: the practice of meditation allows us to detach from our thoughts, allowing us to reset our relationship with our total life experience.

Before going into meditative practices, O’Neill addresses what exactly meditation is, and how it helps us to relax, reduce stress, and sleep better. He then presents a quick five minute meditation to help achieve calm and relaxation. The meditation was very simple, and easy for anyone to follow. The second meditation that he presents is on being “present and complete” – which helps us to reassure ourselves that we are complete as we are.

The meditations that follow are all for specific time periods, and for a specific purpose (such as relaxation, releasing layers of memory and emotion, walking meditations, awareness in the present moment, using a visual focal point to maintain awareness in the present, working with the sound of rain, working with aromatherapy, working with non-attachment, accessing your emotions, and so much more!). I found them all to be easy to follow, and quite effective.

There are twenty different meditations presented – all powerful tools of empowerment. At the end of the book several different resources are presented, including books and an app, as well as a listing of references, and an index. The index itself is a wonderful way to find the meditation that you need at any given time, and is worth its weight in gold!

I should really add a little PS here – Mr. O’Neill is the CEO of YMF.tv, a merger of Broga®Yoga (which he co-founded) and Yoga For Men.

 

© August 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

Heart Yoga

Heart Yoga –
The Sacred Marriage Of
Yoga And Mysticism

Author: Andrew Harvey, Karuna Erickson
Foreword: Rodney Yee
North Atlantic Books
2010
ISBN #978-1-55643-897-4

Andrew Harvey is an internationally acclaimed poet, translator, novelist, spiritual teacher, and Sacred Activist. Karuna Erickson has been a yoga practitioner/teacher and psychotherapist for over forty years. In combining their wisdom and experience – they have made magic!

Heart Yoga is the marriage of the yoga of the illumed body with the mysticism of the awakened heart. In his foreword, Yee notes that Erickson had received all of the wisdom that he had to teach her. She had an in-depth understanding of yoga, and was in the process of adding the element of feminine awakening to the evolution of yoga. Yee sees the practice of Heart Yoga as necessary preparation for the transition into the great shift that mankind is currently undergoing.

Having never practiced yoga, I was encouraged by the presentation of the subject of yoga in general, and its merger with spirituality and the divine feminine. Through text and photographs, the practice of Heart Yoga is presented through the Five Joys:

· The Joy of Transcendence – Transcendence
· The Joy Of Creation – The Sacred Feminine
· The Joy Of Love For All Beings – Compassionate Love
· The Joy of Tantra – Union With The Divine
· The Joy Of Service – Serve Others With Joy & Compassion

Each section begins with a basic discussion of the specific joy, and then takes the reader through a series of poses associates with that Joy. Interspersed throughout are excerpts of sacred writing from mystical sages such as Rumi, Hafiz, Francis of Assisi, Buddha, and the Dali Lama. The alchemical effects of yoga on the body and consciousness are also discussed – different poses serve different purposes, and are performed in a specific order because of this.

While the practice of yoga has the side effect of improved health (mental and physical), the real purpose is to achieve unity with the divine. This is a goal that can be reached by anyone with proper intent and practice.

At the end of the book Erickson and Harvey share their journey to date – how they got to this point in their work, what they aer passionate about, and where their work is headed.

This is a beautifully written and photographed workbook for placing the practice of Heart Yoga into the life of the reader. It also acts as a great reference book for yoga in general. Any individual, from any background, with or without experience practicing yoga would be able to work with the material presented here in a safe, knowledgeable manner.

© May 2010 Bonnie Cehovet