hatha yoga in Austin Texas
Visual Meditations
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hatha yoga in Austin Texas

Soft Vision: This is a wonderful release for the overworked eyes. Moreover, it is a spiritual practice used independently in many widely divergent disciplines spanning the planet. This technique is practiced by Indian Yogi's, certain tribes of American Indians, students of the Russian Gurdjeff Schools, European Gypsies, and it is described in detail in the series of books by Carlos Castenada based upon his friendship with a Mexican Indian named Don Juan. Soft vision is a way of looking at the world without straining the eyes. Equally important, it gives the practitioner a whole new perspective on the universe, turning the ordinary into the magical and giving insight into the mysterious. It is the first step in a series of visionary exercises designed to expand awareness.

Look straight ahead at the most distant object in your field of vision. Now cross your eyes slightly, so that your field of vision is blurred and seen in double vision. Spread your awareness evenly in an ever larger circle until you are aware of the entire field of vision. Soften your eyes with a smile (smiling with your eyes, not grinning with your mouth!). Completely relax the eyes without any attempt to influence what or how they see. Rather than focusing on a specific object and jumping from object to object, the eyes become equally aware of your entire field of vision, and they rest softly without jumping around. As the eyes relax, so the mind becomes calm. Smile with your eyes and allow that smile to soften your face and spread throughout your body. Focusing on nothing, you become aware of everything.

Trakata: This technique enhances your control over the senses and increases your awareness and control of your external environment. Open your eyes and look at an object that evokes in you a pleasant reaction and hold it in your vision excluding all else. Do not let your eyes or your mind or your other senses wander! Release your eyes before they get tired or dry out and then splash cold water on your eyes to relieve fatigue. With practice you may experience the sense of separation between you and the object you observe melt away and allow yourself to become one with the object of your concentration.

Eyes Up!: This technique, once mastered, quickly shuts down your internal dialogue and quiets the mind, bringing your full attention into the present moment. It also can generate feelings of mild euphoria. Caution should be exercised when learning as it can lead to eye strain or headaches if overdone or done incorrectly. Contacts should be removed if they cause any discomfort while doing this exercise.

Open your eyes and gently roll them up to look at the ceiling, then drop your chin an inch as you continue to look at the same spot on the ceiling. Let you eyes slip out of focus and relax the eyes and the face and your whole body. Let the eyes be drawn toward the third-eye, a little above and between the eyebrows. Notice if there is any strain or unpleasant sensation in the eyes. If there is, immediately lower the eyes just enough so that there is no sensation of straining, but do not quit. The eyes should be positioned as high as possible without causing any strain. Then learn to breath and relax while holding this position. If it starts to feel good, roll up a little further. If it starts to feel unpleasant, immediately back off a little bit. Try to adjust for maximum pleasure with no discomfort. Hold for 1 minute at first and over a period of time, build to 3-5 minutes. Afterwards perform a facial and eye massage for a minute and then move into your favorite sitting meditation.

Eyes Down!: This technique, once mastered, also shuts down your internal dialogue and quiets the mind, bringing your full attention into the present moment. It often increases students awareness of their own bodies, and especially of their posture. Caution should be exercised when learning this exercise as it can lead to eye strain or headaches if overdone or done incorrectly. Contacts should be removed if they cause any discomfort while doing this exercise.

Open your eyes and gently drop them down to look at the floor, then raise your chin an inch as you continue to look at the same spot on the floor. Let you eyes slip out of focus and relax the eyes and the face and your whole body. Notice if there is any strain or unpleasant sensation in the eyes. If there is, immediately lift the eyes just enough that there is no sensation of straining, but do not quit. The eyes should be positioned as low as possible, without causing any strain. Then learn to breathe and relax while holding this position. If it starts to feel good, roll down a little further, if it starts to feel unpleasant, immediately back off a little bit. Try to adjust for maximum pleasure with no discomfort. Hold for 1 minute at first and over a period of time, build to 3-5 minutes. Afterwards perform a facial and eye massage for a minute and then move into your favorite sitting meditation.

hatha yoga in Austin Texas

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