Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Jilly Shipway, author of the new Yoga Through the Year.
Seasonal meditation questions are a series of open inquiries that help you to reflect on how you wish to use your energy and set your intentions for the coming season. In seasonal yoga we use them every six weeks or so (to correspond with the solstices, equinoxes, and seasonal transition points). By working with them you can become your own year-round life coach. The questions combined with a meditative approach give you access to the deep wisdom of your subconscious mind and help you to align your own energy to the prevalent energy of the season. Throughout the year they give you the opportunity to review progress in all areas of your life, and if you’ve gone off track, you can correct yourself and get back on course again.
Here are some examples of meditation questions for the Summer Solstice, when there is a gradual shift in energy from outward action to inner reflection and contemplation:
- Which outward achievements do I wish to bring inside to my inner sanctuary to be processed and transformed?
- Do I value both my inner and outer worlds in equal measure?
- Which seeds do I wish to incubate during the darker half of the year?
- What do I want to nurture and develop in myself over the coming months?
And here are some for Summer to Autumn, which is the season of first harvest:
- What is my own personal harvest?
- Who has helped me to realise my harvest, and how will I thank them?
- How will I celebrate my harvest and how will I share my abundance with others?
- Which seeds will I be incubating over the autumn and winter ready to plant out next spring?
There are various ways that you can use the meditation questions, and even if you haven’t much time, you’ll still be able to fit them in. For example, you could read the meditation questions before you go to bed, and trust that your subconscious and the universal conscious will come up with some wonderful answers while you are sleeping.
Many of us spend too much time sitting down, so the last thing we want to do is spend more time sitting and meditating. The good news is that you can walk and meditate! You can walk meditatively along a corridor at work, in your room or garden, in the park, or anywhere else. As you walk, gently turn the meditation question over in your mind. If your mind wanders off, gently bring your awareness back to focusing on the question.
Or, during a yoga session, you could try holding a meditation question in your mind as you stay in a yoga pose, or incorporate it into a sitting meditation or yoga relaxation.
In my book, Yoga Through the Year: A Seasonal Approach to Your Practice, you’ll find the full set of meditation questions for each season, as well as mindfulness exercises, visualizations, meditations, yoga poses and sequences that are specially designed for each season, and you’ll also learn how to personalize the practices to fit your needs all year long.
Our thanks to Jilly for her guest post! For more from Jilly Shipway, read her article, “7 Ways to Create a Balanced Life with Yoga and Seasonal Awareness.”