|[ Excerpt from The Science of Yoga, page 369 ]
Kshiti is the Sanskrit word for "horizon." The kshitijan kriya is an inner visualization of the early morning horizon.
The dharmika asana is a particularly good pose for these simple visualization/concentration exercises as it calms the nervous system and allows the mind to relax, while at the same time directing the consciousness to a natural point of concentration known as bindu nadi, a place within the region of the pre-frontal lobe related to 'inner vision'.
- While relaxed in the dharmika asana, turn you mind toward the point at which the forehead comes in contact with the floor.
- Try to hold your attention upon this point for a few moments, bringing your mind back to it each time it strays.
- Now allow your concentration to draw slightly inside the head from this point to a place between the hemispheric folds of the brain known as bindu nadi.
- While holding your concentration upon this point, imagine that you are looking at the Eastern sky just before dawn.
- Imagine this mental landscape as a velvety, warm darkness.
- Slowly imagine a brilliantly unfolding sunrise, in all its warmth and colour.
- Simply relax into the pleasant warmth of this inner scene and allow the experience to flood throughout your entire nervous system.
Effects and Benefits
The inner visualizations are powerful techniques for cleansing of the subconscious mind from its habitual tendencies. These are good practices for the development of the power of concentration (dharana), which is an essential element of the higher stages of yoga.
You will soon notice that, although techniques such as the kshitijan kriya seem rather simple, they can in fact be quite difficult for the one whose mind is very active. When your mind wanders away during the practice, simply bring it back and continue with the visualization. The more you practice, the greater hold upon the mind you will develop, and a greater sense of absorption you will feel within the practice.
The distracted mind naturally feels resistance to being held in one place, so in the beginning there can be a great aversion to practices such as these. The mind attempts to avoid these practices by contriving notions that they are merely simple techniques which have little value. Yet they are indeed powerful practices! Do not let yourself cast away these efforts out of sheer laziness and apathy, else you will never experience the profound benefits of these methods. Success with these inner concentration techniques demands regular practice. Sporadic efforts and feeble attempts will yield little results...
NOTE: This yoga article is an excerpt from The Science of Yoga, an online yoga training program with streaming yoga videos and 600 pages of step-by-step yoga instruction.
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