"Trāṭaka is a method of meditation that involves staring at a single point (in this case - a candle flame). It is said to bring energy to the "third eye" (ājňā chakra) and promote various psychic abilities.
By fixing the gaze the restless mind too comes to a halt. It is said also that control of the ciliary (blink) reflex stimulates the pineal gland, which Kundalini Yoga identifies with the third eye. Trāṭaka is said to enhance the ability to concentrate. It increases the power of memory and brings the mind to a state of awareness, attention and focus."
During your session, Rachel will ask you to sit in odd-number groups around eye-level candle stands in a seated position. You'll be guided between Bahiranga (external gazing) and Antaranga (internal gazing). The intention is to find union with the chosen focal point, so you don’t recognize any difference between it and you. At such a time, you can travel beyond your individual identity into the collective psychic realm.
"Ajapa Japa is a powerful practice combining elements of pranayama, mantra chanting and meditation.
Japa means ‘repeating a mantra, ‘ and ajapa-japa means ‘constant repetition of the mantra.’ By uniting the breath and sound vibration of a mantra, this practice promotes the union of body, breath and mind. Ajapa japa is a complete practice in itself because it utilizes our different sensory abilities by working with awareness and breath (clairsentience), visualization (clairvoyance) and mantra (clairaudience).
The most famous mantra used while practicing ajapa japa is Soham (so ham) meaning, ‘I am That’ in Sanskrit. Once the mantra reverses it become (hamso) meaning ‘That I am.’ The mantra vibrates and purifies the mind. In this practice we move our awareness along a specific nadi (channel/meridian) in the body, among others in the nostrils, in the spinal channel and frontal channel."
Rachel will guide you through the entire process as you find yourself "becoming" your extrasensory self. This practice is also used as a preparatory stage for the Kundalini Awakening as it leads the practitioner through a visualization of the "piercing" of each chakra.
"Yoga nidra (yogic sleep) is a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping, like the "going-to-sleep" stage. It is a state in which the body is completely relaxed, and the practitioner becomes systematically and increasingly aware of the inner world by following a set of verbal instructions. This state of consciousness (yoga nidra) is different from meditation in which concentration on a single focus is required. In yoga nidra the practitioner remains in a state of light withdrawal of the 5 senses (pratyahara) with four of his or her senses internalised, that is, withdrawn, and only the hearing still connects to the instructions. The yogic goal of both paths, deep relaxation (yoga nidra) and meditation are the same, a state of meditative consciousness called samadhi.
Each time you practice yoga nidra meditation you’re stilling the waves of the mind through conscious entry into the sleep state. How?
You start with sensing the body and breathing in specific ways in order to trigger the relaxation response. The relaxation response balances the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and balances the left and right brain. In the process, your brain shifts from beta, an awakened state with lots of brain activity, to alpha, a more relaxed state. In alpha, the mood-regulating hormone serotonin gets released, and this calms you down. People who spend little time in an alpha brain-wave state have more anxiety than those who spend more time in alpha. Think of a car: if you want to stop and turn off the engine, you first need to downshift. Shifting your brain into an alpha state starts its process of “powering down,” or coming into a rest state with slower, restorative brain-wave activity.""
Rachel will guide you through a channeled (yet familiar) practice aimed at preparing the mind for it's own desired journey. Certain stages within this practice can feel hypnotizing and and seem to "magically" open the door to the new levels of psychic awareness.