By Jenny Kaagan
It has been raining a lot recently in San Diego - what a rare occurrence! I have found the rhythmic rain to be a source of renewal and to have a centering effect. This powerful cleansing nature of rain combined with a camping trip in Death Valley National Park inspired the meditation below.
Sit in a seated position where you will be comfortable for a few minutes. Whatever seat feels most comfortable. You can also sit on a block or blanket for support. Hands can rest on your knees or your arms can fall by your sides.
Breathe normally to begin. Observe the pattern of your breath without judgment or internal commentary. You can breathe this way for the entire meditation or engage your Ujjayi breathing; constricting the back of your throat while breathing in through your nose and out through your nose. Remember to keep breathing throughout the mediation.
Imagine yourself walking through a desert. The sun is hot and there is dust in the air. When you walk, the desert dust starts to cover your feet, legs, arms, hands and face in a thick coating. Think of that dust as anything that happened, anyone you came across today that does not serve you; anything or anyone that caused stress, angered you or made you sad. The dust is building up layer by layer with each step, each breath that you take. Your limbs are becoming heavy. Feel that weight without judgment or internal commentary.
Clouds start to fill the sky as you continue walking, blocking the light of the sun. Droplets of rain begin to fall. You can hear each droplet fall on that thick layer of dust; changing small circles from light brown to dark brown. You feel those droplets heavy on your eyelashes. The rain starts to come down harder. You can first feel the water start to untangle the dust from your hair. The rain gently falls on your shoulders, breaking apart the thick layers of dust, water running down your arms to your fingertips. Currents run from the crown of your head, down past each chakra, cleansing your third-eye, your throat, your heart, your solar plexus, your sacral, and your root. The rain continues even when all the dust has left your skin. Everything that does not serve you has been washed away, drop-by-drop. You are clean.
With each step you notice that the earth is giving birth to green life. Small sprouts start to emerge from what once dry and lifeless. That desert is growing into a lush green forest. The rain becomes lighter and lighter, such small droplets you can barely feel them. You sit in the forest, surrounded by life; life that was created by the same rain that cleansed you.
Return to your normal breath. Inhale and exhale mindfully. Gradually return to the room. Wiggle your fingers and toes. Roll your wrists. Bring your arms over your head and circle them around - palms meeting at heart center.
About Jenny Kaagan
Jenny started practicing yoga about five years ago after graduating from college and has been a certified yoga instructor since 2015. Her yoga practice has transformed her spiritually and serves as constant through all of life’s inconsistencies. Jenny works in finance during the week and enjoys a new adventure whenever possible, hiking with her dog Bagheera, camping, and taking classes at new yoga studios.