Moving through Tension to Relaxation: Shakti Chalana Mudra

I find this extremely good for releasing tension. I have even done it at 3 am when I recognise tension and fall asleep very quickly afterwards.


Sit cross-legged on the floor and make sure you are resting on your sitting bones. You can use a block if you wish or you may sit on a chair if cross legged is too uncomfortable. Your spine should be comfortably upright with your head in line and chin slightly dropped. Have enough room around you to circle your torso centred on the 6 levels of the trunk, neck and head ie sitting area, pelvis, stomach, mid-chest, upper chest/base of the neck and top of the spine/base of the skull.

Note: If you are doing this on a chair be careful particularly when circling in the sitting area as if you go too deeply you might fall off the chair.

  1. BODY SCAN: lightly close your eyes and scan your body for any tension, pain or discomfort. Do this by taking your awareness to your different body parts starting with your feet and toes and working upward through lower legs, thighs, hip joints, lower abdomen, stomach area, chest, hands, lower arms, upper arms, shoulders, neck, head, back and vertebral column. Don’t linger on any part but stay just enough time to notice if there is anything that is not at ease. Finish by scanning the whole body.
  2. INNER LIGHT: with your eyes still closed become aware of the light that is coming from behind your eyes not in-front. This is an inner light that may be bright, dull, opaque or transparent etc. Sit with it for a short while. Become aware of the quality of the light.
  3. BREATHING: bring your awareness to your breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils. Notice how it is without changing it.
  4. PRATYAHARA: stop connecting mentally to what is going on outside of you and become aware of your body from the inside. Stay with that.
  5. THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS: as you circle let thoughts and feelings come, flow freely and go without getting attached to them.

ALWAYS REPEAT IN BOTH DIRECTIONS ie clockwise and anti-clockwise.

Circle 1:

Make sure you are sitting on your sitting bones.

TAKE YOUR AWARENESS INSIDE TO YOUR SITTING AREA then slowly begin to make very wide circular movements (your chest and torso go out to the right side, then above your right inner thigh, above your lower legs and the space in-front of you, then above your left inner thigh and then completing the circle up your left side to your sitting starting position).

You may start on the left side if preferred.

Start the movement slowly and then let it begin to happen almost automatically. Do not go so slowly that your mind starts moving from one thought to another taking you outside of your body or so fast you cannot connect with your inner body. You need to be slow enough to notice tensions or discomfort. Be aware of the feedback and knowledge coming from inside your body.

Opening and stretching will be felt on the opposite side to the side you started on or are moving through, eg if you move to the right you will notice the stretching and opening on the left.

Notice how your body weight is moving as your awareness moves.

When you have done enough gently stop, stabilise and circle the other way.

When you are finished stabilise in your starting position and rest for a few moments.

Do not overstretch: You should feel that deep seated tensions are beginning to release.

Repeat the Practice as in Circle 1 in the Following Areas:

Circle 2: Stabilise then move your inner awareness to your Pelvic area / Lower Abdominal area.

Circle 3: Stabilise then move your inner awareness to your Stomach area.

Circle 4: Stabilise then move your inner awareness to your Mid-Chest area.

Circle 5: Stabilise then move your inner awareness to the top of your Chest / Base of the Skull area.

Circle 6: Stabilise then move your inner awareness to the top of your Spine / Base of your Skull area. This is a very small, very gentle slow movement.

When you are finished you may like to repeat it moving from your head down noticing any changes in the areas where there were tensions, discomfort or pain.

June Skeggs, YHET Member

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