This year I had my first tooth implant (also yogis are getting old!). Ever since I had an extremely painful, unpleasant experience at the dentist around 20 years ago, I’m someone who breaks into a sweat the moment I sit down in the dentists’ chair.
OK, you don’t feel anything because of the local anesthetic. But you can hear everything: the sound of high-pitched drilling, the dentist talking to the assistant. And the worse thing is all the nervous chatter inside your mind. My internal voice is usually saying “What if the drug stops working now? Or now? Or NOW?”
This time, using the simple Yoga Nidra 61-point meditation, I relaxed so much during the surgeries that I almost enjoyed it.
What is the 61-point meditation?
The 61 point meditation is a Yoga Nidra practice, a powerful meditation technique practiced lying in the Savasana pose. Yoga Nidra means “Yogic Sleep” because the practice takes us into a state midway between being asleep and awake. Our brainwaves are brought into the very low Delta wave frequency, as with non-REM sleep. Deep sleep is the key to overall health because it's during this phase that the body naturally heals itself, as the mind.
Shifting attention to different body parts like in this exercise has a tantric origin (nyasa). Originally, it involves repeating Sanskrit mantras every time the person doing the practice moves to another part.
The 61-point meditation makes this practice accessible to everyone as there is no Sanskrit included. It can be accompanied by visualizations.
What benefits does this practice have?
Focusing on the 61 points draws our senses inwards ( Pratyahara) – an important part of yogic practice - and away from what is causing us pain and making us anxious. We also focus our mind on a single point rather than trying to force it to be still, which is highly unnatural for it. Practicing focus has a high value in our modern live with social media and internet.
When we disconnect from the sensory channels and relax the 61 points, we feel a physical release because they’re all nerve rich and constantly send signals to our brain.
How do I do it?
It’s very simple. Focus on each point in turn, inhale and exhale and move on to the next one. If it’s hard for you to stay focused, only stay on one point for the inhale. Move on to the next one when you exhale.
Practicing the 61-point meditation has no effect if you only do it a little bit. Better to do the whole practice with no distractions. It might be hard for you to do this at first. If you have any tasks to do- finish them first, so you feel free for the meditation.
If you become very distracted, it means you’ve reached your limit. Honor your limits, finish, and try again tomorrow. Don´t create a habit of daydreaming.
Experiment and discover what time works best for you. It’s best not to be tired so avoid practicing the 61-point meditation at night or in bed.
Afternoon works best for me.
I offer you here a recording of the 61 point meditation with some modifications as I prefer to practice it in this way.
Or maybe you want to record your own voice!? It ´s a great way to remember better the 61 points!
I would love to invite you to practice the 61-point meditation every day for the next 7 days.
The goal is for you to learn the 61-point meditation by heart, so you don’t need to listen to a recording (that draws your attention outwards again).
The original order is shown below.
The 61-point meditation is such an easy and powerful tool. When you master it, you’ll always have an amazing tool to use in moments of stress, anxiety, insomnia and anything else that disturbs the tranquility of your mind. That´s why we practice yoga: not to shine on our mat, but to learn tools to make our every day life free and fullfilled.
Let me know how the 7 days are going for you!
Thank you for your time!
Drawing by Paloma Vilella
T H E 6 1 P O I N T S
1 3rd eye 32 Solar plexus
2 Hollow of throat 33 Sacral centre
3 Right shoulder 34 Right hip
4 Right elbow 35 Right knee
5 Right wrist 36 Right ancle
6 Tip of the right thumb 37 Tip of the right big toe
7 Tip of the right index finger 38 Tip of the right second toe
8 Tip of the right middle finger 39 Tip of the right third toe
9 Tip of the right ring finger 40 Tip of the right forth toe
10 Tip of the right pinky finger 41 Tip of the right pinky toe
11 Right wrist 42 Right ancle
12 Right elbow 43 Right knee
13 Right shoulder 44 Right hip
14 Hollow of throat 45 Sacral centre
15 Left shoulder 46 Left hip
16 Left elbow 47 Left knee
17 Left wrist 48 Left ancle
18 Tip of the left thumb 49 Tip of left big toe
19 Tip of the left index finger 50 Tip of left second toe
20 Tip of the left middle finger 51 Tip of left third toe
21 Tip of the left ring finger 52 Tip of left forth toe
22 Tip of the left pinky finger 53 Tip of left pinky toe
23 Left wrist 54 Left ancle
24 Left elbow 55 Left knee
25 Left shoulder 56 Left hip
26 Hollow of throat 57 Sacral centre
27 Heart centre 58 Solar Plexus
28 Centre of the right chest 59 Heart centre
29 Heart Centre 60 Hollow of throat
30 Centre of the left chest 61 3rd eye
31 Heart centre