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 involuntary movement during meditation
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will.iam

23 Posts

Posted - Mar 26 2006 :  11:13:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit will.iam's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Hello All,

I have been meditating with the IAM mantra since about October/November of last year, however I have been more serious this year and am going deeper almost every day. I've been noticing for the last few weeks that my body has begun to move while meditating. My spine bends left and right sometimes forward, I do not encourage or discourage the movement.

When it started it was a gentle swaying. The movement is greater and stronger lately. I felt almost bent over forward at the end of meditation this evening.

I am sitting in a chair, feet on the floor, due to a severe ankle injury early this year, and plan on moving back to a cushion on the floor in a few weeks. Dunno if this could be a factor.

Anyhow, I am wondering if this is something to be concerned about. I looked in the AYP Easy Lessons book and couldnt find a description of what this might be.

Cheers,
Bill

yogani

USA
5189 Posts

Posted - Mar 26 2006 :  11:45:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Bill:

It is something we call "automatic yoga." It can happen along the path and is not something to be overly concerned about. If you look it up in the topic index, you will find a number of lessons on this phenomenon. Here is one that covers your situation: http://www.aypsite.org/183.html

The guru is in you.
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Victor

USA
910 Posts

Posted - Mar 27 2006 :  03:04:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I have experienced this quite alot and believe that the main risk of this experience is fear that something may be wrong with you (it is not, you are just doing practices that encourage it). The next thing is to avoid any position that "locks" any part of the body into a rigid position so that energy flow makes it want to move and open up but it cannot. This is a good reason to sit in siddhasana rather than padmasana for example. If your body is not restricted in its subtle movements i would suggest that you enjoy this experience and know that it will shift and change in time and that it is all for the good.
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Shanti

USA
4854 Posts

Posted - Mar 27 2006 :  10:50:52 AM  Show Profile  Visit Shanti's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome Bill..
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Richard

United Kingdom
857 Posts

Posted - Mar 27 2006 :  11:11:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Bill and welcome. It was this very problem that brought me to AYP my movements were so violent I thought I was fitting, my arms would fly about and my whole body would shake. Spinal breathing stopped the problem completely I still have slight movements during both spinal breathing and meditation but they are nothing to worry about. If you are not already doing spinal breathing try it.




RICHARD
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NagoyaSea

424 Posts

Posted - Mar 27 2006 :  11:14:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome Bill,

I really like your moniker "Will.Iam" --

In the past I've experienced something similar, more than once...sometimes almost a gentle rocking back and forth while meditating. When I noticed it, I just gently straightened my back and resumed the mantra... Eventually it will subside...

Light and Love,
Kathy
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riptiz

United Kingdom
741 Posts

Posted - Mar 27 2006 :  5:04:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit riptiz's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Bill,
The involuntary movements you speak of are kriyas.It is caused by the energy moving within the body and trying to find a way through.The energy moves the body into positions that allow unimpeded flow.This is why some people end up in asanas that they have had no training in.The kriyas are normally harmless unless they are accompanied with a spontaneous awakening of the Kundalini.
L&L
Dave

'the mind can see further than the eyes'
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david_obsidian

USA
2602 Posts

Posted - Mar 27 2006 :  5:57:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Some would say that the legendary teaching of the yoga postures by the Lord Shiva is a symbolic representation of the process that Dave just mentioned; in other words, all of the yoga postures ultimately came to human beings as a response to spontaneous kriyas.

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will.iam

23 Posts

Posted - Mar 27 2006 :  11:14:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit will.iam's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the replies and warm welcomes all,

Glad to know its nothing to worry about and that it will pass with time. Should this be taken as a sign that its time to start spinal breathing? I am planning on waiting till summer to begin this. Want to make sure that my meditation is solid and some more distractions are out of the way before getting into it. I tried spinal breathing around Christmas of last year for a couple of weeks and had a serious string of bad luck that ended with the ankle injury mentioned above, and figured this meant that more meditation was needed.

Anyhow, thanks for the replies,
Bill

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Richard

United Kingdom
857 Posts

Posted - Mar 28 2006 :  07:46:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I think you should start S.B. I cured me and deepened my meditation, I think another factor that alleviates the problem is knowing there is nothing physically wrong with you, I was convinced that I had a brain lesion or something which made me think about what was going to happen before it did in some cases probable bringing it about or at least worsening it.


RICHARD
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will.iam

23 Posts

Posted - Apr 27 2006 :  11:42:38 PM  Show Profile  Visit will.iam's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Well, I started Spinal Breathing two weeks ago, while sitting on a cushion on the floor, and the movements have gotten stronger. Now my body bends below the rib cage and goes in circles, the more I concentrate on the mantra the faster the circles. Sometimes my spine goes side to side, my head moves in various directions, bends one direction and stays that way, or my shoulders go side to side. None of this worries me, my spine feels more relaxed than any time I can ever remember, and I think the movement must be necessary to clear out blockages and whatnot, but it is distracting. I also get some slight movement when not meditating and concentrating during the day.

I do some streching before sitting, not quite to the level of asanas (I read this will help in the AYP:ELEL book).

My question now is that I become distracted from the mantra by the movement and try to stay focused despite it, should I try to sit still and focus on the mantra or should I go with the flow and let the movements clear things up? When I find I'm off the mantra and moving around then I stop, straighten up, and go back to the mantra (and movement soon after).
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yogani

USA
5189 Posts

Posted - Apr 28 2006 :  09:40:54 AM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Bill said: My question now is that I become distracted from the mantra by the movement and try to stay focused despite it, should I try to sit still and focus on the mantra or should I go with the flow and let the movements clear things up? When I find I'm off the mantra and moving around then I stop, straighten up, and go back to the mantra (and movement soon after).

Hi Bill:

This sounds like a reasonable procedure, given the circumstances, except don't force your way back to the mantra, of course. Just easily favor it when you realize you are off into thoughts, feelings, or movements. That process of going back to the mantra will naturally attenuate the movements, at least for a while. If the movements become too much in a given session, discontinue favoring the mantra for a while and just let attention easily be with the energy sensations, and that can help unwind them. This counts as meditation time, and should only be used if the sensations become excessive to the point that getting back to the mantra is not easy. One thing we never do in deep meditation is force.

In time, this should all settle down. It is obstructions in the neurobiology that are causing the movements as energy lurches through there. When the pathways become more clear, the movements will become less, even as more energy is flowing.

If it is all too much, then self-pacing the time of practices until you find a reasonable balance will be the thing to do. That is covered in the lessons, as you know. If spinal breathing seems to be causing more movement, then self-pace it more as necessary. Usually spinal breathing has a strong influence in balancing energy flows, but there are exceptions, so each application has to be judged on its results. We do not stand on fixed formulas around here. Experiences and self-pacing are the key factors to consider in gauging the measure of our practices.

Yes, asanas before sitting can help, as can more physical exercise (of the aerobic variety) during the day on a regular basis. A grounding practice like a daily Tai Chi routine can also help a lot. It is all about working the obstructions out. This can be promoted from both outside (physical activity) and inside (sitting practices).

Keep us posted. And all the best on your unique journey through purification and opening!

The guru is in you.
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Jim and His Karma

2110 Posts

Posted - Apr 28 2006 :  10:59:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
This is not by any means an answer consistent with AYP (but neither do I suspect Yogani would object to it more than a little bit). But it's my little trick.

If meditation starts to be consistently an overly dramatic affair with lots of movements and stuff (the word "consistently" is crucial; I'm talking about a habit of doing the same movements and stuff, to the point where you at some level, likely unconscious, feel you NEED to do them to "go deeper", to use your phrase), one trick is to do one single meditation session in a very public place, like on public transportation.

You'll be surprised by how much things trim down, and how little diff it makes to the meditation. And you'll find that in subsequent (private) sessions things will also be trimmed down, at least for a while. You essentially are stripping off the baggage of old habit. You don't want to suppress the automatic yoga, mind you (or suppress anything else). But there's a diff between genuinely spontaneous movement and the mind getting used to expecting that movement (and thus unconsciously creating it). If you don't understand the distincton.....skip the whole thing. :)


The other thing I'd suggest is that the "going deep" mindset (which I know very very well) is a trap. Don't try to go deep. Just sit down and say "I am" a lot to yourself. Going somewhere, doing something, accomplishing something all are things that happen strictly in the mind. Let go of the explorer mindset. Do the practices like brushing your teeth. Just my suggestion.

Yoga is subtractive.

Edited by - Jim and His Karma on Apr 28 2006 11:04:09 PM
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will.iam

23 Posts

Posted - Apr 28 2006 :  11:35:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit will.iam's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Yogani - thanks for the reply, I'll look into the local Tai Chi group or maybe restart with some qigong I learned awhile back to see if it helps.

Jim - Thats all I do, just repeat the mantra, when I can. The movements are too different for me to be conciously creating them. This evening I got a violent movement forward and backward on the upper part of my spine and backward and forward on the lower part, each in the opposite direction so much so that I thought I'd get whiplash. The other day my head was back against my left shoulder so far that my face was facing the ceiling. Its not so much as result of "trying to go deep" b/c it starts even before the mantra does, even now there is some gentle swaying, but when the mantra hits its like adding fuel to a fire.

I get this same swaying while in public (in class and around people that would think I was a freak if I told 'em what was going on) my nervous system isn't scared of embarassment apparently. :)

I remembered earlier today that just before this started I had a meditation where everything was very clear and relaxed, perhaps this was a preview of the otherside of this process.
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Jim and His Karma

2110 Posts

Posted - Apr 28 2006 :  11:53:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
will.iam, I apologize. my advice was clearly not appropriate for your situation. Yogani, as usual, hit it dead on.

I hope my advice will be of use to others (or perhaps to you later on). But on the basis of this post, I'm sure it's not habit. The phrase "my nervous system isn't scared of embarassment" absolutely seals it without a doubt (if it was habit, embarrassment would definitely trim it...in fact, it's a good test!).

Habit can eventually build up, though. Do you remember the 97 things Ed Norton had to do before hitting the cue ball at the pool hall on the Honeymooners? Meditation can get like that!

J&K

Edited by - Jim and His Karma on Apr 28 2006 11:56:21 PM
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riptiz

United Kingdom
741 Posts

Posted - Apr 29 2006 :  05:03:46 AM  Show Profile  Visit riptiz's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Will.iam
Although the kriyas are nothing to fear I guess they are interfering with your meditation process( making you feel uncomfortable)but they are correct for you as you undergo purification. I would suggest following Yoganis advice to resume the Qi gong as they may help alleviate the outward symptoms although not for definite.My background is in martial arts,Karate, Aikido, Tai chi over a period of more than 3o yrs but when I received shaktipat in Jan 05 I still experienced extreme physical kriyas.First night of shaktipat I sat with whole body shaking from 9.30 pm until 5. am.
I would also suggest you make sankalpa that the kriyas are internal and not external especially if in a public place where you do not want them to be on 'display'.
L&L
Dave

'the mind can see further than the eyes'
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bewell

1271 Posts

Posted - Apr 29 2006 :  09:13:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote]Originally posted by will.iam
This evening I got a violent movement forward and backward on the upper part of my spine and backward and forward on the lower part, each in the opposite direction so much so that I thought I'd get whiplash.

Hi Will,

I chuckled with recognition concerning whiplash. When I had that problem, I used a neck brace for a while, for protection. Of course I could have stopped or slowed the movements -- they were spontaneous and not of my chosing, but I was always able to stop them or set limits on them at will. I used the brace (for a week or two as I recall) because I didn't want to set those sorts of willful limits on my spinal movements. Treating the movements as my inner guru, I let them take their course with as little interference as possible. I learned to witness the process, using some willful precautions for physical safety and social discretion. Then at another stage, I combine witnessing spontaneous movements with some willful movements. Then the spontaneous movements became less frequent and intense. Now I'm doing spinal breathing/witnessing inner conductivity and not experiencing spontaneous movements (except -- like this morning when I was cuddling with my wife -- in my sexual organs in multipal orgasms without outer stimulation or ejaculation-- the movement pumps energy up my spine and to my eyebrow center in waves of inner pleasure). I thought, when I was in the spontaneous yoga, that I would miss it if it stopped. Strangely, I don't. It is part of a wonderful developmental process. Enjoy.

Bewell


Edited by - bewell on Apr 29 2006 09:23:25 AM
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Anthem

1608 Posts

Posted - Apr 29 2006 :  11:20:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Will.iam,

I had those spontaneous movements too with a fair amount of intensity too when the inner energies first became active. They happened during pretty much every sitting practice to some degree or another for a couple of months. I remember having a lot of intense facial and head movements that would not have gone down well in public! I just figured I would let my nervous system do its thing and I eventually got to a point where I just slowly stopped noticing them and then over time they became "smaller" and substantially less dramatic. I think they still happen in a subtle way now with the lifting of an eyebrow, eyes going up etc. from time to time, but I hardly notice them if they do.

I can see now, as Yogani puts it, that itís all part of the purification process.
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Shanti

USA
4854 Posts

Posted - May 02 2006 :  6:10:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit Shanti's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I am having trouble with my meditation. For the past 2 days I have had visions of dying.. the most awful and painful deaths.. but they were just visions and I could get my mind back to my mantra. But this morning I felt like someone stabbed me with a knife in my back.. it was such excruciating pain.. I almost bend over with pain.. I just could not take my mind off the pain and go back to my mantra. I had to get out of meditation and immediately the pain went away.. When I tried to go back into meditation.. my heart was racing and my breathing was fast.. and I just could not get back into it. This evening during meditation, my hand and legs had such violent movements that it almost threw me by surprise. I tried to go back into meditation.. but it was almost like I was scared of what was going to happen next..
This may be because I am really tired.. since I have not had a good night's sleep in 7 days.. my kid has been sick and the coughing and fever have kept me up most of the night. Hopefully with a good night's sleep(not sure when) it will get better..
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Jim and His Karma

2110 Posts

Posted - May 02 2006 :  9:54:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Shanti, just keep working through it. The scenery changes, but the practices continue. Don't make a big thing. Just sit and say "I am" a lot.
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Anthem

1608 Posts

Posted - May 03 2006 :  12:31:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hey Shanti,

Wow, sounds like a lot of purification is going on, maybe a little self-pacing might be in order? I think your lack of sleep could definitely make you more susceptible to over-sensitivity in practices. I believe when we are fatigued, our grip on what is inside loosens a little bit. On the bright side, you seem to be getting a pretty interesting glimpse into perhaps one of your past lives?

A

ps- Your ability to reference the lessons so well in your posts is amazing!
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Richard

United Kingdom
857 Posts

Posted - May 03 2006 :  09:16:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello Shanti

Theres nothing more stressfull than your child being sick I would say this is definately the cause. Take it easy and just do the meditation for a while I hope your child gets better soon.

Blessings for you and your child

RICHARD
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Shanti

USA
4854 Posts

Posted - May 04 2006 :  08:10:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit Shanti's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Well, I had a good night's sleep.. and feel much better now. During meditation, I still feel the pain in my back. It's not as painful any more. But its there like a deep tissue pain.

Jim, in your post above and in some other posts you have told me to "i am" a lot.. what do you mean by that.. "i am" more than 20 mins or more than twice a day or just continue with "i am" don't stop?

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Katrine

Norway
1813 Posts

Posted - May 04 2006 :  08:43:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit Katrine's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Shanti

Glad to hear that you feel better
I know how stressful your life can be with sick kids...hope he is ok now; your son (or is it a daughter?).

I was wondering.....where exactly is your backpain located?



May all your Nows be Here
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Jim and His Karma

2110 Posts

Posted - May 04 2006 :  08:54:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Shanti
Jim, in your post above and in some other posts you have told me to "i am" a lot.. what do you mean by that.. "i am" more than 20 mins or more than twice a day or just continue with "i am" don't stop?




I'm suggesting reducing this to the simplest possible practice stripped of as much detail and analysis and questioning as possible. Just sit, for whatever length of time you sit, and say "I am" and be done with it. Let the experiences be, let the practice be, let yourself be.

Edited by - Jim and His Karma on May 04 2006 11:58:53 AM
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weaver

832 Posts

Posted - May 04 2006 :  09:31:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Shanti,

It's good to hear that you feel better. Sleep makes a big difference. That painful experience you had during meditation was most likely a big release of some karmic knot, and the tissue will remember that for a little while until it heals, just like a physical injury. It should be gone soon. I didn't get the impression that you over-analyze your meditation, you can't just disregard completely when something like that comes up. I think you are doing just fine, just keep in mind that all these releases in yoga are just temporary, and that things will smoothen out. I hope your child is well too.
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