While these are times that can fill us with worry and uncertainty, we are hoping to bring some ease and refreshing energy to you and your family at home. Over the next few weeks, Kendall will be creating and sharing weekly mindfulness practices. Kendall is a member of our team and a local yoga instructor in our community. Each practice will be about 10 - 20 minutes in length, offering an opportunity for self-care, and mindfulness. From breathwork to journal reflections, we’ll move with you, day to day, through these times of uncertainty. Be sure to check out the wonderful mindfulness exercises from Week 1 in case you missed them!
Day 4 / Permission to be Okay:
“I give myself permission to be okay with where I am now.” ~ Anonymous
Breathe in, and out.
Find a place suitable for reflection and inward thinking.
Being here, in this moment, repeat the above phrase 3 or more times. Repeat either out loud or in your head, whichever way resonates with you. Eyes open or closed.
Our whole life is a journey, and it took us effort and growth to be here, today.
Sometimes our days can feel so busy, that we forget to love and appreciate ourselves and the growth it took to be where we are now. I invite you to take time today to reflect on your journey to this present moment. Remembering that whether we are satisfied in our current place or not, there is always time and space for growth and change.
We are here now, and we are okay.
Some questions to guide your thinking:
~ What are some joyful details about my present?
~ Remember some past experiences that have shaped me into who I am today.
~ I choose to reflect on three positive moments during my time at home.
Day 5 / Directional Breathing:
~ Find a comfortable space in your home where you can lie down without being disturbed. If you have a yoga mat, take this with you to lie down on. Remember that whether your space is noisy or loud, it is a good space.
~ Once you find this space, lie down & plant the soles of your feet on the ground. Place the palms down by your sides with the palms facing upwards. Find your breath.
~ Notice how your breath is moving throughout your body. Does your breath feel short, or maybe longer than normal? No need to change the breath, simply notice.
~ Gently lower your gaze, or bring the eyes to a complete close. Take yourself back to a moment where you experienced joy, or great happiness. A moment that made you feel safe and at peace with self. If a moment doesn’t enter your mind, choose a word that resonates with you at this time. It could be a word that brings peace, motivation, clarity.. whatever resonates with you at this moment. Bring your awareness to the energy that arises within your body in response to this word or moment. Feel into it. Be with this.
~ I invite you to hold on to this feeling as we move with our breath, today.
~ Begin to deepen the breath. Try deepening the breath by adding one second to the inhale and the exhale. Always feel into the body as we transition into a fuller breath. Breathe with this deepened breath for 3 cycles.
~ Once finished with those 3 breath cycles, begin to direct the breath into the chest. Gently place a hand onto the chest to feel how the chest rises with the inhale, and lowers with the exhale. Breathe into the chest for 3 full breath cycles.
~Once finished with those 3 breath cycles, change the direction of the breath into the belly. Gently place a hand onto the belly and feel how the belly rises with the inhale, and lowers with the exhale. Breathe into the belly for 3 full breath cycles.
~ Once finished, breathe deeply into the whole body. Take a moment to come back to the word, or moment that you chose to keep with you. When you’re ready, I invite you to repeat the cycle of breath that felt more challenging to you, or repeat both the chest and belly breathing. Breathe for as long as you’d like or as time allows.
~ Before we transition back to our natural flow of breath, take 3 full breath cycles without direction. When finished, slowly drift back into the natural flow of your breath. As you’re ready, either stay lying down or come to a seated position to close.
~ Inhale deeply, reaching the arms out to the side and then over the head. Exhale bringing the palms together, thumbs to chest. Take an audible exhale, if you would like. Remember the energy you embodied throughout our breath work today. Bring this energy with you as you transition back into your day, or leave it behind, knowing that it is within you and accessible for you whenever you want it.
~ Directing breath into certain areas of the body helps to promote balance within. Breathing into the chest can relieve feelings of sadness or of the weight on our chests. Belly breathing can improve anxiety as the diaphragm contracts and relaxes to release the build up of tension that causes tightness of breath.
Thank you for being here, enjoy the rest of your day.
Day 6 / Threading the Needle:
Threading the needle provides multiple benefits to the body. We open the shoulders and the neck, while releasing tension & endorphins as we twist. I recommend practicing this sequence in the afternoon or evening. In the morning we are usually more stiff, and it’s best to practice these postures when the body is awake and a little warmer. Feel free to hold or repeat postures as your body needs. I encourage you to move slowly, paying attention to how your body responds to each posture. If you are ever feeling uncomfortable, if something hurts, or if you feel that a posture is not bringing benefit to your body, please choose another posture.
Your body knows best.