Mindful Moments: Week 3
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 our entire Mindful Moments series in case you missed them!
Day 7 / A Time For Reflection:
“Make 2020 the year that you thoughtfully build the world you most want to live in.” ~ Chani Nicholas
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.
It seems funny to consider any 2020/New Year quote as relevant or inspiring at the moment. We are witnessing a worldwide pandemic and everyone’s lives have been altered because of it. After sitting with this quote for a while, I saw a deeper meaning and a significant relevance to our current state. Most of us have more time now, being at home daily, to sit with ourselves and reflect on who we are, what we’re doing, and how we want to move forward in our lives. We were forced to step out of our usual daily routines, and we can choose to create beautiful growth because of it. Whether we are working from home, or continuing to travel to work, this time sets a stage for reflection and it is important that we look inward.
“Our greatest loss would be to come out of this unchanged.” ~Anonymous
Some questions to guide your thinking:
~ How am I holding up during these moments of change?
~ Does my lifestyle embody my passions and dreams?
~ What are my dreams for the future? How am I nurturing them now?
~ How am I being challenged to grow during my present circumstances?
Day 8 / From Chest to Belly / Directional Flowing 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.
~ Picture your favorite place. Imagine that you are there. It can be at home on the couch or lounging on the beach. Become aware of how you feel in this place. 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, direct one inhale into the chest and then the belly. Exhale let the belly fall and then the chest fall. Breathe into the chest and then the belly, breathe out and let the belly fall and then the chest fall. Inhale chest rises then belly rises, exhale belly falls then chest falls. Take this breath for 3 more cycles.
~When finished with those breath cycles, let the breath flow in the opposite direction. Direct one inhale into the belly first and then the chest. Exhale let the chest fall and then the belly fall. Breathe into the belly and then the chest, breathe out and let the chest fall and then the belly fall. Inhale belly rises then chest rises, exhale chest falls then belly falls. Take this breath for 3 more cycles.
~ 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.
~ Creating a flow of breath through the body brings connection and balance within. This breathing connects mind and body as we intentionally breathe into certain spaces. 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 9 / Connecting Breath with Motion:
Connecting our breath and motion heightens our self-awareness and promotes balance in the body. Play with the pace of this flow and the time spent in each posture. This is a great sequence to practice in the morning, as it produces heat within the body due to the continuous motion. 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.