Thursday, 8 December 2016

Mindfulness: the next step

If you've been practising mindful breathing daily as described in our previous blog post, then you'll be ready to progress to a 'ten minutes a day' breathing exercise. The Body and Breathe Meditation described below is a commonly practised mindfulness exercise and is a great way to make progress in mastering mindful breathing techniques. Try to practise this exercise for 10-15 minutes each day leading up to Christmas and note how it makes you feel.

Body and Breathe Meditation

Find a quiet comfortable chair and sit in an upright, supported position with the base of your spine making contact with the chair back.

Allow your body to relax and your mind to rest. It may be difficult for you to do this. Don't fight your mind. Simply focus on your breathing for a few minutes, then go back and try to relax again.

Move your attention around you body and become aware of the places where your body meets something else, for example, the way your feet meet the floor and the sensation you feel there. Do this for your whole body taking a few brief moments on each.

Next bring your attention to one of your feet. Bring your attention briefly to each part of your foot, the toes, ball, heel, etc and the sensations you feel in each.

Slowly allow your attention to work its way up each leg individually until you reach your hips. Then take your attention from your hips, to tummy, to shoulders taking your awareness briefly to each part in turn.

Next bring your awareness to each arm in turn. Start with your fingers and slowly move up to your wrists, forearms, upper arms and shoulders, taking your attention to each part on the way.

Then move on to your neck and finally your head. Momentarily observe how each one feels.

Once your have moved your attention through your whole body, spend a few minutes simply breathing normally and allowing yourself to rest.

Finally take your attention to your breathing and how your body feels as you slowly breathe in and out. Observe the rise and fall or your tummy with each breath. After 5-10 minutes of mindful breathing, slowly bring your attention back to the room.

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