by Elmo Shade
There are simple ways to begin a mindfulness practice. It’s not mystical or magical; anyone can do this.
1. The Easy Way: The 3-Breath Technique (sit or stand)
Picture an hourglass wide at the top & bottom with a narrow center.
Breathe IN (count of 5) through nostrils deep into belly (expands) then breathe OUT through nose and/or mouth (count of 7).
Connect with the wide, open space of the present moment.
Breathe IN and connect with a particular part of your body, e.g. palms, feet, heart as though you were aerating it with the breath, then breathe OUT. Same count of 5 and 7.
Breathe IN and connect with the ENTIRE body, widening your awareness and spaciousness, then breathe OUT, same count as before.
2. The Easier Way: Sit or stand without any agenda for 2-5 minutes
Shift from “doing” to just “being” whatever that means for you
Watch where the mind goes without judging it or trying to change anything you are experiencing. Just allow.
Feel free to switch between the “Easy Way” and the “Easier Way”.
Begin with 2-5 minutes daily, expand to 2-5 minutes during the day whenever you have an opportunity and/or are feeling stressed.
The more you “practice” the stronger your “mindfulness muscle” becomes.
3. Mindfulness in Motion:
Sit with back supporting itself by moving to middle or front of chair
Feet are flat on the floor. Sense the 4 corners of the feet with your awareness (sides of big and little toes and both sides of heel)
Hands rest on knees, palms down
On IN breath, retract hands back moving along upper thighs until heel of hand touches hip bone (waist)
On OUT breath move hands back down slowly to starting position at knees
Then, on IN breath, retract hands back as before
On OUT breath, move hands past knees all the way down to ankles
On next IN breath, retract hands all the way back up hip bone (waist)
With both iterations, sync the breath so top of the IN breath is at the TOP of the movement and bottom of the OUT breath is at the BOTTOM of the movement