This beautiful image was taken in a majestic Hindu temple in Bali. This day I meditated in the sanctuary. I needed to find purity, love and acceptance this day.
But starting mindfulness and meditation doesn’t mean we have to accept a Mind that is Full! Constantly full of chatter, full of problem solving, planning, being outside yourself, feeling overwhelmed with busy, pressure to be all things, and the stress of the new year taking over already. I get it. In today’s busy world where we rarely “unplug” its a comman struggle. In fact I think we’ve almost normalised the word “busy”. Also, feeling pressure to engage in a technological world, be constantly available and accessible 24/7 manifests into the art of busyness being part of society which really takes us away from centre. And then, fast forward to December 2017 and another year has passed and we don’t really know how we’ve managed to survive the year that was.
So, if this sounds like you, perhaps this is an opportunity for you to be, and to still and to create a conscious and loving intention to create space – space for you!!!. What I mean by this is to make a deliberate choice from a place of nourishing kindness to slow – things – down.
A wonderful place to start isÂ Mindfulness meditation or the practice of paying attention to what is happening from moment to moment without judgment. Our minds are so often planning or worrying about the future or re ecting on the past, we miss the place where life is actually happening, here, in this moment.
Ive prepared a bite size guide – firstly focusing on body scanning as a guide to understanding your self, your patterns (of thought) choices (food for example) and to generally start to live a more connected and purposeful life. The body scan’s purposes helps you to catch yourself, the patterns, the thoughts that come into the mind and its tendency to wander. It also allows you to tune into your body on a daily basis and become better at noticing when there is stress, tension or ease. Â For example, this practice also helps you to develop the capacity to observe experience without reacting to it, allowing for more conscious decision-making, off the mat!.
So, get comfy, rollout a mat, have a pillow, blankie, or whatever makes you feel connected, safe and relaxed – a space where you know you can – slow – things – down.
The focus of this practice is to strengthen your attention by noticing sensations that one and go, from moment to moment within your body. After time, the space between thoughts will become less and less and you will acknowledge sensations, thoughts, emotions, yet you will have the grace to not attach or converse or judge them.
Here are my tips:
- It is preferable to do the practice lying down. If you have back issues, place some support under the knees.
- Start by listening to your breathe. Inhalation and exhalation, in Yoga, pranayama techniques such as Ujjai breathe (ocean breathe) ensures our mind has a place to rest, but also our body is receiving prana, life force energy. Inhale through your nose, out through your nose.
- Close your eyes, draw your senses inward and cultivate a sense of surrender into Mother Earth.
- Now, focus your breathe and maybe a ball of energetic light, life force as you start to slowly guide the breathe into your toes and feet and ankles. Starting at the base and scanning your entire body, its large joints, organs, until you reach your crown and head. Time is of no essence. Don’t rush, slow – things – down.
- If you feel yourself falling asleep, try the scan with your eyes open or take some really deep breathes to keep you energized. We change the brain waves when we slow
- Build your practice over time. Start with 10 minutes and build to 20 and even longer.
- When you feel you are ready, with complete awareness, bring yourself back in your space – the physical space by returning your thoughts to your room. Slowly move you toes, hands, maybe knees, hug yourself in, whatever feels good. Slow – it – down. Disconnecting and spending a few mindful breathes in a seated position, so your spine is straight will allow you to experience the change you have created . Feel the space
Finally, bring curiosity to the body scan, just noticing whatever arises including thoughts, feelings and sensations, allowing them to come and go. If difficult feelings like boredom, restlessness, judgement or impatience arise, just allow them to become part of the practice, noticing whatever is present in each moment, whether pleasant, unpleasant or neutral.
My yoga practice is built on a foundation of space. Space in the mind, space in the body and space to practice your Yoga, your way.
If you are interested in joining me, reach out, or I would welcome you to share your insights, wisdom or comments.