Mindfulness Monday – here’s a few tricks to start your day!

When we are on retreat we start each day together with meditation, time to sit, deepen our breath, set intentions and regenerate. In that space we can clear the clutter of daily life, reconnect and actually feel our breath.

When we are not together, by now, we know so well, that the day can get busy, the meditation piece pushed… and – well. what happens? We end up saying to ourselves, put that ‘meditation’ on tomorrow’s list! Somehow this critical component to feeling awesome gets lost in the shuffle. We forget how important it is, til there is that tightness of chest.

So, how to – bring even a dose of meditation back into our day? How can we clear the clutter quickly and keep moving in the right way? Here is a quick trick for Monday, a tool for your back pocket everyday, something so obvious you may be unaware you are NOT doing it already!! BREATHING – yep, that’s the ticket!

Below is a simple breathing series that will help you develop a sense of calm and focus, a dose of meditation – Ready. Let’s! From wherever you are reading this!
Follow these steps:

*Whether you’re standing or sitting, become aware of your posture, and straighten your spine so that you feel alert and relaxed but not rigid.

*Take a few deep breaths till your ribcage expands a bit.

*Notice how your body feels.

*Bring your awareness to any part of your body that feels tense, and relax those muscles.

*Now bring your awareness back to your breath.

*Notice where you feel the breath most in your body.

*Settle into a relaxed focus as you follow the sensation of each inhale and exhale.

*When you notice that your mind has wandered (which it will, often!), simply acknowledge the sensations, thoughts or feelings that arise with open curiosity, and then let them go. Return to your breath – and notice when you do, it is hard to focus/stress/worry/complain about anything else!

*Continue – for as long you’d like.Since our minds tend to wander, it can help to follow a guided audio track as you get familiar with your breath. Try a free app like Headspace! Which will guide you through minute by minute as long as you have time for!

*The beauty of mindful breathing is that you can practice it anywhere and anytime, without special equipment or advanced knowledge. All you need is the air in your lungs, a little intention and you’re good to go. The basic technique is to focus your attention on your breath — the inhale and exhale — with openness and curiosity. Studies have shown that the ability to focus attention on your breath can actually help you deal with everyday stress, anxiety and emotional ups and downs.

**Mindful breathing can be done while sitting in traffic, waiting in line or during your exercise routine — you don’t have to be sitting on a cushion, our out on retreat with us (although that is really nice! and we’d love to s) .
**Since our minds tend to wander, it can help to follow a guided audio track as you get familiar with the technique. Try a free app like Headspace! Which will guide you through minute by minute as long as you have time for!