Breath Massage to your Pelvis

Breath Massage to Your Pelvis

This practice is best performed in a reclined or semi-reclined position
with support of a blanket under the low back and pelvis.
Begin by observing your breath, however you are breathing now.

   Shift your attention to your navel and feel how the navel falls and rises as
breath moves out and in. For a few breath cycles, let breath be as it is.

Drop your attention now to the lower half of your torso to locate your pelvis. The right and left halves of your pelvis are joined via the triangular bone of the sacrum, the foundation on which the lowest spinal bone sits. Picture your pelvis like a tall bowl with a boney front (pubis), back (sacrum) and sides, but a muscular bottom. FEEL breath empty and fill the bowl of the pelvis. Inch by inch, let your breath move your attention deeper into the bowl, from the front of the bowl toward the back of the bowl. Gradually let your attention land just in front of your sacrum and hold it there for a few slow breath cycles. Notice how your breath rocks the sacrum gently.
From the center of the bowl, now let breath move attention one at a time to the sides of the bowl, then to the muscular bottom. FEEL if your breath can “make its way into/ through each of these areas? As breath flows though the bowl, it massages the joints of the pelvis, all of the organs within the bowl and assists lymphatic circulation.
While your attention is here, consider thanking the bones of the pelvis for cradling your organs within its bowl and thank our breath for reaching the bottom of the bowl, keeping the muscular bottom strong and pliable!

Breathing To Your Spine

Breathing to Your Spine

       This is best practiced in a reclined or semi reclined position,
but  can also be done seated. Assume your most comfortable position.

Begin by bringing your attention to however your body is moving, just as you are breathing now. Initially, there is no need to change anything. Just tune in.
Now turn your attention to how your back body moves as you breathe.  Feel how the heaviness of contact of the back-body changes with inhale and exhale.  Feel how some of the bones of the spine touch the surface and others do not.
Use your “mind’s eye” to see the bones of your spine. See the bones of the cervical spine (upper, middle, lower neck), then take mind’s eye between shoulder blades/moving along the bones of your thoracic spine.
Now move your mind’s eye into your lower spine– back side of your waist- below your bottom ribs, above your pelvis-your low back. Feel the bones in the upper part of your low back, the bones in the middle part of your low back, the bones in the lowest part of your low back.
Now that we have located the bones of your spine with your mind’s eye, FEEL if your breath can “make its way into/ through each of these sections of your spine. Let’s go back through and FEEL breath moving into your neck, your mid back, your low back. Can your breath make its way into each area, infusing it, or surrounding it? While you are here, consider thanking your spine for its support. Whatever you sense is fine, just as it is.

Return to feeling the breath now without visualizing.
Just enjoy letting breath be as it is.

Compassion Meditation

Compassion Meditation

These times cry out for compassion. Take 5 minutes to generate self-compassion, in a spirit of service of all.

  1. Pause from whatever you are doing and feel your feet firmly on the ground. Turn your palms up and focus your gaze upon your hands while you take five, slow breaths: COUNT exhale one, inhale one, exhale two, inhale two, exhale three, inhale three, exhale four, inhale four, exhale five, inhale five.
  2. Now place your hands upon your heart. Note whatever you are feeling right now. Label it by giving it a name, allowing whatever you name to just be there for now. If a few things are present, label each feeling.
  3. Keeping your hands on your heart, call forth a memory of someone you hold dear, someone whose presence is of great comfort to you. Use all of five of your senses to remember their comfort again right now. Notice the expression on your face as your feel this comfort, then gently let your arms go into a position of rest.
  4. Using your feeling senses more than thinking, investigate the felt sense of this comfort as it extends throughout your body, nurturing you with just what you needed most in this moment. From your heart’s wisdom, now give this felt sense of comfort a name.
  5. Offer this _____ comfort in return now, using these phrases: May you know ______, May I know _______ May we know ____,  May all beings know ____

Breath Play

Minding Your Mind

Minding Your Mind

             Sometimes we feel the urge to take our minds off of our challenges.  Neuroscientists have discovered          distracted minds can make us feel unhappy, yet knowingly allowing the mind to wander is instrumental in generating creativity.  Learning to recognize which state of mind you are in can be a useful practice.

Each time you recognize you are thinking about something you would rather not be thinking about in the moment, make it a practice to observe what happens to your attention, without judging yourself for whatever it may be. Whatever you do with your attention, notice the degree to which it is held there. Full absorption of your attention anchors your mind in the body and generates a comforting flow state that truly “takes your mind off” of the challenge you want a break from thinking about.

If instead your mind insists on wandering, you are distracted, so stop what you are doing, get in a comfortable position and change the practice to one of attentively watching your mind as it wanders. The mind is typically quite mobile. It may be helpful to hold your attention to the observation by locating its direction of wandering as future, past, present. Enjoy!

Savor the Moment

Savor the Moment

Gaze upon something you find beautiful in nature or
notice the aroma of that first cup of tea or coffee,
or appreciate the way a long-time clothing companion feels to wear it.
No need to look far as we can take opportunity in the everyday things.
Once you make a choice on what to savor at the moment,
take a comfortable, stable posture and become still.

For just a few minutes, tune in deeply to how paying attention to your chosen object or experience really feels.  Does it change your expression or alter how you are posturing your body in some way as you behold it? Notice what about your choice drew you to choose it.  Try to sense this more than think it. Shape, texture, color, symbolism, memorabilia, etc.
No place else to go, nothing else to do but stay with this experience for a little while longer.

This is savoring. Taking in what we might otherwise overlook in the
moment with lingering attention.  Soaking in the moment to allow a more
conscious appreciation of what you appreciate. May you savor often.

What’s Happening?

What’s Happening?

Consider yourself a happening as your body-mind really is changing from moment to moment with each new breath and heart-beat.
To experience your happening, start with stopping!

In whatever position you are in, pause and notice any sensations
from your body that may signal need for rest, support, nourishment or activity. No need to change a thing, just notice what is happening as it is happening.
Bear witness to the pace of your thoughts to notice if they are relative
to the present, past or future. Notice if breath feels free or constrained.
Check in with your general mood and presence of any specific emotions.
No need to change a thing, just notice what is happening as it is happening
.

Sense into any feelings of resistance to what is happening.
Resisting happens whenever you want what is happening now to be different.
Often, tension somewhere in the body or the breath flow is a clue
signaling resistance is happening.
No need to change a thing, just notice what is happening as it is happening.

Nice practice. Now you know what’s happening.

Kindly Anchoring Your Attention

Kindly Anchoring Your Attention

Training attention is a skill you can build with regular practice.
Select any object around you at this moment
and anchor your attention on it for the next 5 minutes.

  • Keep your eyes on the object. (your hands are a convenient object)
  • Be kind when your notice your mind repeatedly wanders away.
    • Say “Thank you- not now” each time you mind wander.
  • Notice a tendency to judge your performance. Let it go.


Repeated positive reinforcement of becoming aware your mind has wandered that is the key to training your attention!

It is a misconception to expect to find this experience relaxing.
It is common to feel some distress when witness
the highly mobile nature of the mind.

Anchor & Count Breath

Anchor & Count Breaths

Sit or stand with the spine straight, but not rigidly held
and become still. In this posture, embody a feeling of dignity.

Feel your breath at each of these areas, then pick one and anchor your attention there while you count your breaths.

  • Bring your attention to your nostrils and feel your breath pass in and out.
  • Shift your attention to your navel and feel it rise and fall as you breathe.

 

Count your exhaled breaths in bouts of 10 with attention on each of the above areas.
1-10, 10-1, 1-10, repeat

 

 

Notice Your Breath

Notice Your Breath 

Honor breath as it is the first and the last action taken in this life. 

FEEL what moves as you breathe?

Belly? Waist?

Armpits?  Chest? Shoulder blades?

Collar bones? Throat?

Base of Skull?

 

Hold your attention on the sensation of breath wherever your body moves the most as you breathe. No need to change, anything, just notice how breath moves your body for the next few minutes.