Week 3 in Mindfulness Meditation
Week 3 was a fun week for Mindfulness Meditation at the Yoga Barn. You may remember in my week 2 post I said I’m off to practice week 3 which involves me acting like a big kid. Week 3 was Mindful moving.
Mindful Moving involves, of course, moving and stretching.
Quite often in life we’re too busy rushing around at 100 miles an hour. No longer taking time for life. So Mindful moving for me was connecting back to life. Stepping out of the rat race. Slowing the pace. Making the most of every situation and letting time unfold rather than trying to make it. Drinking in every moment with its full surroundings; the sounds, the sights and the touch.
In week one we were told to go for a random walk. Even if it was raining. Feel the wind, the rain etc. This can be as beautiful as walking in the sun shine!
This week there was a slight twist. A Mindful walk. And here’s what you do. Find a nice grass area, your garden is probably best as there you shouldn’t be seen. Take your shoes off and socks if you like. Stand nice and firmly on the grass. Lower your gaze and slightly close your eyes just enough so you don’t walk in to things. Then slowly, very slowly start to walk. Feel the grass under your feet. Connect with exactly how it feels. Try to feel the texture of the grass. Feel every foot step as you make it. Observe all the noises that are thrown at you. The aeroplanes flying over head. The cars driving passed. The children playing in the garden next door. The birds singing in the trees. Observe them all. Do this for about 10 minutes you’ll be amazed just how lost in the moment you can get. After this you will no longer wish to rush about again 🙂
After this we did some Mindful stretching and Mindful Breathing exercises. Too many times in life we push ourselves to the limits. Push past what we are comfortable with. So in the stretches we stretched just to the point of where the pain would start but not past it. We would hold it for a while and start to focus on the edges of the discomfort and then it would start to dissolve. This would last for about 10 minutes.
The other exercise we done was The Three-minute Breathing Space. This was created to deal with such situations. It’s a mini meditation that acts as a bridge between the longer, formal meditations we’d done in the other weeks.
Its impact is twofold: first and foremost, it’s a meditation that’s used to punctuate the day, so that you can more easily maintain a compassionate and mindful stance, whatever comes your way. In essence, it dissolves negative thought patterns before they gain control over your life – often before you’re even aware of them. Secondly, it’s an emergency meditation that allows you to see clearly what is arising from moment to moment when you feel under pressure. It allows you to pause when your thoughts threaten to spiral out of control, by helping you to regain a compassionate sense of perspective and to ground yourself in the present moment.
This is a very simple and effective exercise. Its best to stand as its quite a short meditation. First you focus on your thoughts for the first minute. Let the come and go but don’t get sucked in to them. Then move to your breathing. Focus on this for just a minute. Then focus on your body as a whole. Check in to see how it feels, imagine you can breath in and out of your whole body!
I’d like to quote this:
“The deep stillness we seek does not arise because the world is still or the mind is quiet. Stillness is nourished when we allow things to be just as they are for now, in this moment, moment by moment and breath by breath.”
~ Mark Williams