Getting in Touch with our Breath

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Mindfulness

I hope that you all had a peaceful and happy Mother’s Day, even if it probably looked a lot different then other years!

For this blog I want to explain the main tool we use when practicing meditation.  And when I talk about meditation I mean when you have set aside some time to sit in quietness, listening to a meditation or simply in silence, mindfulness is when you bring awareness to your everyday tasks.

The main thing I focus on during my meditation classes with adults and children is the thing we have with us all the time and it is the breath. The breath brings us straight back into the present moment once we become aware of it. I start every Relax Kids class with three deep breaths and every adult class starts with becoming aware of our breath. By doing this I am helping participants to practice
mindfulness from the first few moments of the class. We all have a breath and we all breathe all the time but we so rarely notice the breath. Without it we would no longer be alive but we take it for granted most of the time.

There are lots of different facets to focus on with the breath. I like to think about the air coming in, notice the temperature of it and the sensations around your nostrils and then we start to follow the breath. Can you notice the lungs gently expanding as you breath in? And think about where you can feel your lungs. Can you feel them in your chest? Your chest rising and falling slowly? Can you now
notice your back gently moving with the breath? Can you feel your back expanding and then gently contracting? If you have the back of a chair or a wall to lean against now see if you can feel your back moving very gently with the breath. Just reading these words I want you to sit, stand or lie exactly as you are and take a slow breath in through your nose and then slowly release it out. Slowly breath in and slowly breath out and once more breath in slowly, filling your lungs and slowly release the breath out. While you are reading those words and breathing slowly in and slowly out you may have noticed that your mind has become quieter. When we focus on the breath and how the breath feels we cannot focus on our thoughts. It is impossible for us to think about two things at once which is why
in meditation and mindfulness we pick something to focus on.

Mindfulness in Action
I want you to download the InSight Timer app for free and I want you to set the timer for 5 minutes. You are going to try sitting still for 5 minutes with your eyes closed. There are options on the app for you to add in ambient sounds and include a starting and ending bell which will all make the 5 minutes a little easier. Alternatively you could find a 5 minute YouTube video and listen to that. It is
5 minutes, not long so I highly recommend you try it. Commit to it for 5 days, Monday to Friday and see if you notice a difference. And PLEASE let me know how you get on!


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