Let's begin by taking a moment just to settle your body in a comfortable position. It can be standing, sitting, or lying down, just inviting a sense of ease and relaxation in the body, feeling comfortable, with the intention to bring awareness and alertness to the physical sensations of your body.
Can you feel the weight of your body on the ground or your chair, the points of contact with the Earth, or whatever is underneath you? Noticing the sounds around you move through your ears. Noticing any smells.
Bringing awareness to the sensations of breathing, through your nose or your mouth. And as you breathe, see if you can relax your belly and your chest, seeing if you can loosen any tension, softening any tightness, and allowing yourself to breathe full, deep breaths, inviting a sense of ease in your belly and your chest as you let go of any tension ... dropping your shoulders, softening your hands and the muscles of your face.
Just feeling a sense of ease as you breathe ... noticing the physical sensations around your body. What does it feel like to be breathing in this moment, the sensations of each inhale and exhale?
Today we're going to practice three mindful breaths.
Begin by taking a slow, gentle inhale, resting your attention on the sensation of air passing through your nostrils, filling your chest and abdomen. Notice the inhale ends, and shifts back through a gentle exhale. Notice the sensations in the body as the air passes back out. Rest for a moment and begin again.
Long, slow inhale, directing your attention to the sensation of the air as you breathe in, and the long, slow exhale, noticing the sensations as the air passes out.
Noticing the air move in ... and out. Wonderful.
What did that feel like? If you had to describe the sensations of breathing in those moments to somebody, how would you describe it? What temperature was the air? How long was each exhale? Was there a sense of ease, or a sense of trying to do it right? What was that experience like for you?
Over time, you'll be building your concentration as well as your sense of kind curiosity, where you're able to stay present with a sense of openness, noticing all of the physical sensations as well as how your mind relates to your experience. So don't worry if you felt like you didn't get this right, or if you felt like this was boring. Those are completely natural reactions.
But if this provided a sense of ease for you, I invite you to try this again and again. In the coming weeks we'll be exploring different ways of bringing mindfulness to the breath as well as to the body to build embodied awareness, a sense of confidence, and also kindness for ourselves and others.
Before eating your next meal today, complete another ‘Three Mindful Breaths’ practice.
What impact do you notice when you stop and take three mindful breaths?