Being a Massage Therapist and Mindfulness Practitioner, it is my job to help other human beings to connect with their mind, body and soul, there is no miracle technique, or complicated instruction. You just need to remember to breath!
Breathing is the most natural and unconscious thing we as human beings do. Not giving our breath a second thought, the miracle that is our respiratory system works without us needing to consciously connect.
As a mindfulness practitioner and massage therapist, a large part of what I help people with is creating stillness. Many people think what I do is all about physical postures, alignment and strength. that is only part of my role. My favourite part to teach is breath work as that is when I really see people make the connections….
So, what happens when we connect to our inner beings? When we learn to slow down, listen and tune in to our life-force…
When we alter the breath, we begin to oppose and release the ingrained patterns of emotion and attention that are coded into our physical body and mind through habit. As those patterns begin to alter, this may affect our concentration. This is the point at which a lot of people disconnect when they attempt to meditate. When the old thoughts creep back into the mind.
Staying connected to the breath centres us and allows us to quieten the busy mind and create the space that we need to really begin the process of bringing stillness and clarity into our lives.
If you are new to meditation and are finding it a challenge, the next time you try and the mind wanders, bring the breath to the front of your consciousness. Stay with it. Be the breath. Slowing down and being with the breath is meditation in itself.
Through staying consciously connected to the breath, even for just 3 minutes, you will gain a new sense of ease and begin to control where you direct your mind. Why not give it a try?
Firstly, because we want to come into the present moment quickly, you should take a very definite posture. The back is erect, but not stiff, letting the body express a sense of being present and awake.
Close your eyes. Becoming conscious of what is going through your mind: what thoughts are around? Simply note the thoughts and let them go... and then note the feelings that are around at the moment...in particular, turning toward any sense of discomfort or unpleasant feelings, once noted, let them go.
Similarly, with sensations in the body... are there sensations of tensions, of holding? becoming aware of them, simply noting whatever is arising in this moment and then let them go.
Now that you have a sense of what is going on right now, having stepped out of automatic pilot. The second step is to collect your awareness by focusing on a single act -the movement of the breath.
Focusing your attention down in the movements of the abdomen, the rise and fall of the belly as the breath moves in and out...spending a minute or so to focus on the motion of the abdominal wall, moment by moment, breath by breath, as best you can right here, right now. Noticing when the breath is moving in, and when the breath is moving out, being with the breath as it moves into your body and out, binding your awareness to this process, to be present right now.
The third step, is allowing your awareness to expand to the entire body, bringing a more spacious awareness to your experience, letting the breath be present but in the background. Bringing attention to the entire length of the body from head to toe, including any tightness or sensations related to holding or bracing. In this moment holding your awareness in this spaciousness place, breathing in and breathing out.
When you are ready, opening your eyes, letting go of this brief practice.
I really hope you enjoyed this experience of simply breathing with mindfulness.