Mindfulness Activity #58
Head to Toe Mindfulness
I realize that many of you who are practicing in hospitals or other facilities may not have a way right now to access the links to videos attached to some of these mindfulness messages. The practice from yesterday (following breath like a wave or riding the crest of the breath) can be done anywhere, with no technology and nothing additional needed except yourself. I think this practice of following a deep breath to its top and then exhaling slowly is one of the most important practices you can master. So I wanted to spend a few days practicing different variations of this practice with all of you.
I call today’s variation Head to Toe Mindfulness. This can be done seated, but ideally you can do this practice laying down on a bed or on a mat on the floor. Begin by taking a deep breath in through your nose until you feel your lungs filled to capacity. Notice the “top of the breath.” When there is no more room in your lungs and you notice the breath transition from in-breath to out-breath, slowly force all of the air out of your lungs. You can try, and it should not be difficult, for your exhale to be a little longer than your inhale. Whenever you feel ready to add the next layer, on your next in-breath flex your toes back towards your heart and feel your leg tight at the top pf the breath, as you exhale, slowly release your legs and point your toes to the floor. Move your toes with your breath—toes up on the in breath, hold at the top, toes down on the out breath, point before your next inhale. Repeat this practice, feeling your body relax on each exhale. Do this for at least three minutes—more if you have the time.
Later today and throughout the weekend, try to do this deep breath (without toes) throughout your day (using just a single breath or two.) Try to use the whole head to toe practice when you go to sleep tonight and before you get out of your bed in the morning. If you are willing, try to do this morning and night for three days and see if it changes the beginning and end of your day in any way. Let me know what you notice…
Wishing you a day with some moments of peace and relaxation!