Below are some quick and easy exercises to slow down and find grounding in your day. Perhaps you practice one of the exercises first thing in the morning. Or, maybe you allow yourself to stop and try one during a hectic or stressful part of your day. Maybe it’s your way to wind down before falling asleep at night. Whatever time you feel it will best serve you, I encourage you to find a moment to quiet your mind and tune inwards.
- Close your eyes :: seriously. It can be that easy. By closing our eyes we close ourselves off from any external stimulation which, in turn, shifts our focus inward.
- Focus on your breath :: notice if it’s short, rapid, exhales longer than inhales. And, from there, start drawing out the length of your breath. Start by trying to inhale for 4, hold for 2, exhale for 4 and increase the length of inhales and exhales as you practice more.
- Imagine that you are inhaling good, clean air and as you exhale you are emptying any stale air out.
- Or, imagine your breath to be a glowing line of energy – as you inhale imagine the line of energy moving from the base of your spine to the crown of your head. As you exhale, the line moves over the top of your head, down your body wrapping around your pelvis and connecting back down to the base of you sacrum. Perhaps as your breath moves up it’s blue and as it wraps and moves back down it’s red. Anything that helps you to picture the flow of energy will help!
- Turn off your thoughts :: dismiss them. As they creep into your mind – and they will! – label them as “thoughts”, nothing more complex, and push them out of your head. I always tell my students when in Savasana: “any thoughts that come into your mind, label them as that. They are just thoughts. You can get to them in a few minutes. At this moment they don’t serve you, so let them go.”
- Tune into your physical body :: notice any sensations you’re feeling.
- Maybe you’re feeling tense in certain areas. Acknowledge those areas and send your breath there.
- Feel your belly, then your rib cage expand on your inhales, feel your naval draw towards your spine and your ribs knit down and inwards on your exhale.
- Notice how the air feels on your skin.
- Tune into your emotional body :: this can be a tough one! Acknowledge if you’re feeling stressed, tired, happy, grateful, anxious, overwhelmed – whatever it may be, acknowledge it and sit in it.
- After you’ve acknowledged how you’re feeling, use your breath to inhale a good intention or good thought and as you exhale imagine you are expelling any thoughts, emotions or feelings that aren’t serving you. Continue that cycle, gradually moving towards inhaling your good intention or thought and as you exhale sending it out into the world and sharing it with anything living around you.
- And if you can’t find time to sit, tune into your senses. As you walk, smell the smells, hear the sounds, feel the ground underneath your feet, the air on your skin. Allow yourself to fully take in and enjoy the beauty that is around you.
By taking time to learn to be present you will be come more in tune with yourself, which will allow you to be more in tune with others. You’ll become a better listener which will make you a better friend, spouse, mother, sister. You’ll become calmer and more at peace. You will become a better version of you.
Love and blessings, yogis.