Nurturing the Breath
“For those of us accustomed to experiencing everything from our heads, the breath invites us to a lower center of gravity. We let go of thinking for a time and come down to the belly. We feel the texture of the breath, its rising and falling, and the physical sensations of movement that accompany it. This helps synchronize body and mind, bringing us more into a mode of present-moment sensing. When we feel the breath, we feel the essence of being alive. This often feels good, even if we’re having a hard time” (Ed Halliwell “Why Mindfulness Meditation Begins with the Breath”).
Have you ever realized that you were unknowingly holding your breath? While we might initially consider attention to be a solely mental activity, or even mostly an activity done with the eyes, our breath is what allows us to focus and process information most effectively. Our breath reminds us that we are always a body and not simply a mind. Lots of research (Links to an external site.) 🙁https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/proper-breathing-brings-better-health/) supports the practice of mindful breathing (Links to an external site.) (https://www.yogajournal.com/yoga-101/science-breathing)as key to mental and physical well-being, but, because breathing is also an involuntary action, we tend to take it for granted. We don’t spend any time developing our ability breathe with intention and purpose. (Athletes and regular meditators are notable exceptions to this).
For your second mindfulness journal, you will take on a breathing practice from the options listed below. Practice at least two times this week (preferably everyday) and keep note of how you feel throughout the week. In particular, note if your breathing practice has an impact on your ability to work and/or communication with family, friends, co-workers, or even yourself. Please write (or speak) 300-500 words about your experience
10 minute meditation (see here (Links to an external site.) for the basics to get started; also see my mindful resources on the home page):(https://www.mindful.org/how-to-meditate/)
Mindful eating (Links to an external site.) (https://www.mindful.org/6-ways-practice-mindful-eating/)(at least 2 meals over the week) – more on mindful eating (Links to an external site.)(:https://yogawithjacci.com/athome/2020/10/20/four-tips-for-eating-with-mindful-attention/)
Mindful walking (Links to an external site.) (at least 2 days of 10 minutes):https://www.mindful.org/daily-mindful-walking-practice/
Mindful writing/reading/listening (Links to an external site.) (at least 2 days of 10 minutes):(https://www.mindful.org/three-simple-mindfulness-practices-you-can-use-every-day/)
Pranayama exercises (Links to an external site.) (at least 2 days of 5-10 minutes):(https://yogawithadriene.com/free-yoga-videos/pranayama/)
requirement: Masters Writing
apa 451 words