Sunday, August 14, 2016

How to Celebrate National Relaxation Day August 15th

Celebrate National Relaxation Day with Mindfulness Exercises

by Kathleen Lisson
Take a Walk in Nature

If you have ten minutes - take a walk. Focus on each of your senses for five or six breaths as you take a pleasant walk in nature. As you walk, notice what you can see for five breaths, then what you can hear for five breaths. Continue walking and feel your feet moving for five breaths, then become aware of smells, then experiment if you can taste anything in the air or feel the texture of your tongue in your mouth. Begin again at the top of the list with sight and continue feeling each of your senses until the ten minute walk is finished. Notice if paying attention to the present moment instead of getting lost in thought has made you more relaxed. If you cannot find a place in nature, consider walking a labyrinth! Find labyrinths in San Diego here:

If you have five minutes - try a body scan. Sitting or lying down, find a comfortable position and gently focus on different parts of your body in this relaxing technique. Start by feeling your toes for two breaths, then feel each different body part, switching every second inhale. Breathe and feel the feet, ankles, lower legs and knees. Continue to focus on how your body feels from the inside of your thighs, hips, lower back, abdomen, upper back, shoulders, chest, arms, hands and fingers. Finish your body scan by feeling inside your neck, jaw, face, ears and scalp, each for two breaths. Finally, focus on your entire body breathing peacefully for a few breaths. Warning! This exercise may result in falling asleep and is great for practicing right before bedtime.  

If you have one minute - focus on your breath. This exercise can be done at your desk or even in a tense meeting! Take a slow deep inhale through your nose, then exhale through your nose. Count to two, then inhale again. Pausing in between breaths brings relaxation.

Kathleen Lisson is a certified Meditation Teacher and Labyrinth Facilitator and teaches Meditation and Mindfulness at IPSB college in San Diego. Sign up for a private meditation lesson or labyrinth walk in the comfort of your home here:

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