By Kim Watters, Fitness Manager
You know that moment during the day where you feel overwhelmed by the pile of tasks that need to be accomplished ASAP? This is the perfect opportunity to take five minutes to induce the art of stillness. Taking just a couple minutes during a hectic day will help elicit the relaxation response where you can breathe space into your mind and instill mental clarity to organize your thoughts.
- GET COMFORTABLE. It really doesn’t matter if you sit on the edge of your chair with an extended spine and your feet hip width distance apart or if you sit on the floor behind your desk, just sit in the most comfortable position that supports a long, fully extended spine.
- CLOSE YOUR EYES. Either close your eyes or soften your gaze. Begin to take your awareness within, closing off the chaotic outside world.
- BREATHE. Become aware of the natural flow of your breath. Notice where you naturally tend to breath. Do you feel your breath in just the top of your lungs, behind your chest; can you sense the breath expanding your ribcage or pulling down toward your belly? Just notice at first, become a silent witness to your connection with life. If we did not breathe, we could not live!
- 3 PART BREATH. Now begin to consciously control your breathing. Start by filling the bottom third of your lungs with oxygen, and energy; sense your belly expanding on the inhale and deflating on the exhale. Keep filling the lower third of your lungs, now begin to sense your ribcage expanding 360º, finally, allowing your chest to rise. Inhaling belly, ribs, and chest, then exhaling chest, ribs, and belly. Complete 10-20 complete breath cycles.
- JUST SIT AND BE. After you complete conscious control of your breath notice the effect it has had on both your body and your mind. Sense a state of peace and release. Notice how your heart rate has slowed down. Explore the expanse of open space in your mind.
- WAKE-UP. Slowly wiggle your fingers and toes and open your eyes. Pick up a pencil and write a list of what you feel is the most important tasks you need to accomplish, remain relaxed, and begin.