This week’s mindfulness practice is geared toward helping to find deep relaxation at the end of a busy day or week. We will all need to find a place where we can lie down on the floor. Bring the bottoms of your feet together to touch, and let your knees fall open like butterfly wings. Your head will rest down on the ground, or on a pillow that you can make with a sweater or nearby padding.
Gently close your eyes, placing one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest. Does this sound familiar? If you remember our lesson on Belly Breath, we placed our hands this way too. Just begin to notice the way your hands feel on your body. Are they heavy or light? Do they feel comforting here? Begin to activate your belly breathing. Notice your inhale travel through your nose, down your throat and into your belly, filling it up. Notice your exhale pull your belly down, pressing into the ground, and emptying out of your throat and then your nose. Continue with your belly breathing, making your belly fill up more and more as you breathe in, and empty out more and more as you breathe out.
Then begin to notice the way your whole body feels. Do your hips feel tight from your knees falling open? If so, see if you can move your breath into that tight space and open up the tightness with your breathing. Move to another part of your body that feels tight and do the same thing. Keep doing this until you breathe out all of your tension. Let it all release into the ground beneath you.
We will begin to redirect the breath back to our belly, engaging our Belly Breath once more. Notice how much air you can take in and out with each breath. Feel each breath wash away anything you are holding on to that doesn’t feel good. Take ten more deep, feeling breaths in and out of the belly, then find your natural breath once more.
Slowly reach for the outside of your knees with your hands, and bring them to stand upright. They pull your knees into your belly to give yourself a big hug, keeping your eyes closed. When you are ready, roll over to your right hand side and pause. Place one hand on the ground, and think of one nice thing to say to your self. Then say that inside your head. When you are ready we will push up to a seat and gently open our eyes.
How did that feel?
Teacher’s Tip: This is a great end-of-the week practice to help kids unwind from the school week. You can practice this with them, or on your own at the end of every week, and even the end of every school day. You can facilitate discussion, or simply have this be an exiting activity for the school day, allowing the kids to trickle out after or simply sit for a few more moments as it feels right to them.
Student’s Tip: You can practice this on your own at home, and it is also a great practice to do with your parents when they get home from work. Feel free to talk to your teacher if you have any questions or comments about how the practice made you feel.