Mindful meditation exercises 

Freedom is not given to us by anyone; we have to cultivate it ourselves. It is a daily practice... No one can prevent you from being aware of each step you take or each breath in and breath out."
Thich Nhat Hanh

Mindful meditation Exercises:
First shift means to move from a "doing"mode to a "being"mode.

Body scan
You can do it: standing, seating or lying down (supine):
You choose your body as the object of your mindful approach.
You want to give “open and caring attention” to yourself.

1. Close your eyes, give attention to your breathing, breathe naturally.
you might find your brain wanting to regulate your breathing, become aware of it and then go back to the natural breathing.

2. Where do you feel it the most? (nose, belly, chest…), stay here a bit. As you become more relaxed your breathing will be localized in your belly.

3. Follow your complete inhalation and your complete expiration.

4. Concentrate on a part of your body, feel it, observe it…let the “open and caring” attention then fade away (ex: foot, calf, upper leg, buttock, belly, lower back, …)

5. Go to a next part of your body, and show the same interest in feeling and observing it with open and caring attention.

6. Continue…(scan at least 12 body parts )

7. Finally observe your complete body with the same “open and caring” interest.

8. Produce joy;  by smiling…

9. During the body scan your mind will wonder off to other points of interests…that is typical you can consider it as part of the body scan. I repeat to be “open and caring” bringing your mind back to the body scan.

10. In the beginning your mind will “judge” or “evaluate” what you are doing as positive or negative. Remember your mind wants to create a bond with experiences. Just continue with “open and caring” attention.

11. Start doing it lying down for 9 minutes.
12. Slowly come back to your surroundings and proceed with your activities.

Ones you are familiar with this practice you can use it during the work day to relief stress. You can sit down and do this for 3 minutes or more.

Life is available only in the present. That is why we should walk in such a way that every step can bring us to the here and the now."
Thich Nhat Hanh

We can also switch to a “ being mode” with a mindful walking meditation:


1. Stand up and feel the contact of your feet with your shoes or with the floor. Give “mild and loving attention” to your feet.

2. Start walking with a calm pace, feeling your weight being shifted from one leg and foot to the other one.

3. Feel  all muscles that cooperate in the walk and give open and caring attention to your complete body..

4. Feel your breathing: how long do you breathe in and how long do you breathe out (number of footsteps)

5. Add a pranayama: mentally say “ha” for your inhalation and say “ho” when you exhale.

6. Produce joy; by smiling..

7. Slowly come back to your surroundings and proceed with your activities.
8. This exercise should take in the beginning 9 minutes in your meditation time.
This is an excellent way to relief stress during the workday. You can take a walk and do this for 3 minutes or more.

1 a

1 b

2

3

Meditation postures for seated mindful meditation exercises:
When you meditate you want your energy to calm down and to evolve from the lower parts of the body to the higher parts of the body.
Your posture can be helpful to achieve this. Important is to have a straight back (with natural curves).
1. Siddhasana or perfect pose with feet a. next to each other or b. one foot on top of the other one.
2. Use a meditation bench
3. Use a chair, your spine doesn’t lean against the back of the chair. Both feet touch the floor.

Seated meditation on an object with the “ beginners mind”.
I use a candle and a candlestick but you can use any object you would like to.
If you use a candle, it is even better to be in a (almost) dark room, so this is a wonderful evening meditation.


1. Light up a candle and sit down with a straight back (chair, Siddhasana or meditation bench)


2. Sit a bit distant so that you don’t feel the warmth of the flame.


3. Close your eyes and tune in on your breathing. Give it “open and caring” attention.


You might find your brain wanting to regulate your breathing, become aware of it and then go back to the natural breathing.


4. Where do you feel it the most? (nose, belly, chest…), stay here a bit. As you become more relaxed your breathing will be localized in your belly.

5. Follow your complete inhalation and your complete expiration, stay here for a while.


6. Open your eyes, look at the candle, candlestick and flame as if you see them the first time in your life. (beginners mind)


7. Look at it with wonder and admiration. What grabs your attention? Observe and let the image sink in.


8. Close your eyes again and try to remember what you saw and felt.


9. Open your eyes and look at it again with your beginners mind. Look mostly at the flame.


10. Close your eyes, look between the eyebrows and a bit upwards, (through the third eye)and see if the image of the candle lightens up there. (repeat 9 if necessary)

11. Produce joy; by smiling


12. Slowly come back to your surroundings and proceed with your activities.
13. This exercise should take in the beginning 9 minutes in your meditation time.

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