Wednesday, March 4, 2015

How meditation can be fun

Some people say they want to learn to meditate but worry it's too difficult or they don't like to sit still. There are so many ways to bring meditation into your life, that can be fun and help you tap into other parts of your brain! Here are some ideas below.

I'm excited that my talented friend, architect and art professor Michael Kieley, has asked me to teach meditation as a short segment of a creative Meditation-Drawing workshop that is going to be so much fun! Whether you're an artist or not, it's just great to exercise your creative muscle in a safe learning space, and he's a terrific guide for that. I have two spots reserved for Embody Health students in this special event, so please be sure to click on the event link and see if you want to join in on Sunday March 29th.

Another way to try meditation in a fun and easy way is to join my Meetup group for Heart Health Hiking. It's not just a hiking group, but we explore different parks and integrate yoga stretches, strength training, meditation, and nutrition tips. All things good for your heart health with the help of nature to get you to de-stress and relax. I started this group because I saw people who were interested in getting a good cardio workout get injured or have missing pieces of the formula for their heart health goals (nutrition, good posture, stretching, breathing/meditation techniques). One of my meditation students has inspired me with her beach walks, that we can plan a beach walk + meditation soon, once the weather is reliably not raining.

Here's an easy exercise for developing mindfulness: When you take a walk, start with taking 5 minutes of your walking to truly pay attention to your breath and the small wonders of nature you see along the way. Things like the unusual stream of light coming through the tree branches, the shapes of the clouds, the small weeds poking out between plants, the patterns of ground covers, the vibrant colors. You've now stimulated at least 2 senses (your breathing and your eyesight). As you go along, see if you can tune in to more of your 5 senses, feeling the breeze against your face, hearing more sounds, etc. Finding a curious attitude like a kid first discovering a new park or street is a way to get more present in your body and make that mind+body connection. You might enjoy this so much that 5 minutes of mindfulness becomes 10 or 15 minutes! Just tuning into your breath alone will help calm down any stress or anxiety. Have fun!

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