In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.
One day at the end of a dance-meditation class one of the participants shared that during the dance she remembered she was involved in a car accident on Monday that week and hurt her arm. It was now Friday evening and she had rushed through the whole week without noticing that she was in considerable pain!
It can be so easy to ignore the body, to override its messages, but at what cost?
This practice is an invitation into a deep experience of body and movement.
To develop this practice, once you have got the hang of the arms, allow other body parts to start moving in time with the breath also. Be creative, see what movement the breath inspires in your hips, chest, legs and feet. Finally, release the whole body into mindful movement.
Set a timer for five or ten minutes.
Begin by finding a comfortable posture and by bringing your attention to the breath. Take a few moments to let yourself arrive and allow the breath to draw you gently into internal awareness. Allow the gaze to soften, the eyes to close.
1) On each inhalation silently say In and on each exhalation silently say Out.
2) In ... Out ... In ... Out ...
3) Feel the rhythm of the breath inside the body. Become the breath.
4) On the next breath, the arms are going to move up and away from the body on the inhalation and down and back to your sides on the exhalation. The arms do not need to travel far. Just as much as feels comfortable.
5) In - arms float up. Out - arms float down.
6) As you do this, imagine that the arms are an extension of the lungs, with the same capacity to fill, expand, empty and release.
7) Allow the arms to follow the breath, become the breath, ease the breath and allow the breath to find new expression.
8) Continue until the timer sounds.
9) Return to wakefulness in your own way.
Record your experience of the breath moving the body in your Mindfulness Journal.
If practising with others, take turns sharing your discoveries.
This practice is an extract from 100 Mindfulness Meditations: The Ultimate Collection of Inspiring Daily Practices by Neil Seligman published by Conscious House and available on Amazon priced £12.99.
10 Mindfulness Meditations is an album of audio meditations to accompany the book and is now available on iTunes priced £7.99
Neil Seligman is the Founder of The Conscious Professional, home of Corporate Mindfulness, Resilience and Wellbeing Solutions.
Also offering 1-1 Mindfulness Coaching, Conscious Life Coaching and Luxury Mindfulness Retreats at Champneys.