Lesson 9: Habit #7: Daily Mindfulness Practice

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1 Lesson 9: Habit #7: Daily Mindfulness Practice 1

2 Why humans need daily mindfulness practices: Counter Stress Counter degenerative disease Experience a relaxed response to life Awaken to potential Drop bad habits Engage good habits Get perspective from mind + emotional body Participate in mindful relationships 2

3 The Daily Mindfulness Practices: Meditation Chanting Breathing Mindful Movement (Yoga Asana) 3

4 Skills for future humans On a planet with more people and finite resources... Mindfulness practices accelerate development. 4

5 Know your members Too many practices... too little time Ask yourself: How much time do they each have for a mindfulness practice? What mix of practices will work for their life right now? What mix of practices will be the easiest to take up? What practices will be the easiest to maintain? What practices if they take up now will have the best payoff in the long term? What are the biggest obstacles to taking up a daily mindfulness practice? What could make an existing practice more effective? 5

6 Circle the benefits that would improve your life the most in the left column. Once you are clear on the benefits to you, create a commitment to your practice. yogahealer.com Daily Mindfulness Practice *personal benefits worksheet* by Cate Stillman....founder of yogahealer.com benefits of mindfulness practice 1. Improve my focus, concentration, and precision. 2. Enhance the quality of my communication and relationships. 3. Heighten the clarity of my thinking and intentions. 4. Improve my efficiency and safety. 5. Deepen peace of mind and sense of flow. 6. Master stress. 7. Deepen my insight and intuitive wisdom. 8. Awaken more authenticity, heart, soul, and caring in how I show up in life. 9. Increase my resilience to change. design your practice I commit to a mindfulness practice of: minutes a day The mindfulness practice I want to do are: movement breath meditation Do I want to mix my practices? Do I want to focus on 1 practice? What should my mindful practices be this week? time for movement time for breath time for meditation 10. Strengthen my faith, discipline and selfconfidence. 6

7 yogahealer.com Mindful Breathing start here by Cate Stillman....founder of yogahealer.com do s Practice Early Breathing practices need to be done on an empty stomach. Practice early in the morning, after emptying your bladder (and hopefully bowels)and hydrating. Start your day by clearing the space of your inner body for the flow of consciousness. Your practice in the morning will affect your entire day - and you ll make better, more conscious choices. Wear loose clothes + sit Your body needs to expand, unrestricted, for the breathing practice. Sit upright, on as much height as needed to easily maintain an upright spine. Sit on the edge of a chair if that is more comfortable than on a floor cushion. Be Gentle Use your ambition in pranayama (breathing practice) to get you to the cushion and to stay there for the allotted time. You don t need to use ambition to move a ton of breath. Be gentle with yourself - and slowly build your practice. Link day to day My first pranayama teacher described the pranayama practice as stringing a pearl on a necklace day by day. She said when you skip a day - you break the chain of momentum, and you start again, stringing bead by bead, day by day. Breathe for Nourishment Prana is inherently nourishing and nutrifying. The subtle channels of your body are nourished and strengthened by prana. The Prana is carries consciousness into cells, and enables cellular intelligence to interconnect into a network. Allow yourself to perceive the prana as inherently nourishing and relax into it s start here Ujjayi is the most basic deep breathing practice. It means triumphantly uprising - which is how you feel when you get the benefit of the practice. 1. Set your timer for 5, 10, or 15 minutes, depending on your previous experience. 2. Inhale through your nose, then exhale slowly through a wide-open mouth. Direct the outgoing breath slowly across the back of your throat with a drawn-out HA sound. Repeat several times. 3. Close your mouth. 4. Inhale and exhale through your nose, direct the breath slowly across the back of your throat. You should hear, a soft hissing sound - like Darth Vader. 5. Make the inhale and exhale match in length, volume, and smoothness. This Darth Vader sound is the unspoken mantra which: slows your breath down focuses awareness on the breath instead of your thoughts regulates your flow of prana Set your timer for 5 minutes. After 2 weeks, increase your time to 10. After a month, increase your time to 15 minutes. After your timer goes off, return to normal breathing for a minute or two, then lie down in corpse pose and absorb the prana for a moment. 7

8 8

9 Which Practices are best for you? choose your practice why for who? benefits Move (yoga) you sit all day you re stiff you re disconnected from your body you re not making good food choices everyone better for beginners to start with movement basic health better circulation of all tissue gets oxygen in your blood for the day connects awareness into your bodily tissue Breathe (pranayana) you are ready to advance your practice meditation is too agitating, and you want to start a practice that is sitting, but still doing something you want to unblock your channels more subtly everyone start with movement - then incorporate seated breath practices open your energetic anatomy deeply reset your nervous system into relaxation response have subtle body experiences of love and bliss Sit (meditation) you want to experience your potential beyond ego you want perspective from your emotional body your want to experience being or peace you need to get a handle on your stressful life everyone If you ve tried to have a regular practice in the past and given up, incorporate pranayama before. get a handle on stress experience peace live beyond ego 9

10 Then and Now Tell your Pranic Story 10

11 Before After 11

12 Tell the story of your Abhyasa (practice) How did you start practicing regularly? What does regularity of practice do for you? What happens who you don t practice for a while? How does your practice change with each decade? How do you foresee it changing as you age? 12

13 Each day - an opportunity to practice Forget making practice perfect... practice to practice. 13

14 time and momentum Help you members see the amplitude of short practices over time. What changed in your body, mind, spirit due to your practices over time? 14

15 Practice as repetition 15

16 teaching of Sthira Sukha Asanam Going steady with mindfulness practice The word, sthira, means more than just firm. It translates as stable, resolute, changeless. Sthira speaks not only of challenge, strength, endurance and fortitude but also vigilance, the ability to be pay attention, to be present. It is the opposite of agitation and refers to both physical and mental stillness: a controlled, fully engaged body and a focused mind. 16

17 Practice with an Attitude of Gratitude Practice is a privilege: Very few of our human ancestral family has had access to A small % of people today have access, resources or time to practice. 17

18 Meditation Practice Concentration On the breath On a mantra On sensation arising + Passing On numbers (beginner) Direct Perception Awareness as such Being Not doing Not of this world (advanced) 18

19 Breathing practice 101 Nervous system relaxed Breath naturally accessing lower lobes of the lungs No reverse diaphragmatic breathing Emphasize the exhale 19

20 Home Yoga Practice Frequency over duration (start with 5 minutes) Start with table pose or sun salutations Limit yourself to less time - not more time. 20

21 yogahealer.com Weekly Mindfulness Chart *Is your practice effective?* Rate on a scale of is a problem 5 is an asset Rate = bad 3= so-so 5 = awesome When I don t do mindfulness practice After a week of strong commitment to mindfulness practice Ability to concentrate Quality of my communication Clarity of my thinking Connection to my deeper intentions My overall efficiency My body awareness and safety My ability to make good decisions for my body, my work, and my life Managing stress Access to my intuition or inner compass My ability to change and be un-stuck as I navigate life My ability to be intimate and connected in relationships My experience of inner peace 21

22 Daily Mindfulness Practice *personal benefits worksheet* How much time do I have for a daily mindfulness practice? Be realistic. What mix of practices do I crave in my life right now? What mix of practices will be the easiest to take up? What practices will be the easiest to maintain? What practices if I take up now will have the best payoff in the long term? What are the biggest obstacles to taking up a daily mindfulness practice? What could make an existing practice more effective? 22

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