Mindfulness and Shrines (part 2) - Principles and fundamentals of mindfulness
This is Sayaka, your yoga instructor! Welcome to part 2.
If you have never heard of mindfulness, this article will help you understand the basics and learn more about it.
The basics of mindfulness
In this article, I will explain the basic practice of mindfulness, which consists of focusing on the changes in the body (movements) that occur through the breath. We can call this "mindfulness through breathing".
1. Sit comfortably with a good posture
Sit on the floor or on a chair in a quiet and calm environment. In this posture, the pelvis should be slightly raised, the hips should be firm, and the spine should be kept stretched upward.
2) Focus on your breathing
1) Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, three to five times.
The goal is to release the tension in the body and mind through the exhalation.
2) Then breathe in through your nose while focusing on your abdomen.
As you inhale, your belly will gradually expand. As you exhale, your belly will gradually become smaller and smaller. Focus on these belly movements and feel them.
3) When your mind moves away from your belly, feel it
Our mind tends to be filled with thoughts. Even if we focus our attention on our belly, our mind wanders between the past and the future. When you feel your focus waning, bring your attention back to your belly, specifically the spot below your belly button.
The goal is not to judge, either for good or for bad, one's level of distraction or our thoughts that are focused on the past or the future. The goal is to understand and notice when our mind starts to focus on other things, on the past or the future, and then to refocus.
Frequently asked questions about mindfulness and answers
Question 1 - Do I have to sit down to practice mindfulness?
No. There are many ways to practice mindfulness: you can practice mindfulness when you sit, eat or walk. You can even do it when you wash your dishes: if you are aware of each of your movements one by one, then you can practice mindfulness. It's up to you to find the best method that fits with your lifestyle!
Question 2 - Do I have to reach the "void" to practice mindfulness?
No. Mindfulness does not aim to make you reach the void. If you get distracted, it is okay to recognize this state and bring your attention back to your breathing.
Question 3 - Is mindfulness worth practicing if the sessions are done over short periods of time?
Yes, according to a US study, five minutes of mindfulness over a week can help reduce stress.
Conclusion on the basic principles of mindfulness and announcement of future articles:
Mindfulness is not something you can simply understand in your head, you also have to practice it to master this practice. You can't build muscle like a bodybuilder in one day. Mindfulness has to be a regular practice. You can even start by meditating for a minute a day, depending on your pace of life and your physical and mental state.
I hope you've learned the basics of mindfulness with these explanations, and I'll see you in the next article, "The best way to visit a sanctuary to heal your body and mind"
I am looking forward to writing to you again!
★ Text and images: Sayaka
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