Just Breath

Just Breath

With so many new anxieties in the world today, achieving a healthy frame of mind can seem more challenging than in years past. Having a daily moment of intentional quiet can go a long way toward a better outlook.

In Part I of this weekly series, we focused on establishing a calming nighttime routine with five minutes of yoga. In Part II, we created balance both physically and mentally through a five-minute balance workout. In Part III, we demonstrated a simple routine to take a break from work and move your body using only your desk chair.
This five-minute meditation routine combines both yoga and balance to steady the mind, utilize the breath to become more mindful and reduce stress. Through movements and attention to breath, you’ll be on your way to feeling calmer, thinking more clearly and improving concentration and decision-making.
Mindfulness meditation, research has shown, is even connected with being able to process new information. You don’t need to purchase a meditation cushion to perform mindfulness meditation and reap the benefits. This five-minute routine can be done seated on a yoga mat, on the couch or even at your work-from-home desk.

Maybe you’re in need of meditation to help reduce anxiety, improve feelings of depression or just divert your mind to something else. Mindfulness meditation does, in fact, decreases anxiety and improves self-esteem, studies have shown.

As you move through this meditation, focus on deep breathing. Inhale and exhale through the nose, and start by filling up your belly with air. Then feel the air rise up into the chest. As you exhale, empty the chest first and then feel the stomach deflate like a balloon. This slow, conscious and specific breath pattern aids in focusing the mind to the present moment.

Finally, if your mind wanders easily during this sequence, you can focus on a one-word mantra to recite silently to yourself. Choosing a word like “serenity” or “peace” or “confidence” and syncing your movement with your breath can help transport you to a different world that quiets distractions from the past and future.