Sending Gratitude to the Body
Start by getting comfortable in your seat. This practice can be done with either eyes open, or eyes closed.
Close your eyes, or find a spot in front of you to softly settle your gaze.
Take a deep breath in through the nose.
Sigh and release through the mouth.
Repeat this 3 times.
Deep breath in through the nose.
Sigh, and release through the mouth.
On each out breath, feel all of the stress of your day being released, on the exhale.
Fall into natural breath.
Let it come and go on it's own - don't control it, force it or change it it anyway.
Simply allow your breath to breathe
Your body does this anywhere from 15 to 25 thousand times a day.....on it's own.
Just bring awareness to this natural process, exactly as it is.
Resist the urge to modify or alter your breath.
Don’t make it longer or stronger - faster or slower.
Ask your attention to be with the breath, as it is.
Your only job is to breathe, and feel the breath.
If you're like the rest of our species......pretty soon - you'll notice, your mind seems to have a mind of it's own :)
It's going to start to wander, and you'll lose the feeling of the breath.
Rather than criticize or judge yourself harshly, the noticing is where the magic happens.
Much like a push up, a bicep curl or other form of physical training, you develop the muscle of mindfulness, by bringing your attention back to the breath, every time you notice it's wandered away.
Simply ask your mind to come back to the feeling of breathing.
I like to imagine that my mind is a kite, or a balloon, and my breath is a string.
When I become aware that the balloon is starting to float away, I simply imagine my breath as an invisible thread that I use to gently guide it back to my body.
Every single breath matters.
There are no unimportant breaths.
No matter how many times the balloon floats away, keep coming back to the feeling of the breath, right here and right now.
Become a connoisseur of your breath.
What would it feel like to "get really into" the breath?
Fully engaged, interested and attentive to the feeling of breathing in, and letting go.
Curious. Connected. Interested.
Each breath, an opportunity to begin again.
Now let's bring loving awareness, and an attitude of gratitude to your lungs for pumping, your heart for beating and your breath for breathing...without asking anything in return.
While feeling the breath, bring curious attention to your lungs.
With each in breath, the air that touches and fills your lungs is nourishing a part of your body, that if unpacked, unfolded and laid out flat, would fill every inch of a professional tennis court.
Now consider your body from the inside out.
See if you can bring introspective attention to the vast network of blood vessels keeping your heart beating in this very moment.
With each in breath you take in this moment, oxygen is nourishing an intricate ecosystem and network of blood vessels so wonderfully vast and complex, that if you were to thread them into a single string, it would be long enough to circle the earth more than twice around .
More than 60k miles of anatomical art is wrapped inside of you at this very moment.
Every time you breathe in, 37 trillion super intelligent cells are doing the hard work for you - absorbing everything that they need to survive and thrive.
And every time you breathe out, they naturally let go of all of the things they don't.
It's so magical, mysterious and wonderful to be born into bodies like these.
With all of their flaws and their foibles, the gifts they offer us are almost impossible to comprehend.
Do you know what it feels like to in a magnificent, magical, mysterious and wonderful body that is fully alive?
It feels like this.
It feels like you.
Breathing in and breathing out
Breathing in I calm body and mind.
Breathing out, I smile.
So take a deep breath of thanks and appreciation.
And with gratitude, let it go.