21-Day Meditation Challenge: Day Three – Focus and Relax
Take a comfortable seated position on a bolster or pillow with a blanket or some padding under your knees. Straighten up the spine, then settle into the body. Begin to be aware of the breathe. Make sure the breathe comes from belly though ribs all the way to kiss the collarbones.Have your phone or a timepiece next to you.
As soon as you are settled in, set a time between 5 to fifteen minutes for your practice. Close or open your eyes; your choice. On the inhale, focus on your breath. On the exhale relax in your body. That doesn’t mean slump as your spine stays straightened but you release tension anywhere that isn’t holding you up. Think of your jaw, face, hips. shoulders. I recently noticed that I tense the top of my left foot in meditation! And I’ve been meditating for years and never knew it! There’s always a new place to relax.
Continue to focus on the inhale and relax on the exhale. If your mind wanders just bring it back to those two points, gently without judgement. Practice equanimity toward your practice Whatever is: is. However it goes: it goes. If its’ easy: OK. If it’s hard: OK. Be easy on yourself and you might get to enjoy the feeling of Focus/Relax!
At the end of your set time. Open your eyes if they were closed and place your palms together in front of your heart. Bow deeply from the waist. Then rise upright, smile and go on with your day!
~ Andrea O’Connor