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The Stop, Breathe, Listen Challenge

Summer has finally arrived and the beauty of the season is in full swing.  Fresh fruits and veggies in the garden and the farmers markets, vacations, activities with family and friends, parties, holidays, late nights.  We tend to plan and schedule every minute with action and activity.  We have to enjoy every last minute of warmth and sun to keep us through the winter here in New England.  

Because of this, we often let yoga and meditation practice wane, letting the mat stay rolled in the corner while we run and play in the sun.  

So I'm here to challenge you this summer.  I'm calling it the Stop, Breathe, Listen Challenge.  And its here to show you that no matter how active a day, a week, a season, or all of life may become, there is always time to for the breath and to listen deeply within to your true being.

Below are a few suggestions on adding a bit of yoga and meditation to your day.  Choose one or two and you're done!  All can be done in 5-10 minutes or less, so set a timer, unroll your mat, and accept my challenge!

  • Unroll your mat and practice these poses for 5-8 breaths each.  Simple Cross Legged Pose, Cat & Cow, and Child's pose.  (great to start or end the day.)
  • Energizing poses for the morning:  Downward Dog, Warrior I, and Warrior III.  5-8 breaths each.
  • Relaxing poses for the evening:  Apanasana, Supine Twist, Savasana.  8-10 breaths each, at least 5 minutes for Savasana.
  • Wake up, lay on your back, one hand to your heart and one on your belly.  Observe the breath for 10 breath cycles.  (This is also a wonderful way to relax as you prepare for sleep at the end of the day.)
  • Wake up, sit up.  Inhale drawing the arms out to the side and up overhead.  Exhale palms together drawing them back to your heart.  Repeat for 10 breaths.
  • At any time, during any activity, become aware of your breath and the sensations within your body.  Bringing mindfulness to daily activities can make them more enjoyable too.  Think exercising, washing dishes, gardening, etc.
  • Take a short walk after dinner.  Try to let your mind quiet, enjoying the breath and the sensations surrounding you. 

Will you be accepting the Challenge?

How do you intend to keep up with your practice in the midst of all the summer activity? 


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