Breathing Meditation Practice: 5-10 minutes a day
By Lynn Cukaj, ATR-BC www.CreativeExpressionsConsulting.com
Art Therapy for Children, Teenagers, and Adults
Elevate Consciousness through Mindful Breathing:
Embark on a transformative journey of self-awareness, as we embrace the art of deep, slow, and gentle breathing, while attuning ourselves to the sensations and space around us. This meditation serves as an invitation to observe our breath, body posture, and surroundings, fostering an amplified awareness of the present moment. Daily meditation may result in a calmer mind and the tools to be able to pause before reacting, empowering us to navigate life with newfound tranquility and poise.
Find Your Comfort: Begin by settling into a chair or on the ground, ensuring a comfortable posture with an upright alignment. Take a moment to feel at ease in your chosen position.
Inhale, Embrace Stillness: Take a deep, nourishing breath, and gently close your eyes, ushering in a moment of stillness.
Breath Awareness: Turn your focus inward, gently tuning in to your breath, the subtle rhythm of life flowing through you.
Embrace the Breath's Rhythm: Observe the rhythm of your breath, noting how it orchestrates the rise and fall of your stomach, chest, and shoulders. Feel the gentle air as it glides in and out of your nostrils.
Release Tension: With each breath, grant yourself permission to release any tension nesting in your shoulders, back, and facial muscles. Allow your body to surrender to relaxation.
Embrace the Surroundings: Acknowledge the distant sounds that reach your senses and then, with tranquility, shift your attention to the sounds that lie closer. Simply acknowledge them without judgment, while your breath remains your focal point.
Sensory Engagement: Embrace the sensations around you, be it the faint aromas or any other sensory experiences. Label them with acceptance, without questioning or evaluating.
Return to Breath: As you shift back to your breath, take deliberate, controlled inhalations through your nose, to the count of 3 and then count to 4 while exhaling through your mouth. Pause momentarily between breaths, allowing the stillness to envelop you.
Gentle Awakening: When you feel ready, gently wiggle your fingers and toes, bringing gentle awareness back to your physical form. Slowly, like a tender awakening, allow your eyes to open.
Note: It is the nature of the mind to wander and so your thoughts will inevitably move away from your breath. This is ok. When you notice your mind has moved away simply label your thoughts as “thoughts” and then gently bring your attention back to your breath. Let these "thoughts" pass like a cloud in the sky or car on the road. The practice is not in the clearing of your mind, the practice is in the coming back to your breath.
Parents: When practicing with children/teenagers, have them count to themselves the inward and outward breaths. This can be very calming and centering. Try having your child visualize a calming color on the inward breath. A daily meditation practice can help children pause before reacting.
Art Therapy Meditation Practice: "Breathing Beads"
Discover a mindful meditation experience with our "Breathing Beads" art activity. These beads serve as gentle guides to synchronize your breath and bring calmness to your practice.
Instructions: Begin by securing a piece of rope or ribbon and threading it through 7 beads. In case you don't have beads at hand, simply use Cheerios, or something circular. Knot the ribbon's ends to form a loop. With each inhale, softly glide your fingers over each bead while mindfully counting them. This practice allows you to center your mind and create a tranquil connection between your breath and the present moment.
For more therapeutic activities and resources on how to incorporate Art Therapy into your life, read more from Lynn's Creative Expressions Blog.
Learn more about Art Therapy and Lynn Cukaj, Board Certified Art Therapist here: www.CreativeExpressionsConsulting.com