Thursday, June 30, 2011

Focus on This Moment

Here is a good way to focus when your mind gets distracted.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

Using your right hand, place your thumb against your right nostril.
Inhale deeply through your left nostril.
Hold your breath and close your left nostril with your index finger.
Release your right thumb and exhale slowly through your right nostril.
Repeat, inhaling on the right and exhaling on the left.
Let each breath become longer. Feel the calm and balance.

Office Yoga: Simple Stretches for Busy People. Darrin Zeer, pg 74

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Natural Face Lift

Pretend to chew a large piece of gum up and down and side to side, mouth open.
Squeeze your eyes shut and lift your eyebrows up and down.
Massage your cheekbones, forehead, and temples with your fingers and knuckles.
Knead your brows with your fingertips.
Make sure shoulders are relaxed.

Office Yoga: Simple Stretches for Busy People. Darrin Zeer, pg 42

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Eye Strain Solution

Take minibreaks from your computer screen as you work.

Refocus every ten minutes by looking out the window or around the office.

Each hour close your eyes and let your face soften.

Slowly roll eyes in a circle.

Take a few breaths, and return to action.

For soothing relief, rub palms together very fast till they get warm, then place them gently over your eyes. Softly hold them there till heat dissipates.

Office Yoga: Simple Stretches for Busy People. Darrin Zeer, pg 41

Friday, June 24, 2011

Email Meditation

While you are reading your e-mail, remember to breathe slowly and focus your attention on your breath. Make the out-breath two times longer than the in-breath. This will immediately calm you.

Office Yoga: Simple Stretches for Busy People. Darrin Zeer, pg 34

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Office Yoga Posture

Want to ease your back pain and improve and energize your mood at the same time? Good posture is the best start. Throughout the day and when preparing for your Office Yoga stretches, take a moment to align your body properly.

Most important is to sit on your sit bones; to find these sharp bones, place your hands under your buttocks and rock forward and back.

Notice how, when you rise forward, your body aligns on top of your sit bones; immediately your back straightens, your chest expands, and your shoulders, neck, and head rise and align.

Now sit back on your tailbone - everything slumps and drops, including your mood!

Rise forward again. Feel your spine lift into a straight line all the way up to your head.

Let your shoulders relax, soften your jaw, lower your chin, and take a few deep calm breaths.

Can you feel the difference? This simple shift in posture improves not only your physical well-being but your confidence and sense of self.

Office Yoga: Simple Stretches for Busy People. Darrin Zeer, pg 26

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rise & Shine

First thing in the morning, practice this two-minute calming meditation.

Sit up in bed and breathe gently into your belly.
Feel your body soften and your mind relax.
Focus on the day's activities.
Think about what you want to accomplish and what the day will bring.
Breathe deeply.

"The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear." - Baba Ram Dass

Office Yoga: Simple Stretches for Busy People. Darrin Zeer, pg 14

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Breath, the mindful breath,
the rhythm, out and in,
the wave that washes
through our days, creating
space for stillness, sorrow,
joy or exaltation. Full,
then empty, ebb and flow,
breath accompanies each
step into the unknown.
In the breath, the soul
finds an opportunity to
speak. Images or intuition,
poetry or wordless wisdom
come and go -- no effort but
to breathe and listen.

Go In and In:Poems from the Heart of Yoga, Danna Faulds, pg 4

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Commitment and mindfulness

... you will also need to bring a particular kind of energy or motivation to your practice. Mindfulness doesn't just come about by itself because you have decided that it is a good idea to be more aware of things. A strong commitment to working on yourself and enough self-discipline to persevere in the process are essential to developing a strong meditation practice and a high degree of mindfulness.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 41

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Letting go, part 2

If we find it particularly difficult to let go of something because it has such a strong hold over our mind, we can direct our attention to what "holding on" feels like. Holding on is the opposite of letting go. We can become an expert on our own attachments, whatever they may be and their consequences in our lives, as well as how it feels in those moments when we finally do let go and what the consequences of that are. Being willing to look at the ways we hold on ultimately shows us a lot about the experience of its opposite. So whether we are "successful" at letting go or not, mindfulness continues to teach us if we are willing to look.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 40

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Letting go, part 1

In the meditation practice we intentionally put aside the tendency to elevate some aspects  of our experience and to reject others. Instead we just let our experience be what it is and practice observing it from moment to moment. Letting go is a way of letting things be, of accepting them as they are. When we observe our own mind grasping and pushing away, we remind ourselves to let go of those impulses on purpose, just to see what will happen if we do. When we find ourselves judging our experience, we let go of those judging thoughts. We recognize them and we just don't pursue them any further. We let them be, and in doing so we let them go. Similarly when thoughts of the past or of the future come up, we let go of them. We just watch.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 40

Friday, June 3, 2011

Acceptance, part 2

In the meditation practice, we cultivate acceptance by taking each moment as it comes and being with it fully, as it is. We try not to impose our ideas about what we should be feeling or thinking or seeing on our experience but just remind ourselves to be receptive and open to whatever we are feeling, thinking, or seeing, and to accept it because it is here right now. If we keep our attention focused on the present, we can be sure of one thing, namely that whatever we are attending to in this moment will change, giving us the opportunity to practice accepting whatever it is that will emerge in the next moment. Clearly there is wisdom in cultivating acceptance.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 39

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Acceptance, part 1

Acceptance does not mean that you have to like everything or that you have to take a passive attitude toward everything and abandon your principles and values. It does not mean that you are satisfied with things as they are or that you are resigned to tolerating things as they "have to be". It does not mean that you should stop trying to break free of your own self-destructive habits or to give up on your desire to change and grow, or that you should tolerate injustice, for instance, or avoid getting involved in changing the world around you because it is the way it is and therefore hopeless.

Acceptance as we are speaking of it simply means that you have come around to a willingness to see things as they are. This attitude sets the stage for acting appropriately in your life, no matter what is happening. You are much more likely to know what to do and have the inner conviction to act when you have a clear picture of what is actually happening than when your vision is clouded by your mind's self-serving judgments and desires or its fears and prejudices.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 38-39

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Non-striving, part 3

... in the meditative domain, the best way to achieve your own goals is to back off from striving for results and instead to start focusing carefully on seeing and accepting things as they are, moment by moment. With patience and regular practice, movement toward your goals will take place by itself. This movement becomes an unfolding that you are inviting to happen within you.

Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabbat-Zinn PhD, pg 38