This 6-week Mindfulness and Meditation Workshop is organized and sponsored by the Foxboro Council on Aging and Human Services in Massachusetts. Below is a summary of what we practiced together on Day 1.
Mindfulness is simply to be aware of our presence here and now. We are going to experience this through focusing narrowly on our physical movements such as breathing and opening our awareness broadly to the entire environment. Specifically, we are going to develop mindfulness skills through enhancing our ability for proprioceptive sense (body awareness) and interoceptive sense (inner awareness) and utilize the skills to improve physical and emotional balance, stress resilience and quality of daily life.
Hand- Arm Loosening
- Palm rubbing
- Back hand rubbing
- Hand washing
- Cross finger rotation small wave
- Finger lock stretching
- Cross finger rotation big wave
- Hammering arms (gently)
- Pressing arms
- Rubbing arms
- Rolling hammer arms (to be introduced in Week 2)
- Finger tap
- Five points (gently)
- Palm strikes
- Foot position: parallel feet, toe out, heel out
- Stance: natural stance (short) and horse stance (wide)
- Breath: inhalation through the nose and exhalation through the mouth
Caution: If you experience discomfort or pain, adjust your posture for easiness and comfort. If you feel dizzy, please gently sit and rest until you feel ready to resume.
- Exercise 1: Walking meditation with attention to the feet (heel-ball-toe touch and shift)
- Exercise 2: Walking meditation with inhalation at heel touch, exhalation at shifting
How to do:
1. From a natural stance, inhaling through your nose, raise your arms to the side until your hands are above your head. Do this very slowly and mindfully.
2. At the top of the extension above your head, overlap your hands together, with the palms facing upward as shown at left. Inhaling further, as deeply as you can, push your hands upward to maximum extension. At the same time, push the diaphragm down (this stimulates the nerves around the lungs, enhancing alertness). Take in abundant oxygen as you breathe deeply. Hold this posture for 2-3 seconds.
3a. Open your fingers wide.
3b. Exhaling slowly, lower your arms to the side. Do this movement very slowly. You may feel an electrical sensation as your arms reach the halfway point.
4. Gently drop your hands to your side, taking a deep breath.
You can watch a demonstration of this movement in this video.(This is the 1st movement in the MBX-12 sequence.)
How to Do:
- From natural stance, inhaling, slowly bend your knees and raise your arms upward, with your elbows straight and wrists relaxed in front of you (1).
- Inhaling further, open your arms to the side, rotating the arms until the palms are facing upward (2).
- Exhaling, rotate your arms inward until your palms are facing the ground. Gently lower your head and raise your arms vertically behind your back (3).
- Inhaling, straighten the knees. Exhaling, shift your weight to your heels and slightly lower your head (4). Breathe normally in this position. Feel the tension in your hamstrings and the release of the pelvic floor. This posture relaxes the muscles of the rectum, the end of the large intestine. Hold this position 3-5 seconds.
- Inhaling, slowly raise your body, rotating the arms outward until they are extended to your side with the palms facing upward (5). Keep the elbows slightly bent.
- Exhaling, bring your arms to the front slowly, with the palms facing upward (6).
- Inhaling, rotate the arms inward quickly (7).
- Gently lower the arms and exhale. End in natural stance.
Notice: #3-4 above are slightly different from what you learned in the first class. This is more advanced version.
- There are 5 major divisions in this posture: Deep inhaling, Squatting, Bending the head down, Stretching the hamstring and the pelvic muscles, and Rising. Between each division, pause for 2-3 seconds and feel the force of the transiting energy.
- Throughout, the index finger leads the movements. While slowly lowering your head and raising your arms, point your index finger to the sky and increase your awareness along the index finger (3).
- Throughout, feel the sensation building along the arms.
- When you shift your weight to the rear (4), notice the tension in the rear of your body that relaxes the muscles in the pelvic region.
How To Do:
- From natural stance (Start/End), point your heels outward and bend your knees. Place your open hands in front of your belly with palms facing upward. Exhale.
- Inhaling, raise your hands above your head with your fingers wide open. Pause for 3 seconds. Exhaling slowly, bend your knees slightly. In the same position, inhale quickly and deeply; then exhale very slowly.
- Inhaling as deeply as you can, push your hands upward to maximum extension (3a). Slowly exhale while lowering your hands sideways to your hips (3b). Keep your fingers open wide throughout. End in natural stance.
- Lower your posture: Infinity posture increases blood flow to the gut area in two ways: by draining blood from the arms and by pushing blood upward from the legs. Increased blood in the stomach boosts digestion and raises energy levels. When you lower your posture, the energy from the bottom your feet rises toward your stomach.
- Raise your hands above your head: Make sure that you keep your hands at a height that is at least above the head and bend your knees (2).
- Bring your attention to your heels and hands: Heels out and toes in. For maximum impact, open your fingers as wide as you can.
- Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth very slowly.
- If you feel any pain in your knees, raise your posture to a comfortable level and bring your heels slightly in.
- If you feel any pain in your back or neck, adjust the angle of the torso and head for your comfort.
This article is adapted from the book, Mindful Movement: Mastering Your Hidden Energy
For more MBX-12 Exercise Articles, go to About MBX-12 page.
For media coverage, go to Foxboro Reporter.