One Mind One Breath: Mindfulness & Meditation Foxboro Workshop: Fall 2015 Week 2

This 6-week Mindfulness and Meditation Workshop is organized and sponsored by the Foxboro Council on Aging and Human Services in Massachusetts. The Ahern gym was crowded in both sessions with passionate and diligent residents of the town. Below is a summary of what we practiced together on Day 2. We will repeat these exercises again in the next session. So no need to memorize but just browse through.

HAPPINESS PRACTICE

Mindfulness is simply to BE WHO YOU ARE, and where you are at this point in time in your life.MBX12 Workshop by Sang H. Kim Foxboro BostonACCEPTANCE is the key to unload your perceived burdens, reset your mind to where you need to be, restore your true feeling about yourself. It’s a new beginning point, a fresh start, from the point of view of a beginner’s mindset. No one else can set the point for you, but yourself.

In practicing each movement of MBX12, no matter how many times you have been repeatedly practicing, do it just like the first time. That way, your focus is fresh, non-comparative in quality of your performance, and true to your intention and emotion. Then each step helps you get closer to the happiness that you’ve been searching for.

WARM UP

Hand- Arm Loosening

  1. Palm rubbing
  2. Back hand rubbing
  3. Hand washing
  4. Cross finger rotation small wave
  5. Finger lock stretching
  6. Cross finger rotation big wave
  7. Shake

Sensory Toning

  1. Hammering arms (gently)
  2. Pressing arms
  3. Rubbing arms
  4. Rolling hammer arms (to be introduced in Week 2)
  5. Finger tap
  6. Five points (gently)
  7. Palm strikes

Shoulder Conditioning 

  1. Shoulder rotation forward & backward
  2. Shoulder up & dip
  3. Shoulder forward & backward
  4. Diagonal shoulders
  5. Shoulder walk
  6. Shoulder back stroke
  7. Shoulder cradling & torso rotation

Eye-Neck Exercise 

  1. From the center to the sky
  2. From the sky to the earth
  3. From the earth to the center
  4. From the center to the left
  5. From left to the right
  6. Back to the center
  7. From the center to the earth, rotate the head clockwise to the sky then to the earth. Then rotate the head counterclockwise.  Back to the center.

Centering Practice

  1. Natural Stance: Start/end position
  2. Horse stance (circular hands: place two hands in front of the lower belly like holding a medicine ball, bring up to the chest inhaling, push forward exhaling) 
  3. Right Dodge (bring two hands to the right side inhaling, and push forward exhaling)
  4. Left Dodge (bring two hands to the left side inhaling, and push forward exhaling)
  5. Right rear turn push
  6. Left rear turn push
  7. Front arm raise in heel-out stance inhaling (& lower rhythmically exhaling)
  8. Side arm opening in toe-out stance inhaling (& lower rhythmically exhaling)

BASICS

  • Always safety first
  • Modify the movement to fit your condition
  • Experience the flow of energy
  • Give your body chances to learn
  • The body remembers experiences

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.

MEDITATION

  • 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
  • Exercise 3: Keep your eyes on the tip of the nose or at about 45 degree on the ground to keep your mind focused

CORE PRACTICE

MBX 4: Finger Wheel

mbx 4 Finger Wheel

MBX 4: Finger Wheel Posture for the Spleen Meridian 

How to Do:

1. From natural stance with your toes pointed slightly outward, place your hands in front of the lower abdomen with your fingertips pressing against each other (1).

2. Inhaling quickly by pushing the belly out, raise your hands to chest level with elbows bent (2).

3. Exhaling, lift your heels briskly off the floor and roll your hands forward above your head (3a) in a circular motion; slowly lower hands to the chest level (3b) while bending your knees gently; and end in posture 4, completing exhalation.

4. Inhaling, return to natural stance.

* For exhalation, initially breathe out sharply, then slow down commensurate to the speed of the fall of the hands, just like a feather falling.

*Finger Wheel exercise stimulates the tips of fingers and toes, influencing our emotion and mental balance and thus overall health (for more reading, go to MBX 4 main page)

MBX 5: Peacock Posture

mbx 5 Peacock Posture

MBX 5: Peacock Posture activates the Heart Meridian.

How to Do:

  1. From natural stance, place your heels outward and bend your knees. Overlap your palms in front of the lower abdomen with the fingers pointing downward. Exhale.
  2. Inhaling, bring your hands up to chest level with both palms pressing against each other.
  3. Inhaling further, toss both hands to the top edges of the shoulders. At this time, keep your hands like bird beaks. Press the thumb, index, and middle finger against each other, pointing at your biceps.
  4. Exhaling, very slowly lower your elbows toward the rib cage, then move your bent hands along the arms. Breathe out through your mouth (with “Hah” sound). Sink your shoulders.
  5. When you’ve completed lowering your hands, return to natural stance.

Practice Tips:

  1. This exercise begins from a calm stable stance, with both hands overlapped in front of the lower energy center (1), which generates a sense of composure.
  2. A deep inhalation (2-3) pushes the diaphragm down, producing a feeling of strength and restful alertness.
  3. A long exhalation, with slow stretching of the meridian from the heart to the little finger (4-5), expands your chest completely.
  4. Make your hands like two bird beaks, also introduced as Five Points in MBX-12 workshops, and bend them toward your wrists as tightly as you can. When you lower them very slowly, from the top of your shoulders to the sides of the hips, you will feel the intensity of your inner energy built up in the body.

MBX 6: Twins Posture

mbx 6 Twins Posture

MBX 6: Twins Posture relaxes intestinal muscles and improves blood circulation in the stomach and brain regions.

How to Do:

  1. From natural stance, place your heels outward and bend your knees. This is the ending position of Peacock posture (MBX-5). Exhale.
  2. Inhaling, raise your arms to shoulder height on your sides.
  3. Exhaling, slowly bend your body forward and raise your arms backward while rotating your arms inward.
  4. Inhaling, straighten your legs. Exhaling, shift your weight to your toes, raising your arms backward vertically and lowering your head as much as you can while looking at the ground. Hold for 5-10 seconds while breathing normally.
  5. Slowly raise your body and return to natural stance.

Practice Tips:

Once you’ve bent the torso, straighten your legs and shift your weight forward (4). You will experience increased pressure under the bottoms of the first toes which releases tension in the pelvic floor. Alleviation of tension in the pelvic floor, in turn, helps the intestine relax. You may stay in this posture (4) as long as you want, but be cautious of flooding the head with blood. If you feel uncomfortable or light-headed, gently kneel and go to modified child pose (kneeling with upper body bent forward, arms relaxed and forehead gently resting on the floor).

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.

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