5 minute mediation on JOY - morning
If you can leave your yoga mat, block and blanket out where you can see it when you get up in the morning, it may invite you to practice more readily. Stand up and scan through your body starting at your feet and going up to your head. Notice how you are feeling today – physically, mentally, energetically and emotionally. Start to focus on your breathing. 3 part inhale to expand the lungs fully to set you up for the day.
1. As you breathe in raise your arms out in front of you and pause
2. Carry on breathing in as you take your arms out to the sides and pause
3. Carry on your inhale as you raise the arms up over your head
4. Long exhale as you return your arms out and down by your sides
5. Take a normal breath in and out and start again x 10 rounds It may take a few rounds before you are able to make 1-3 last for one Inhale Find a comfortable sitting position using a block and blanket if necessary and close your eyes. If sitting is difficult, lie down on your mat with a bolster supporting your legs under your knees. Feel your breath coming in and out of your nostrils and follow it for a minute or two without changing it.
Follow the movement of the breath into the body – focus fully on your breath. If you get distracted, make a note of what kind of thoughts are coming up, then invite your mind to stay present with your breathing and dissolve thoughts away. Then take a few longer breaths – breathe in a sense of joy, thanks, and vital energy. Breathe out any tension, judgement and negative feelings - let it flow out of your body, hands and feet and away into the ground underneath you until you feel ‘still’.
Make space for the inhale to fill you with a sense of joy (or anything you may need for your day ahead – you can change the words, images, ideas to suit your needs.) Come back to your normal breathing. To help you when you get distracted, think of a time when you experienced great joy. Recall your experience with as much detail as possible – use your senses to recall what the environment looked like, smelt like, any sounds associated with the experience, any textures and qualities you remember.
Also remember how it felt in your body – did you feel light? Energetic, what did it feel like in your mind? Clear, present etc.. take a few more breaths – breathe in the feelings and relax into it on the exhalation, thankful that you have experienced joy at some time in your life, and that you are able to remember it.
Practice regularly each day to familiarise, invoke and sustain the feeling without having to re-create it. When you feel ready, open your eyes but keep the feeling inside your body with your eyes open and take a moment or two to notice the breath, your surroundings. Move slowly in any way you feel is good whether it’s a stretch..if you have some music that you associate with joy, put it on and dance about the room.
During the day, when are experiencing anything but joy, take a breath in and out, repeating the words 'joy coming in, joy radiating out' to yourself...and spread the joy during your day. Judy teaches yoga classes and workshops in Highgate and Muswell Hill, north London. Here are events you may like to know about