Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Calm the 'monkey mind', boost your energy

We have talked already of 'monkey mind'. Our minds have a tendency to flit from one thought to another- thoughts of what we need to do, thoughts of what has happened, thoughts of what might happen etc, etc. just like a monkey flitting from tree to tree. Such thoughts mean that we are not present to what is, not mindful. This uses a great deal of energy - did you know that your brain uses 20% of your body's energy? If we can calm our minds therefore, we will have more energy as well as enhanced mental clarity and a greater sense of wellbeing.  

Try this short sequence to calm your monkey mind and boost your energy. The sequence opens up the chest and brings the oxygenated blood to the brain which is very calming for the brain. Meditative movements and meditation also calm the brain.

Start in savasana, eyes closed and tune into your physical body, noticing any areas where there is tension and breathe into those areas to release the tension. Then just be with your breath without trying to change it in any way.  When thoughts arise, let them go without becoming attached to them. Continue like this for 3-5 minutes then take a few deep breaths and a stretch before opening your eyes. 

Reclined twist -  bring your heels close to your buttocks, and take your arms a little way from your sides, palms up. Take a breath in and as you breathe out, let your knees fall to the right.  Inhale back to centre, then exhale as you let your knees fall to the left. Continue moving with the breath and if you have no problems with your neck, turn head in the opposite direction to the knees. Finish on the left side.

Shoulder Bridge - with your knees still bent, bring your arms down by your sides, palms down.  Inhale lift your hips, take your arms overhead, exhale dot your spine down, bring your arms back down by your sides. Continue working with your breath for several breaths.

Rolling Cat - either roll up to seated or turn onto your right side and come to seated then onto all fours. Breathe in and as you breathe out, arch your back and take your bottom back to your heels. Inhale take your elbows out to the sides and run your nose forward near the mat. Come back to all fours. Continue moving smoothly with the breath for several breaths then take a Child Pose.

Downward Facing Dog - come back to all fours, take a breath in and as you breathe out, lift your hips into a Downward Facing Dog. Hold for 5 breaths the walk your feet forward until your shoulders are over your hands. Hold your elbows and roll up really slowly.

Tadasana - stand with your big toes touching, outside edges of your feet parallel. Stand with a straight spine and either close your eyes or lower your eyes. Let go of any thoughts and find a point of stillness in your body, where you feel balanced and still your mind. After a minute inhale, exhale drop your chin to your chest then lift your chin level to the floor as you open your eyes.  

Crescent Moon - from Tadasana inhale take your arms out and up and take hold of the left wrist with the right hand. Exhale lean to the right opening up the left side of the body. Hold for 3 breaths then inhale back to centre. Hold the right wrist with the left hand, exhale lean to the left. Hold for 3 breaths then inhale back to centre.  

Meditative moves - stand with your feet wider than hip distance, toes turned out, hands to heart. Inhale, take your arms out and up, exhale bend your knees, take your arms out and down, bringing the right hand to rest in the left. Inhale, straighten your legs, draw your hands to your heart, exhale turn your hands over, press your hands down and bend your knees. Inhale, straighten your legs, take your arms out and up, exhale bring your hands to your heart.  

Legs up the Wall - sit with your right hip against the wall, knees bent. Swivel round, bringing the legs up the wall. If you have lower back issues, you could have your legs on a chair instead of up the wall. Rest here for 10 minutes. To come out bend your knees and come onto your right side. Allow your blood pressure to return to normal before coming up. 

Sit in Easy Pose with your eyes closed to finish repeating a mantra such as 'I am calm' for several minutes. Bring your hands to your heart and wish yourself and all beings well before opening your eyes.

Janet x 

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