With countless studies showing that regular meditation offers practitioners a myriad of benefits including increased ability to focus, lower blood pressure and improved sleep, picking up the practice is a no-brainer.
Most of us face increasingly demanding day-to-day schedules, so the trick is finding the time to meditate. Enter airport layovers and long flights! With literally nowhere to be but exactly where you are, meditation is always within reach. Try the below technique en route to your next destination for a renewed sense of calm and presence.
Begin by sitting with both feet on the floor. Take a deep breath in and exhale slowly. Allow the breath to gently rise and fall with a natural rhythm. If you are comfortable doing so, close your eyes or allow the gaze to soften. For the first several rounds of breath, guide your attention or mind’s eye to rest in the feet. After several breaths, let your attention spread evenly throughout the entire body. Use your mind’s eye to scan your body from head to toe, top to bottom. After several breaths, direct your attention towards the length of your spine. Start your next inhale at your tailbone (base of the spine) and breathe in and up to the crown of your head. As you breathe out, let your attention trace down the length of the spine, returning to the tailbone. Breathe in and up the length of the spine, and out and down the same line for several rounds of breath. Next, allow your attention to become even more specific by bringing your mind’s eye into the heart (center of your chest). Slow your breath a bit and let your attention rest in the heart for several rounds of breath. Be curious about the sensations that arise and meet all arising sensations with a gentle breath.
When ready, take several deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth while scanning the body top to bottom until you feel complete. This meditation can be practiced for short or long periods, simply adjust the number of breaths taken in each place of attention to shorten or lengthen the session. When you are ready to close your practice, take an additional breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. As you open your eyes, it may be helpful to roll the shoulders up to the ears and down the back, wiggle the fingers and toes or other gentle movements. Take a moment to notice how you feel post meditation and enjoy a deeper sense of serenity.
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