While many people want to incorporate more mindfulness and meditative practices into their lives, I think it can seem daunting. Besides, there’s hardly enough time to get in the recommended amount of physical activity, much less get in one’s daily OMs!
So (via email) I asked him to walk me through a two-minute version of meditation. His recipe for relaxation is surprisingly simple!
Breathing is a natural object of meditation, says Dr. Weil, and an easy introduction to the practice. “By putting attention on your breath you can change your state of consciousness, begin to relax, and detach from ordinary awareness. My favorite form of breath work is the 4-7-8 (or relaxing breath) exercise,” says Dr. Weil.
1. Sit or lie in a comfortable position, eyes closed, and place the tip of your tongue just behind your upper teeth throughout the session.
2. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a gentle “whoosh” sound.
3. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a count of four.
4. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
5. Exhale completely through your mouth (“whoosh”) to a count of eight.
6. Inhale and repeat the cycle three more times.
The practice takes less than two minutes to complete. And the cool thing is, you do not need to stop all your thoughts – in fact, emptying your mind for prolonged periods of time is not possible, says Dr. Weil.
All you need to do to move in the direction of relaxation is breathe deeply and count! Enjoy!