Hi everyone! I’m Erin and my blog is Creative Soul in Motion. I am a yoga-loving, whole-food eating writer empowering people of all ages to find growth and happiness through active + mindful living. I am so happy to be part of the #Meditate30 challenge with Amanda this month and thought I could offer some insight on how you can develop a great practice in a short amount of time.
Five minutes. Five minutes is all I need for my short but super effective yoga and meditation practice.
This is just enough time for me to connect with my authentic self, my heart-centered beliefs and tap into my inner tranquility and strength. Five minutes of yoga and meditation prepare me for the day and helps me stay true to my intentions while letting go of any negativity weighing me down.
Five minutes isn’t a lot of time but it makes a huge difference for my day, my mindset, my soul, my life. Maybe it will even work for you…
Starting with a couple minutes of stretching and downward dog set the stage ::
After you wake up and shower set an alarm for 2 minutes. Find some space and stretch up to the ceiling; image the light shining down upon you. Once your reach your arms up and your palms touch, swan dive down into a forward fold. Take a few breaths and let your spine stretch towards the floor. Inhale look up and make your back flat, exhale place your hands on the floor and step back into a high plank. Take a deep breath and as you exhale lower yourself into a yogi push-up (Chaturanga), inhale into up-dog with your chest wide and your head slightly lifted up. Inhale and as you exhale feel your hips push up towards the sky and your toes roll over as you move into down-ward dog. If you want, wiggle around a little, peddle out your feet, or find peace in the stillness of your pose.
Stay and breathe until the two minutes are done. This helps you wake up and shake out the prior day’s frustrations and create a shiny-clean slate for the day to come.
As the two minute timer goes off, move onto a pillow on the floor and get comfortable. Re-set the timer for 3 minutes and gently roll out your shoulders and neck. Once positioned close your eyes and begin to let go of each thought that comes to mind. Don’t get frustrated when responsibilities or situations come up, just acknowledge them and then let them go.
During this time you can visualize a peaceful spot, stay focused on each inhale or exhale, or even imagine yourself driving down the road with each thought being released from your mind and into the wind. I love visualizing the ocean. Or a river. Somewhere with water where I can take in the steady beat of the waves and feel the sand or grass beneath my toes. These are spots I come back to throughout the day when annoyances arise – whenever I begin to get frustrated with something I simply take note of the feeling and then drop the emotion into the water and let it drift away (a great tip I learned from Courtney at Be More with Less).
Meditating isn’t meant to be a time you don’t think. Your mind is meant for thinking - it’s the natural state of being.
Meditating is meant to be a time where you find peace and balance with your emotions and thoughts by acknowledging them and letting them go. Slowly over time you may find it easier to focus on your breath and less thoughts may come into play, but the point isn’t to have a “blank” mind – it’s to create space and tranquility by giving yourself time to fully feel.
My point :: try not to be judgmental of yourself. Simply be present and keep breathing.
By the end of the three minutes (regardless of how many times you had to let go of thoughts) you’ll hopefully feel a bit more grounded, more centered, more prepared to live mindfully throughout your day.
Even though I love longer yoga and meditation practices, this is what I hold onto every single day. Sometimes it’s at night if I forget in the morning. Sometimes it’s at lunch in the nearby park. I prioritize my self-care and mindfulness practice because it makes me a better, happier, and more connected person.
So, I wonder, do you have time for 5 minutes? If not, maybe 2 or 3. Whatever you can dedicate to a mindful practice will be worth it.
Thank you to Erin for this great guest post! I know mediate30 has been a fantastic reminder for me to slow down and her tips are going to help me ensure it remains a standard part of my day!