What is Mindfulness Meditation for All Levels?
What we do in the morning sets the tone for the entire day. It’s also when the mind tends to be at its quietest. What we do in the evening sets the tone for a good night’s sleep which is essential to our immunity and emotional well-being (and non-reactivity). And our day can suck us in, or we can take pause at some point during our day to ‘press the reset button.’
Controlled breathing and meditation invite the body to stop being busy, the breath to slow down, and the mind to begin settling, especially if it feels frayed, overwhelmed, restless, distracted, or dull. Moving from within this stillness, breathing practices serve to awaken, move, and deepen awareness within our body-mind systems and guide us to deeper levels of consciousness (mindfulness). We tap into our Rest & Relaxation Response (the parasympathetic nervous system) which has positive implications for managing social anxiety, depression, insomnia, persistent (chronic) pain, addictive tendencies (and more).
Meditation is not something we do, but rather a practice. It extends from the breath and evolves from showing up again and again for oneself and for others as collective prayer, and cultivates space and stillness from within to help us heal and enhance our sense of well-being. Meditation extends our mindfulness off the cushion into how we proceed through our day, how we inter-act with our families and community, and how we choose to manifest in the World.
Yoga Mandala is a sangha (community) of practitioners of mindfulness. The practice opens with guided mindfulness meditation practice, followed by walking meditation and a silent period of sitting, open to all levels. Community offers solidarity and support, especially when life gets difficult, or practicing alone or staying on the cushion is a challenge.