Jenée Johnson shares a mindfulness practice that is at the heart of one of our most basic needs: rest. As Johnson explains, there is no healing without rest. So, in this time of uncertainty, use this guided practice to create spaciousness whenever you feel a need arise.
“Once you have access to the fullness of your worth and your humanity, then you can do just about anything you want.”
1. Sitting in an upright but relaxed position, drop your gaze or close your eyes. Take a deep breath in and an audible exhale out. Breathing in and breathing out, sitting quietly, free floating, invite your body to relax.
2. When we simply sit and breathe, we activate the body’s calming response. It allows the brain to display the calm, smooth, harmonious waves called alpha brain waves—like the waves of the ocean, coming in to the shore and rolling back out. Coming in and going out. Breathing in and breathing out. Relax.
3. Drop your shoulders, relax the jaw, and unfurl your brow. Allow your mind to float freely until it settles down. Let thoughts come and go as they please.
4. Bring your attention back gently to your breath. Don’t exert yourself trying to block thoughts. Just remain passive and remind your body that we’re sitting now, we’re breathing now, we’re relaxing now. Sit quietly, stay with your breath. Like the waves of the ocean, breathing in, breathing out. Let thoughts fade into the background. Relax. To be still, to be quiet, to be at ease. This is the gift of relaxation.