When did December 1st become a finish line? Get your presents wrapped, house ready, parties lined up. This three-step mindfulness practice—moving, breathing, and sitting—helps you to shift your state, especially in the next few weeks, as things can get a bit ridiculous. What can you do about this time of the year, about our cultural conditioning, that has us running all over the place?

We can do daily short daily practices to help us manage the overwhelm and shift ourselves into a place of feeling more clear and awake yet also relaxed and at ease.

We can do daily short daily practices to help us manage the overwhelm and shift ourselves into a place of feeling more clear and awake yet also relaxed and at ease. Being mindful doesn’t mean being so chilled out all the time that nothing fazes you. This sense of “being mindful” is about being clear and alert in life and also calm and at ease so when we meet someone in the street in the hustle and bustle of December, you actually pause to look them in the eyes and ask, “How are you doing? How is your mom?”

Move, Breathe, Sit: A Mindful Movement Sequence for Resilience

Dynamic Mountain
Stand with your feet hip-width distance apart and your arms hanging loose down by your sides, palms forward. As you inhale, extend your arms forward and up toward the ceiling. Exhale, and spin your palms open as you reach out and down. Repeat for 3-5 breaths.

Side Sways
Now, inhale and reach your arms forward and up toward the ceiling and exhale toward your right side, tilting gently with your left arm overheard. On an inhale, come back to center, with both arms overhead. Exhale, sway to your left, allowing your left arm to reach down by your side with your right arm overhead. Repeat for 3-5 breaths.

Side Bends
Bend your knees and bring your hands on your knees like a baseball player. On the inhale, reach up to the ceiling, bringing your arms up and return to a standing position.  Repeat 3-5 times.

Inhale, reach up again toward the ceiling and twist from your ribs toward the right, keeping your hips as square to the front as you can. As you twist, exhale, reach your arms out and let them fall to the sides. As you return to center, lift your arms back up and twist to the left. Inhale and “windmill” back to the right side. Repeat 3-5 times.

Seated Meditation
Take a seat, either on the floor in front of you on or a chair if that’s more comfortable. Place your feet on the floor and your hands on your knees and just notice your body for a moment. Notice any tingling or other sensations that surface. Now, shift your attention to your breathing. Inhale for a count of four, and exhale for a count of four. Do this counting for a minute or two. Rest your attention on the rhythm of breathing, the experience of breathing.

This post was adapted from a Facebook Live guided mindfulness practice on Mindful.org.

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Cara Bradley

Cara Bradley, cscs, eryt, is the author of the Amazon bestseller On The Verge: Wake Up, Show Up, and Shine. She’s an innovative leader in bodymind training. A teacher for over three decades, Cara is the founder of Verge BodyMind Center in suburban Philadelphia and works with CEOs, corporations, universities, and sports teams including Villanova University football and basketball. www.carabradley.net


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