On this Mindfulness Monday, I will introduce an exercise that just about anyone could use as they begin a new week. Begin this exercise by laying flat on your back (if you are able) - with your knees bent and your feet planted flat on the ground - and placing a book or weighted object on your stomach.
Notice the rise and fall of your belly as you inhale and exhale, the book or weighted object should move to the rhythm of you breathing.
Inhale deeply to the count of three. Exhale deeply to the count of three. Inhale deeply to the count of four, pushing up and into the book as you inhale, noticing it rise as you do. Now exhale to the count of four, noticing the book fall gently towards you and toward the ground beneath you. Inhale deeply to the count of five, exhale deeply to the count of five. Inhale for six, pause for three, exhale for six.
Notice all the stress that you feel in your body, visualize it beginning to melt into to the ground on your exhales.
Take as many deep inhales and exhales as you need. Notice how your body feels more at peace at the end of the exercise than it did at the beginning.
This is a wonderful way to begin a Monday. This is also a great exercise to do when first coming home from work or before bed to release the stressors of the day. Enjoy!