A few weeks back I wrote a post: My Day of Meditation where I shared how I incorporate mindful moments and meditation into my day. Every day.

You can find a link (below) to each of the five tips already shared .. and today we look at Tip #6:

#Power-Up Meditative Exercises

Exercises to beat the afternoon slump.

Our brain requires a significant amount of our oxygen intake, something like 25% of each breath. Do you experience afternoon brain-fog? there are a couple of possible reasons for this afternoon slump – because our body is trying (often unsuccessfully) to digest our lunch, or we are dehydrated, OR we are not breathing effectively (a condition that is further impacted by our poor posture and ongoing levels of stress).

I have a range of powerful and practical Meditative Breath Exercises that are highly effective tools for circuit-breaking this ineffective breathing, to re-engineer our mood and power up the mind! 

What is a Meditative Exercise?

Meditative Exercises are simple, practical and straight-forward, often mindfulness-based exercises, that can be done in the moment to release stress and gently guided our awareness inward for a sense of balance and calm. These exercises can have an almost immediate and positive impact on our stress level and sense of wellbeing – so they are super popular.

I have been sharing some of these Meditative Exercises for more than ten years, and have consistently found them to be the quickest and most effective way for those new to meditation to achieve two significant goals :

*to de-stress, and
*to start understand (and begin practicing) the fundamentals of meditation

Prana, Chi, Life Force Energy

The Sanskrit word prana and the Chinese traditional medicine word chi or qi, are both usually translated as “vital air”, “life-force” or “vital energy”, and these two ancient traditions both recognize the power of our breath to quickly and effectively impact our emotional and physical health.

Scientific research also shows us that certain deep breath practices can help us better manage our emotional responses, and improve our memory and decision-making ability. These are great tool’s when we need to mentally recharge and tap into a deeper sense of relaxation.

Rapid Fire Breath Exercise

Perfect for those moments when you feel completed zapped of energy, this exercise will wake up your brain and boost your energy.

*Start by finding a comfortable standing position, with your arms resting at your sides. You may like to close your eyes and simply rest with the breath for a few moments. No rushing. Just observing quietly.

*To begin the exercise, bring your hands up to sit in line with your shoulders, holding lightly clenched fists.

*The exercise involves taking one deep fast inhalation through the nostrils – at the same time – shooting your hands up to the sky as you breathe in. Reaching your hands up as high as you can.

*And then, on the exhalation, releasing the breath, with a little forcefulness through the nostrils, while tugging your arms back to their position (hands at shoulder height with fists lightly clenched).

*Repeat this breath for the next 20 – 30 breaths: a deep and sharp inhalation with your hands shooting from shoulder position to the sky then a forceful and full exhalation while pulling down the hands sharply to shoulder position.

*After 20-30 breaths, relax your arms fully at your sides with fingers pointing to the ground and enjoy a few longer, slower and deeper breaths. Rest.

*Repeat the exercise again for the same time frame. Rest again at the end of the exercise.

Panting Breath

This is a fun and energizing exercise that kids love! Also known as Panting Dog Breath of Fire in Kundalini yoga (you might imagine a dog panting) it is a practice for cleansing and detoxifying the body. The repetitive and slightly forceful inhalations and exhalations rapidly elevates oxygen to the brain which strengthens the body and makes you feel more alert.

Note: if you get lightheaded simply stop the exercise and return to a natural and relaxed breath. This exercise takes time to master. Begin with just 30 seconds, building with practice to one minute, and incrementally expanding to five minutes.

*Part A: begin by gently panting, like a dog might after running around on a hot day, breathing in and out through an open mouth. You might even have your tongue hanging out (if you can). A fast pant would be about 2 pants per second. Do this for 30 seconds to start.

*Part B: close your mouth and continue the panting breath just through the nose. Do this for 30 seconds.

*Part C: rest with a natural and easy breath.

*Repeat once more.

*The focus should be on exhalation, followed by a very subtle inhalation.

Try these two Meditative Exercises whenever you need a quick BOOST in energy during the day. They may only take a few minutes but they work .. try them and notice how you feel when you return to your day and task at hand.

7 Day Meditative Exercises Challenge: 1st DECEMBER

Learn five powerful Meditative Exercises and two Extended Practices – excellent tools for de-stressing in the moment or whenever you choose or need to.

The NEXT Challenge begins on 1st December. It is FREE.