Mind/Body Wellness Practices: Regulate/Re-Energize/Relax
Our breathing has the function of helping our body and mind to calm down.
“Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I bring peace into my body.
Calm Breath: Breathe slowly and deeply, in through your nose and out through your mouth
Options: hand on heart while breathing; say centering words or imagine centering images as you breathe.
Calm with 5 Senses: Take a moment to notice your surroundings and find 5 things you see, 4 things you hear,
3 things you feel, 2 things you smell, and 1 thing you can taste.
Distant Breathing: Focus on something in the distance (e.g. looking out a window), take 3 breaths in/out.
Relaxed Body Breathing:
Inhale, place palms together; Exhale, press INTO your palms
Repeat (can be also done pressing feet into the floor, pressing on your legs, your chair…etc).
Push Hands (Peter Levine, Ph.D), Push hands on wall or with partner; push/press-hold-release.
Embracing Our Needs:
Think of two qualities that help you to cope (acceptance/support/strength/hope/compassion/courage).
Place your right hand on your left shoulder (or arm) and think of one of the qualities
Keep that hand in place and place your left hand on your right shoulder (or arm) and
think of the second quality.
Take a moment and imagine these qualities as you breathe in and out.
Option: As you breathe out, press your hands on your shoulders or arms.
Option: Think of images of a person, place, or thing that helps you cope.
Option: Use slow bilateral tapping of arms or legs (or “butterfly” tapping).
Elephant Breath: For Energizing and Calming! Think about something you want to shower yourself with. Stand with your feet apart. Link your hands and dangle your arms in front of you like an elephant truck. Inhale as you raise your arms high above head and lean back. Exhale and swing your arms down between your legs (if this makes you dizzy, just bring hands down in front of you). Repeat for 3 rounds. On next round, stay up, arch back, and shower yourself with whatever you need right now to feel energized or to feel calm. ~Tara Guber and Leah Kalish Yoga Pretzels
Mountain Pose – Stand tall, with feet firmly planted on ground, arms down by side.
Embrace Tiger/Return to Mountain (adapted from Tai Chi)
Breathe in, reach your arms out wide and imagine embracing something very heavy.
Breathe out, pushing your hands down, feel your feet firmly planted.
Imagine you are a large and beautiful mountain ~ steady, solid, and strong
4B’s of Self-Settling
~ Rena Kornblum (2003). Disarming the Playground: Violence Prevention through Movement and Pro-social Skills
BRAKE: Reach up and pull your arms toward your body “catch the energy”
BREATHE: Release and stretch your arms overhead while taking a breath in
BRAIN: Exhale and gently place your hands on your head. Think of a calming, strengthening peaceful thought (e.g. “I am supported” or imagine anything that helps you feel accepted and at peace). Repeat.
BODY: Lower your hands and place them over your heart. Feel your body calm down.
This is a gift of time you give to yourself, a time for your own self-care.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)
A voluntary releasing of stress and strain in your body through the process of tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in a progressive manner.
Can also be done all at once (tighten whole body—release)
Option: Use imagery re: tight/loose (e.g. for children-uncooked and cooked spaghetti; freeze/melt).
Peaceful Place (Guided Imagery): Think about an environment in which you feel calm, safe, and peaceful; a place you would most like to be if you could be anywhere you choose, real or imaginary. Take a few moments to imagine yourself in this place.
Option: Use art, writing, movement, drama, or poetry to show or describe your peaceful place.
FABRIC STRETCH ~ STRETCH-HOLD-RELEASE (with colorful stretchy (lycra/spandex) fabric
Can do this in individually (or in pairs/groups with pieces of fabric of different sizes).