At Level I, you practiced lying on the bed, at night, to get sleep. You practiced in the morning, on waking up, to tune your mind and body and get ready for the day.
In this Level II – Phase I , you will extend the awareness beyond the bed room. You now focus on the body sensations and movements while being aware of your breath. Even in this phase, you need not allot time for practice. When this practice become a habit, you will be calm and confident, throughout the day. Your concentration on the work and control over unwanted thoughts will dramatically improve.
These practices are not presented in any significant order. Practice each of them for a few days and see how you feel in mind and body. Following are suggestions, not rigid rules. Feel free to adapt them to suit your liking.
Home: Routine physical activities like walking, cooking, cleaning and gardening are great opportunities. Use any mode of your choice – the ‘counting mode’ or ‘feeling mode’ (1) when brushing teeth, getting dressed, toasting the bread and doing the laundry.
Between activities: When we are doing some activity, the mind is focused on the task, with less chance to wander. When transitioning from one activity to the next, the mind becomes idle and some stressful thought rushes into the mind. These break times between the activities are ideal for practicing one of the modes. Try to engage the mind on the breathing, even when the break is a few seconds.
Walking: Whenever you walk, use the ‘counting mode’. While breathing in, feel the coolness inside nose. While breathing out, every time a foot touches the ground, match it with the number being counted. More…
Waiting: Waiting for anything is boring and makes one restless, like waiting for breakfast, lunch or dinner to be ready, computer to load, standing in a line and sitting at the doctor’s office. These are opportunities for mini relaxation. Practice any mode which won’t be noticed by others – ‘tip mode’ or ‘segment mode’, keeping the hands in you lap or the ‘counting mode’ or ‘feeling mode’.
Traveling in Car / Bus / Train/ Air plane: Practice any combination of modes to be relaxed. If the situation permits, take a nap! It will make a big difference. You will arrive at the destination refreshed, not exhausted.
Driving: Every stoppage at a red light is an opportunity for micro relaxation. Practice the ‘staring mode (1), looking continuously at the red light, till it turns green.
Work Place: When you walk in the parking lot, hallway or work area, practice walking as described in this page. When you lose concentration, your mind wanders or any part of bod y feels tight or you feel stressed, take a 1- 2 minute ‘breathing break’ and practice one of the modes.
Pain: If the pain is acute, practice the ’911 mode’ (2) eight to ten times. Alternate it with other modes, till the pain eases. For relieving chronic pain, see (3).
Playing games: Practice any of the modes when waiting for your turn, feeling frustrated or angry on losing. Avoid the negative thoughts and quickly get back your focus on the game.
Exercise: While on the tread mill, practice any mode (A) to (D) (1). When doing weights or resistance training, breath out through the mouth, with a ‘haa’ during the quick and strenuous movements. When bending and twisting, exhale slowly till the lungs are emptied, matching it with the movement. Breathe in, deeply, during the easier return movement.
Under stress: When angry, anxious, panicky or in pain, use the ’911 mode’ (2), till you feel some relief. Alternate it with other modes till the crisis eases.
Benefits: After a few months of practicing ‘focusing on breathing’ as suggested, your mind will automatically focus on the breath whenever it becomes idle or stressed. You will experience remarkable relief from stress. You will be opening a new chapter in your life.
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Parent page: ‘Level II – Enlarging the awareness ‘
Next page: ‘Phase II: Physicals’