Got 5 minutes? This candlelit meditation with yoga teacher Rachel Scott is the perfect way to get focused, slow down and calm your nervous system. Before you get started, grab your favourite meditation cushion, wrap yourself in a cozy blanket or scarf and get ready to light a candle.
For this meditation, you’ll need a lit candle, it doesn’t matter what size the candle is, it could even be a tea light.
Start by coming into a comfortable meditation position. You could sit cross-legged, or sit on your shins, sit on a meditation cushion or even sit on a chair with your spine nice and tall.
When you’re ready, light your candle. Start by taking in the general shape and size of your candle. Let your gaze be soft and take in the rest of the room with your peripheral vision. See the floor, the ceiling, the furniture. Begin to notice the feeling of your own breath in your body. Feel the grounding of your sitting bones, the length of your spine, the width and openness of your chest, and start to feel your breath.
Gradually begin to softly focus more on the flame of your candle. Notice its colours, the yellow, the grey, the blue. See the wick, notice if it’s glowing. See the shape of your candle. Notice its edges, notice where the candle meets the surrounding air. Notice if there’s smoke. Notice the edges of the flame. Allow your attention to be absorbed in the changing shape and the dance of the candle flame. Be present to its shifting shape and form. Allow your eyes to be soft and feel your breath in your body.
Can you continue to watch the edges of the candle? The palest edge at the top of the candle where it dissolves into the air. And gradually allowing your own breath even to become quiet. Your face is soft, your eyes, soft. Let your attention be only in the candle and its flame.
On your next exhale, softly close your eyes, and in your mind’s eye, see the candle. Visualize the flame, the edges, the colours. Take another deep breath, exhale and let it go. And notice the feeling of your body, the calm, the quiet, the groundedness.
Begin to blink your eyes open and begin to take in the rest of the room, taking this feeling of calmness and centredness into the rest of your day.
A yogi, writer, and educational designer, Rachel loves helping others explore and express their passion and potential. As a designer, she helps studios and yoga teachers create their dream teacher trainings. As a writer and speaker, she continually wrestles with the juicy bits of life: relationships, anxiety, depression, and discovering meaning in this crazy, wildish world. Author: Wit and Wisdom from the Yoga Mat, Head Over Heels: A Yogi's Guide To Dating. E-RYT 500, YACEP, MFA, MSci. Meet her at Rachelyoga.com.
Everyday activities like sitting at a desk, staring at a computer, hunching over a cell phone or even holding a bag consistently on one side can cause stagnancy, stiffness and fatigue in the body. As habits build, poor posture can easily become second nature, causing back and neck pain and even damaging spinal structures.
However, the main factors that affect posture are totally within our control, and aren’t difficult to change with consistent awareness. If you’re sitting at a desk for eight hours a day, the following tips will help support you in maintaining a better posture.