Mindfulness: Practice and Movement

Being mindful can apply to the way our bodies move and feel. In between movement, the body gains benefits by focusing on the pauses or rest.


Introduction to Mindfulness

What is Mindful Movement?

What is Mindful Movement?

Reduce Anxiety

Eagle Pose – beneficial for quieting the mind and bringing the attention to the body.

Legs Up The Wall Pose – a simple but effective anxiety-busting posture that calms the chatter in our minds.

Fish Pose – can be used for fatigue and anxiety relief, as well as gentle back and shoulder stretching. Beginners may want to place a thickly-folded blanket beneath the head for neck support if they are experiencing any discomfort.

Calm

Standing Forward Bend – forward bends are excellent for calming our nervous system, providing a release of the upper body and soothes the mind through gentle inversion.

Balancing Poses – quiet the mind and cultivate focused awareness.

Half Moon Pose

Tree

Airplane

Energize

Childs Pose – stimulates your nervous system and helps reenergize your body.

Warrior II – awakens and energizes the body and empowers strength.

Chair Pose – awakens and energizes the body and empowers strength.

Upright Cat & Cow – a seated version of the classic cat/cow move is designed to move energy through the spine, by activating through rocking the spine back and forth without putting pressure on it.

   

Sleep

Easy Forward Bend – creates an overall sense of ease in the body while opening the hips.

Plow Pose – turning the blood flow around can bring the body a calming sense of vitality, great for sleep.

Corpse Pose – gets the body into a relaxed state to focus the attention on the breath and calming.

Spinal Twists – gentle twists relieve tension through the spine to rinse out tension from the day.

Supine Spinal Twist

Seated Spinal Twist

Reclined Butterfly – helps the body get ready to rest and observe the breath. It can be helpful to place one hand on the heart and one hand on the belly to feel the rise and fall of each inhale and exhale.

Improve Athletic Performance

Seated pigeon – improves mobility

Cobra – releases pressure in the spine.

Dolphin – stretches the upper back and shoulders, hamstrings, calves and foot arches at the same time.

Frog – improves strength of connective tissue around the ankles and knees, which makes it a great warm-up movement prior to lower-body exercises.

Supported Backbends – they very lightly stretch tight spots, while giving athletes a chance for deep relaxation, which speeds up recovery.

Fish

Bridge

Reclined Big Toe – strengthens the knees and can target the IT band (a common tight spot in runners) and can relieve backaches and sciatic pain. Using a band/strap makes it accessible for everyone.

 

Boat Pose – increases abdominal and hip flexor strength.

Bow Pose – stretches the front of the body, improves posture and strengthens the back muscles.

See Mindfulness: Practice and Movement Guide 


Chill at Home

Chill at Home

Gratitude Note: write a gratitude note to someone you care about and read it aloud to them

Mindful Eating: as you eat your next meal or snack, be mindful about it. Notice the smells, tastes, textures and colors of what you are putting in your body.

Listening: have a conversation with a family member, friend or teacher and focus all your attention on being present and listening. Share with that person something new you learned from the conversation.

Connecting: ask your parent/guardian about their day and share something about your day.

Lend a Hand: help your parent/guardian/friend make a meal. Focus on being present with each step of the meal preparation process and enjoy the fruit of your labor at the end!

Unplug: take a walk this week, but leave your cell phone at home. Notice the things around you: sounds, smells, nature and objects you have not paid attention to before.

Take a Break: devote 20 minutes to reading a book without interruptions – leave your phone in a different room!

Be Present: pick one day this week and leave your cell phone at home in the morning. Go the entire day at school without being connected. Take time to notice your feelings, emotions and observations without the interruption and distraction of your phone.

Get Some Rest: commit to getting at least 7 hours of sleep 3 days this week. If you feel up for it, jot down how you feel in the morning and reflect back on your notes at the end of the week.

Take a Deep Breathe: practice deep breathing once a day. Count to 3 as you inhale and count to 4 as your exhale, repeating as many times as you want.


Activities and Tools

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Resources

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