Videos

Pulmonary Research Conference

August 2014

Introduction

This video shows you how to begin and establish a simple mindfulness practice.

Transcript

Roberto P. Benzo, M.D.: I want to share with you the simple practice that in my own research has shown to energize the body, decrease the impact of stress, and increase flexibility and balance after a consistent practice.

This practice may be a great way to start your day and a handy tool when you feel tense. When you do it, have the sole intention to feel your body moving. Just that. Single tasking. One thing.

When you do these exercises, move slowly as if you're moving in water and only use the muscles needed to accomplish the movement. Do not tense your whole body.

Pick a specific place and time to practice every day. In that way, you will make it a part of your day. Do this in a space that is most practical to you. However, the ideal is to do it in nature.

The two most important points: Smile, even if you don't feel like it, and just do it.

Movement Practice

This video shows energizing movements to connect you with your own body and to promote flexibility and balance.

Transcript
  • Roberto P. Benzo, M.D.
    • Director
    • Mindful Breathing Laboratory, Mayo Clinic

Roberto P. Benzo, M.D.: Start with a solid stance on the... we will start with the first exercise of opening. A few key points: Breathe in when you open; breathe out when you close. Breathe in when you open; breathe out when you close. Be aware of your breath: in, out.

Now your elbow work. Go up with your elbows pointing up. Go down with your elbows pointing down. Pointing up; pointing down.

Now your fist work. Open fist; close fist. Open hands; close. Open; close.

Knee work. So you stretch up and you bend your knees lightly, just feeling them. Straight; bend. Straight; bend.

Remember, the intention is to feel each part of your body.

The second exercise is balance. Step forward to a comfortable posture that you feel solid. The key point here: breathing in as you go back, breathing out as you go in. Open; breathe in. Close; breathe out. Feel your chest open when you go back. Breathe.

Also, feel your weight shifting. Going to the front, going to the back. Remember, change your feet after a few ones and just repeat. Fist closed; fist open. Closed. Open.

The next one is circulating. Get a good stance. You feel a solid structure. Don't put one foot in front of the other; just separate so give you this solid stance. Breathe in; breathe out. Breathe in; breathe out. Breathe in; breathe out. Change.

Fist work. Extend your palms. Close your palms. Extend. Close. Feel the weight shifting. Feel your knees flexing a little bit as you go to the front.

The next one is gathering. Solid stance. Breathe in when you go in front and just pull to you. Pull. Remember, slow as if you're moving in water. Elongate your body as you go in the front and gather and just pull to your bellybutton. Go and pull. Remember the fist work. Open your palms; close your palms. Change the feet. Go; pull. Go; pull. Go; pull.

The last one in the movement is the showering. Get a good stance. Feet shoulder-width apart and then open your arms. Go to the front... put your hands in front of you and then shower your body. Breath in as you go up; breath out as you shower.

It's as if you’re gathering energy and just gathering everything in front of you and then shower your body. Breathe in; breathe out. Remember your knees: stretch, flex. Stretch your body; flex down a little bit. Not too much, not too little. Follow your breath. Breathe in; breathe out.

This is the end of the movement practice. I invite you to transition to the stillness practice that does have additional benefits for you. Thanks.

Stillness Practice

This video offers simple instructions for sitting and standing meditation.

Transcript
  • Roberto P. Benzo, M.D.
    • Director
    • Mindful Breathing Laboratory, Mayo Clinic

Roberto P. Benzo, M.D.: The stillness practice can be done standing or sitting down. The standing practice is particularly appropriate to improve posture and balance.

So stand with your feet wider than your shoulders and elevate your arms as if you're holding a tree. Always be aware of your breath: So breathing in knowing that you're breathing in; breathing out and knowing that you're breathing out.

And after a few breaths, transition your attention to your body.

  • Feel your feet, your toes as you breathe in. Feel your feet, your toes as you breathe out.
  • Feel your legs as you breathe in. Feel your legs as you breathe out.
  • Feel your hips as you breathe in. Feel your hips as you breathe out.
  • Feel your spine as you breathe in. Feel your spine as you breathe out.

If your attention wanders, don't worry; it's normal. Just notice where your attention goes and just bring your attention back to the area of the body that you're breathing into.

  • Feel your abdomen as you breathe in. Feel your abdomen as you breathe out.
  • Feel your chest as you breathe in. Feel your chest as you breathe out.
  • Feel your face as you br eathe in. Feel your face as you breathe out.
  • Feel your arms as you breathe in. Feel your arms as you breathe out.

You may change the position of your arms as you're doing this practice, lower or higher, or just on your abdomen. See what fits for you or do it all. Always be aware of your breath, be aware of your body.

The other stillness practice is a sitting practice. In the sitting practice as well as in the standing practice it's very important the position of the body. Try to have the spine straight, but not stiff, and the head upright to be half an inch taller, as if a thread is grabbing our head from the ceiling. The shoulders down, the chest open and the arms comfortable on your lap or in the position you feel most appropriate to you.

When you sit, start by acknowledging your eyes and your face and trying to have a soft eyes, soft eyes and soft face. Smile and start acknowledging everything that is happening right now: feelings, thoughts, sensations on the body and most important, your breath.

Try to make a deliberate effort to see what's going on, to notice what's going on in you right now, no matter what it is. You can close your eyes if you want to.

And when you're ready, switch your attention to your breath. Feel your breath coming in and coming out. Perhaps noticing in which area of the body the breath is more vivid to you, the nostrils or the abdomen. Just that. Just sitting, just breathing, single tasking, one thing. Just trying to hear your breath.

And if your mind wanders, just notice what is in your mind and with all your kindness bring your attention back to the breath: just breathing, breathing in, breathing out. Noticing long breath, noticing short breath, just noticing, just feeling. And when you're ready, after a minute or so, expand your attention to the whole body: your senses, having a complete awareness sensation on experience. Remember, the most important thing here is your awareness of the moment, of the presence. The breath perhaps being as the anchor to this. Just breathe and expand now this awareness to your body.

This sitting practice can take just a few minutes or as long as you want to.

I hope all these practices help you in your journey. I wish you well.