mindful movement

gentle mindful morning yoga

I’m excited to share with you a very gentle, morning yoga asana practice. It’s a lot of moving slowly, mobilizing the joints gently and massaging the back body mindfully. For me, this practice is perfect for the mornings when you haven’t even gotten out of bed yet and your mind is moving fastfastfast.

 

The practice might test your patience especially when you’ve got little to work with. And at the same time the practice may also strengthen your ability to be with whatever is or isn’t happening right now.

 

I’ve definitely noticed how quickly my mind is trying to close the gap between now and later. I’ve got the early spring enthusiasm for all that may come. Seeds have been planted and the soil is fertile. So many ideas, plans and possibilities oh my!

 

It’s so easy for me to forget to be when I’ve got so much that I wish to do. Is it the same for you?

 

This is why I choose to practice slow, mindful yoga – a style of yoga that uses the physical asanas or postures as opportunities to practice paying attention to the present moment without judgment. I’ve discovered that the practice of mindful yoga has helped bring more presence, patience and appreciation into my daily living. While at the same time offering me the many benefits that come from practicing yoga in general.

 

If you’d like, the invitation for this week is to choose at least 1 morning, if not 2, 3, 4, or 5 mornings, to notice the sensations in the body with each breath, each movement, each moment. To watch what comes up in the mind. To feel your feelings. To practice gratitude. All while gently rolling around on the floor and stretching the body.

 

If you’ve got more time, and are feeling like you could benefit from more energizing movement, you can extend the practice by pairing this gentle warm up with Sun Salutations. Or if you’re using this as a way to move into seated meditation, set a timer for however long you’d like to sit – 5, 10, 20 minutes or more.

 

May we all meet ourselves wherever we are today, with patience.

 

W/love,
Kris Moon

 

” Mindful yoga is a lifetime engagement – not to get somewhere else, but to be where and as we actually are in this very moment, with this very breath, whether the experience is pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral.”
– Jon Kabat Zinn

A short practice to relax the body & refocus the mind

A short & simple yoga break, perfect for when you need to get out of your head and into your body. Feel free to use this mindful practice to prepare for seated meditation, release general tension or to refocus a scattered brain. A couple blankets and/or large towels may be useful.

 

Enjoy, Kris

Yoga for Stress Relief – A Mindful and Calming Video Practice

Yoga for Stress – a ‘yoga break’ to get you away from your work and into your body. Think more ease, less strain, mindful movements and conscious breathing. The sequence and techniques will help you move from the ‘flight or fight’ high alert sympathetic nervous system to the calmer ‘rest and digest’ parasympathetic nervous system.  This particular ‘yoga break’ is perfect for transitioning from your work day into a relaxing evening at home.

 

Give it a go and then you’ll know – if you benefit from the practice it’s yours.  Feel free to leave comments or ask questions.  I love hearing from you!  Thanks for practicing with me.  xo, Kris

A great way to start your day: Surya Namaskar

newhome

Paul and I have arrived safely Asheville, North Carolina!   For those curious to know, we feel very welcomed here.  I snapped the photo above on a hike not far from where we are staying.  There is so much natural beauty here and we are happy and grateful to be here now.

 

As I promised before I left, I would continue to offer ways to Practice with Kris.  The practice I offer you all is a great way to start your day.  I recommend setting aside 25 minutes before the hustle and bustle of a new day begins to practice this variation of Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutation.  The backdrop for this video is one of my favorite places to practice: along the lake by the Planetarium in Chicago.  It might be getting too cold now, but if you feel inspired, you can always take your mat outside and enjoy the beauty offered here for free.

 

I encourage you to make the practice your own.  Meaning that depending on how your body and mind is feeling on any given morning, you may end up adding more rounds or dialing it back and taking the gentler variations I offer.  Maybe you add a few minutes of meditation at the end, or lengthen your time in your final resting posture.  Whatever you do, just do it.  Or, as my beloved teacher and mentor Gabriel Halpern says, “Hit the mat!”

 

Give yourself the gift of a more consistent yoga and mindfulness practice and I promise you will benefit.  I hope you all find the practice useful, and as always, feel free to reach out with any questions or just to say hello.

 

With love,

Kris Moon

Mindful Yoga for Meditation

Meditation can be challenging.  It requires patience, discipline and motivation.  It also doesn’t hurt to get the ants out of your pants a ‘lil bit and open up your hips.   Here’s a short mindful movement practice to help prepare you for meditation. You don’t have to meditate following the practice, but you just may find that the body and mind are ready to sit.  If so, well then, give it a go 🙂

 

The practice begins with several rounds of cleansing 3-part yogic breath to help awaken a tired and possibly dull “been staring at a computer screen all day” mind, and also helps release what you don’t need to carry into your practice – conversations from the day, undone to do’s and maybe even physical tension in the neck, shoulders or anywhere else you may hold tension.  And by pairing breath with slow movements, you’ll help concentrate the mind while opening the hips, lengthening the spine, and creating space to support your seated practice.

 

You may also use this gentle practice in the morning to get the day started or later in the evening as a way to wind down.

 

If you’re local, feel free to join me on Wednesdays at the Chicago Board of Trade where I will lead a special Mindful Yoga & Meditation class as part of the local Mindful in May events. Learn more about Yoga in the Loop Mindful in May offerings here: MIM_YogaintheLoop.

 

If you don’t know, Mindful in May is a 1-month global meditation challenge where more than 3,000 meditators pause of a cause every day in May, dedicating 10 minutes of meditation to raise money for the amazing folks at Charity Water.  

 

If you’d like to know more about the MIM Chicago team, local offerings and meditation in general please contact me at grow@practicewithkris.com.

 

With love,

Kris Moon

Loose as a Goose – Release Tension in the Neck & Open up the Shoulders

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Here’s a simple practice to get you feelin’ loose as a goose.  What I love about this practice is that you can do it anywhere, at any age, at almost any ability level.  Anyone who spends more than a couple hours in front of a computer, or is just a general neck and shoulder slumper (you know who you are..heck, these days it’s difficult not to be when you’re always looking down at some sort of screen) can benefit immediately and pretty profoundly from these basic exercises.

 

I practice first thing in the morning to work out all the sleepy stiffness in my neck and shoulders.  They thank me for it.  And yours will, too.   So give it a go, and then you’ll know.  If you benefit from the practice, it’s yours!

 
In the next couple of weeks I will be phasing out how often I email you. (If you don’t receive my emails and would like to, subscribe here). Instead of weekly emails, expect to receive emails about once a month to learn about opportunities to practice.  If you haven’t already subscribed to the “practice with kris” YouTube channel, this will be the easiest way to receive the latest weekly video practices. You can also comment directly to the videos on YouTube.  I’m here for you, so please don’t hesitate to let me know how I can help you grow a more consistent practice.

 

With love,

Kris

Soothe the Low Back & Open Tight Hips

I’ve been receiving some really thoughtful feedback on the video practices that my husband, Producer Paul, and I have been creating for you all. Thank you for taking the time to practice and for sharing what you’d like to see from us.

 

A couple of you have requested a mindful movement practice to help relieve low back pain. So here it is. This week’s practice also has some nice hip openers – bonus!

 

As always, feel free to reach out with questions and comments. In the next few weeks I will be phasing out how often I email you. (If you don’t receive my emails and would like to, subscribe here). Instead of weekly emails, expect to receive emails about once a month to learn about opportunities to practice. If you haven’t already subscribed to the “practice with kris” YouTube channel, this will be the easiest way to receive the latest weekly video practices. You can also comment directly to the videos on YouTube and let me know when I have food on my face. Great!

 

Now take some time for yourself and enjoy your practice,

🙂 Kris

Release the upper back! A gentle & relaxing mindful movement practice

If you live in Chicago, or anywhere that is experiencing really intense winter, you are feeling it.   Probably in your upper back.   I can feel it, and I can see the effects of Chiberia in a lot of my students.   I call this “Winter Rounding.”  As you round the shoulders forward to shield yourself from the cold you start to hold a lot of tension in the upper back, shoulders and neck.   For goodness sake, let’s get straight!  That’s why this week’s mindful movement video practice is called, “Release the Upper Back!”

 

This is a short, simple and gentle gem that I hope you find useful.   I recommend trying it out when you get home from work as a transition from the day’s hustle to ease into a more relaxed place.  This practice is also helpful to combat the same tension that forms in the upper back from long hours in front of a computer.   Whatever the need may be, give it a go and then you’ll know.   As always, if you benefit from the practice it’s yours.

 

Enjoy!

Kris

Simple morning salute

Nothing fancy.  Just a simple and gentle morning sun salutation, or Surya Namaskar which is what this mindful movement is called in Sanskrit.  There are a ton of variations of this dynamic sequence of breath-synced movement.  And this is one of them.  I’ll guide you inward so that you can tune in to what is going on inside.  You’ll connect to an intention and help focus the mind by paying attention to the breath.

 

Give it a go and then you’ll know.   If you benefit from the practice, it’s yours to keep.