guided meditation

How Meditation Makes Us Better Listeners

Did you hear that?

You know that person who is always interrupting you, and pretends to listen when it’s so obvious he or she is doing anything but that? Who responds with either a completely unrelated follow-up question, or immediately hi-jacks the conversation into another direction. Oh hey, that was me. And I’m sure at times is still me.
 

Yep, for most of my life I was so busy having a gazillion conversations in my own head that anyone trying to have a conversation with me hardly stood a chance of being heard. Really, back then I could barely hear mySelf.
 

Becoming a better listener.

These days though, I’d say I’ve become a better listener. The gazillion conversations going on in my head have died down to double digits. And I even have people telling me how much they appreciate how heard they feel when speaking to me. Which is one of the ways my meditation practice has transformed my relationships – with both mySelf and with others.
 

Tara Brach says in The Sacred Art of Listening“We spend most of our moments when someone is speaking, planning what we’re going to say, evaluating it, trying to come up with our presentation of our self, or controlling the situation. Pure listening is a letting go of control. It’s not easy and takes training… The bottom line is when we are listened to, we feel connected. When we’re not listened to, we feel separate.”

 

So how does our meditation practice make us better listeners? 

When we practice meditation, we are really practicing letting go. Letting go of the gazillion conversations swirling in our heads. Letting go of the planning and the projecting. Letting go of control, or our identification with being the doer.
 

What makes us great listeners is that we listen with great attention. This means that we must be present, tending to the other person as they talk the same way that we tend to the breath as it moves – open and curious, without judgement, nor an agenda.
 

When we meditate, we practice being the witness, or observer. Which is really what our role is when we are the listener. We are there to take in the other person’s truth, and when it’s possible or welcomed, to reflect that truth back.
 

The invitation this week: practice deep, mindful listening

So if you’d like to change the way you hear yourSelf and those around you, the invitation this week is to practice Deep, Mindful Listening.
 

To begin, here’s a free, short guided mindfulness meditation to practice tending to the sounds around you. Then, after the meditation, you’re welcome to call a friend, or a family member and offer them your full attention. You just might notice that you hear them in a new way. As you listen, check in with how you feel. And you might notice that you feel different, too.
 

And if you don’t, that’s okay. As Tara Brach reminds us, “It’s not easy and it takes training.”
 

May we learn to listen without impatience / May we give neither praise nor blame, only listen / May we offer our attention in the present moment as a gift to each other / And may we feel how wonderful it is to be heard 
 

And so it is.
 

w/Love,
Kris Moon

 

 

Ease into the Holidays with this Simple Supported Posture – Reclined Bound Angle

suptabaddhakonasanaKRIS

Reclined bound angle pose is a pretty cushy set up, especially with the addition of props. This is a must-do practice for me heading into winter.  It’s beneficial to respiration, restful as can be, and helps keep spirits up.  As always, give it a go and then see for yourself if and how you benefit.

 

Here’s one variation of the pose with several ways to use props for greater comfort and ease. You can practice for as little as a couple minutes to as long as a half an hour, depending on how much time you have and what your personal needs for relaxation are at that particular time.

  

Props: 2 eggs (or rolled towels/blankets) / several blankets and a wall space

 

propsneeded

 

  • Fold a blanket in half to make a rectangle about the width of your torso and place it on the floor, a few feet perpendicular to a wall.
  • Place a second blanket on top of the first blanket, on the end of the blanket farthest from the wall.
  • Sit facing the wall, with your knees bent and your hips slightly in front of the blanket.
  • Lay back on the blankets so the chest is lifted and the back body is supported.
  • Use the second blanket to lift the head so the forehead is slightly higher than the chin.
  • Spread the thighs apart and bring your heels and soles of the feet together, toes can touch the wall to help keep feet together.
  • Let the knees relax out to the side and down toward the floor.  You can experiment with the distance between the feet and buttocks.
  • Place a folded blanket or egg under each thigh so there is no strain or pulling in the groin.
  • Inhale the arms over the head and stretch the abdominals without over bowing the low back/lumbar spine
  • Exhale relax the arms about 45 degree angle from the shoulder with the palms face up.
  • Press into the backs of the hands to lift and open center of the chest, gently draw the tops of the shoulder blades down, in toward the heart and then spread them forward and apart. The key is to keep the center of the chest lifted.
  • The body temperature decreases when you relax so be sure to cover the body with a blanket to stay warm.
  • Add an eye pillow, and a personal favorite for the winter months is to place blankets under the wrists and then fold them over the palm to create mittens for the hands.
  • Practice a few rounds of diaphragmatic / restorative breaths.  Then gently meditate on the natural breath. Download a guided meditation you can practice while resting in this posture.  Here’s one I’ve created as a free gift.  Anytime you notice the mind reviewing lists of gifts or other holiday to-do’s, simply return to sipping on the breath and enjoying the ease that is possible this season.
  • You can set a timer and be here for as long as you have, up to 20-30 minutes.

 

mittens eye pillow

As always, feel free to reach out with questions or comments, and enjoy!

xo, Kris Moon

 

Guided Mindfulness Meditation on the Breath

Here’s a short & simple mindfulness meditation on the breath. It’s a perfect practice for when you’re feeling the need for less speed. It aims to help you move from a high alert red zone to a calmer, more focused state. All you need for this one is your awareness.

 

If you benefited from the practice and would like to download the audio version to your device to conveniently carry with you wherever and whenever you need it most, head over to my (re)store and download it now.

 

As always, thanks for practicing with me! xo, Kris

Yoga for a Good Night – A Lovely Practice to Help You Sleep Well

Yoga-for-Good-Night-ThumbnailAt the request of two very special students, I have created “Yoga for a Good Night”, a video practice intended to help you sleep well.   Together we’ll slip into a state of non-doing, learning ways to calm and quiet the mind.  The practice will end with a guided relaxation intended to lull your nervous system into a state of rest.  This is my first try at a longer video practice that is available as a digital download for purchase, and I’m pretty stoked about it.

 

So if you need help with your zzz’s, please visit my shop to purchase the practice.  And if the price is too steep, I’ve got you.  Try listening to this free guided meditation in your favorite relaxation position, like Vipariti Karani or Legs-up-the-Wall – no idea what that means, learn here.

 

For my Chicago folks, I’m also leading a special 90-minute workshop called Yoga for Insomnia: Improve the Quality and Quantity of your Sleep on Sunday, December 21st.  Give yourself the gift of sleep.  It’s kind of a necessity.  Head here for more details and to sign-up.

 

As always, feel free to reach out with any questions or feedback.  I love hearing from you!

 

With love,

Kris Moon

September Restorative

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Join me for a 2-hour Restorative Yoga Class at Trump Chicago on Sunday, September 14th.

 

Summer can leave us feeling drained and sometimes feeling like we need a vacation from our summer vacation.  If that sounds familiar, then please consider taking time out to take care of yourself so that you don’t get burnt out.  And if you’re already burnt out, then just say yes already.

 

In this 2-hour class, we will blend a slow flow Asana practice with mindful breathing, and combine gentle and supported postures with guided meditation. Aromatherapy and candle light will be used to set the tone for a calming restorative experience.  Not only will you leave feeling rested, we will practice ways to:
  • Calm the nervous system and quiet the mind. 
  • Melt away stored tension and restore wholeness and balance.  
  • Decrease stress and feelings of anxiety. 
  • Increase feelings of inner peace and wellbeing.
No experience necessary.  Just come in comfortable clothing, ready to recharge.
$30 Health Club Members // $40 Trump Tower Residents & *Practice with Kris* Guests 

 

Please register with Caroline Rawlings at crawlings@trumphotels.com // Make a Self-care Sunday out of it. Access to The Spa at Trump amenities, including sauna, steam room, relaxation lounge and heated pool are included with registration.