Mindfulness Exercises for Groups
Mindfulness is based on an ancient buddhist practice similar to meditation that means paying attention to things in a particular way:
- On purpose
- In the present moment
While that might seem like a challenge, simple exercises for individuals and groups can help with practising Mindfulness meditation.
The following 3 exercises are the perfect introduction to Mindfulness Exercises for Groups:
Exercise #1: Mindful Breathing – A Perfect Warm-up or Cool-down
This is a great starting point for any mindfulness group.
The goal of mindful breathing is to create a calmness and acceptance:
- Sitting comfortably but up straight with eyes closed.
- Allow thoughts, emotions and physical feelings to occur, without analysing or judging them.
- If you notice your attention drifts or you get caught up in thoughts, aim to bring your focus back by concentrating on your breathing.
It’s common during this exercise, especially when new to it that thoughts and feelings will take your attention away, simply aim to re-focus your attention every time this happens.
Exercise #2: Leaves in the Stream – A More Advanced Breathing Exercise
Using breathing is central to successful Mindfulness meditation.
The idea of ‘Leaves in the Stream’ is to teach that thoughts are just thoughts, that don’t we don’t always need to react to.
This technique involves using a slightly more advanced technique:
- Sitting quietly, focus on your breathing.
- As thoughts enter your mind imagine the words of each thought on a leaf floating by on a stream.
- Put each and every thought on a leaf that passes and watch them drift away.
- Don’t force thoughts to appear, just send them down the stream when they do.
Just like the last exercise focus will come and go, don’t worry just use your breathing to regain focus.
Exercise #3: The Body Scan – The Perfect Mindfulness Exercise for Groups
The body scan exercise is one of the most important Mindfulness techniques.
- Sit or lie in a comfortable position.
- Starting at the bottom of your body, at your feet pay attention to how they feel.
- Notice any sensations, pain, cool or warmth.
- As with the other techniques do not judge the sensations, simply be aware of them.
- Now simply work your way through your body, to your lower legs, upper legs until you reach the top of your head.
The body scan can take anywhere from 5 minutes up to 45 minutes.
One of the best ways of practising the body scan exercise is to use a guided video like the one below:
Hopefully these 3 exercises will give you a great start into Mindfulness Exercises for Groups.
Have a favourite Mindfulness exercise?
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