Podcast

Latest Episode

Latest Episode

Observing a Plant Mindful Foliage

If you've ever settled in to prune an especially important or lovely plant, then you probably know the joyously powerful sense of awareness this has brought. It can certainly be easier at times to bring your awareness to a plant than to the mindless mindfulness of deep meditation.  Today we'll be engaging three of the senses, all centered around whatever plant catches your attention. Starting with vision, one of the easiest senses to engage in nature, you'll be guided to look over every aspect of whatever is growing before you. Smell too, which floats on the wind and air that both your and the plant are sharing. Texture is just as important, to get a sense of the plant's physicality.  Please to do not breathe in or touch plants that might cause an allergic reaction or other issues. I wouldn't touch a poison ivy – but they're probably fine to look at!  This guided practice can be performed indoors or outdoors equally well. I recommend trying both if you have the time and weather to do so.  For more information on other mindfulness practices or to learn more about the green nature around us, check out my website at http://www.mindfulfoliage.com. If you just want to look at pretty pictures of plants, swing by my instagram @mindfulfoliage. For exclusive content or to support the show, find me on patreon.

Not sure where to start with meditation? There’s a few paths to take: If you like learning the techniques one by one, try starting with breathing exercises. They’re the ground level of mindfulness, and can be practiced anywhere. If you’re looking to dive in with a full guided meditation, start out with some Yoga Nidra. This is a full-body relaxation and mindfulness journey that can help you relax and find yourself.

Guided Meditations

A Pleasant Time in Yoga Nidra Mindful Foliage

Yoga Nidra is a guided yogic sleep. We’ll relax every part of you, one by one, as deeply as can be. Yoga Nidra is a form of sleep that allows you to be fully conscious. You can relax into your self and have some time away from the stress of the world.  To go on this journey, you’re going to need a Sankalpa – a vow that connects you with your highest truth. Most goals and resolutions look to change you, but the Sankalpa reminds you that everything you need is already within you. All your happiness, your joy, even your anger comes from within you. Your Sankalpa is a reflection of your innermost, heartfelt truth or desire. It is a personal statement of resolve. I hope you enjoy this guided meditation! If you enjoy meditation and nature, please be sure to take a peek at my website, MindfulFoliage.com. Or, if you just want the photos, check out my Instagram, @mindfulfoliage.

Settling in to Listen Mindful Foliage

Today's guided meditation is a nice and slow-paced round of listening. Rather than have you go outdoors like I normally recommend, this is listening to what's around where you normally are. If you've been stuck at home for a while, you might be looking for any way to get outside the moment. In this session, we delve right back in to the here and now.  At the start, I'll also guide you through a few minutes of resonant breathing. This pranayama gets your system in balance, and resonating with itself. This is a diaphragmatic breathing exercise that activates your parasympathetic nervous system and your vagus nerve. Resonant breathing is also known as coherent breathing – and can consciously boost your Heart Rate Variability (HRV). For more information on Resonant Breathing and how to personalize the pace to maximize your HRV, please check out the article on my site, mindfulfoliage.com. If you want to see the schedule for weekly live guided meditations, please check out my instagram, @mindfulfoliage.

Focus on a Single Object Mindful Foliage

Concentrating on a single object settles your mind quite firmly into the present moment. When you focus completely on a task, nothing else interrupts you. Your own thoughts don’t get in the way, and neither do any of your worries and aversions. Concentrating in a mindful way is much like this, except that you’re not really trying to accomplish something. You’re trying to simply be. And, at the same time, not trying. At first, it will take effort. Your attention will wander to thoughts, you’ll force yourself back to the task of concentrating. As your ability for mindfulness builds, you’ll find yourself drifting away less. At the same time, you’ll find directing your attention to be even easier. At the very height of mindful concentration, this will take no effort at all. You’re working to not work. This change in concentration doesn’t happen overnight. For most of us, there’s no sudden moment of enlightenment that makes it all click. You may sit one day and find yourself settling easily into focusing on a single object. Other days, you may be tired, spending as much time re-straightening your back as you do trying not to think about it. Concentration improves gradually. Please practice from a state of kindness and compassion for yourself and whatever you’re looking at. Be gentle with yourself when your awareness wanders, and be kind with how you encourage yourself to draw it back to the object in the present moment. For more meditation, head over to MindfulFoliage.com/Mindfulness. If you just want to look at plant photos all day, follow me on instagram at instagram.com/mindfulfoliage. I'm hosting weekly meditations online through different channels. Check out the website or instagram for more details.

Breathing Guides

Resonant Breathing – Find Balance Mindful Foliage

(Guided portion begins at 7:15) Resonant breathing is a uniquely-paced breathing exercise. Rather than settling into a timeless rhythm or counting numbers, you’ll be sticking to a set number of complete breaths per minute. In this case, 5. At a pace of 5 full breaths per minute, each breath is allotted 12 seconds. This means you’ll inhale for 5 seconds, pause for one, exhale for 5 seconds, then pause again. Resonant breathing, also known as coherent breathing, has been shown to maximize your heart rate variability (HRV) and stimulate your vagus nerve. Please try your best to breathe with your diaphragm. The more effective your breath is, the more effective your practice will be. Try to be mindful and aware during each breath. Allow your senses to center on your breathing, and then expand to take in your whole body. For more information on Resonant Breathing and how to personalize the pace to maximize your HRV, please check out the article on my site, mindfulfoliage.com. If you want to see the schedule for weekly live guided meditations, please check out my instagram, @mindfulfoliage.

Diaphragmatic Breathing – An Introduction Mindful Foliage

Diaphragmatic breathing is the foundation for many other breathing exercises. On a purely physical level, this breathing exercise works the muscles responsible for breathing. And like fixing your posture, becoming familiar with this style of breathing can help fix poor breath practices. It trains your diaphragm to be responsible for the effort of breathing, unlike untrained breathing which can use the muscles of your chest, ribs, and back. Breathing with your diaphragm can make each breath a little easier and more effective. It can aid you in sinking deeper into focus and concentration as you meditate, or bring you energy as you breathe deeply in the moment. How you apply it is up to you!  If you enjoy meditation and nature, please be sure to take a peek at my website, MindfulFoliage.com. Or, if you just want the photos, check out my Instagram, @mindfulfoliage.

Humming Bee Breath – Bhramari Mindful Foliage

This breathing practice comes with a rather unique sensation – buzzing like a bee. This yogic breathing practice can bring instant calm, soothing your mind especially well. This practice quite literally sets your brain abuzz. If you’ve got an active mind that feels too busy for meditation, this can drone out those thoughts. Like other pranayama, Humming Bee Breath activates the autonomic nervous system. It encourages your body to find balance. In today’s world of a myriad little stresses, the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) is often left activated far more than the parasympathetic (rest and digest). This practice on its own stimulates the vagus nerve and brings balance to the ANS. If you lengthen the exhalation relative to the inhalation, it also activates the parasympathetic nervous system deeply. If you’re feeling particularly stressed, just remember to breathe out slowly! For more information on other pranayama and how to be mindful around nature, please check out the articles on my site, mindfulfoliage.com. If you want to take a gander at nature indoors and out, please check out my instagram, @mindfulfoliage.

Simhasana – Lion's Breath Mindful Foliage

Today's episode is a pretty short walkthrough of Simhasana, Lion's Breath. Get ready to wake up! Simhasana pranayama is a great way to let out some noise. Simhasana’s story draws from an old fable, in which Vishnu appears in the form “Narasimha” (half lion, half man) and is generally quite fierce in vanquishing a demon. That same ferocity, minus the demon, works here on your throat and face. This is an energizing practice, releasing tension in your throat and letting your voice work free. You embody the essence of a leaping, roaring, half-lion god in stirring the energies of your breath. Simhasana is a great breath to apply when you’re feeling angry or anxious, or when you haven’t been expressing yourself in the right way. For more information on other pranayama and how to be mindful around nature, please check out the articles on my site, mindfulfoliage.com. If you want to see the schedule for weekly live guided meditations, please check out my instagram, @mindfulfoliage.

Cooling Sitali Breath Mindful Foliage

Sitali Pranayama can help lower your body temperature and relax your thoughts. It has an overall calming effect on the nervous system, reducing anxiety and agitation. It helps improve focus and reduce high blood pressure. According to some, it cultivates a love of solitude – but that may be because you’re sticking your tongue out like a taco. For those of us in SoCal with the pending heatwaves and wildfire season, this breath is a must-have. It brings cooling, moistened air into your lungs as needed. It brings down a pitta imbalance, which can build during the summer months. For more information on other Pranayama and how to be mindful around nature, please check out the articles on my site, mindfulfoliage.com. If you want to see the schedule for weekly live guided meditations, please check out my instagram, @mindfulfoliage.