If you have ever visited or lived near a river, lake or marsh on North America, you have seen herons. With snaking necks that snap up prey, you never know when they will strike. All the while they manage to look so graceful and calm.
Most of their time is spent waiting. They don't rush, they don't run, they simply lift up one leg at a time to walk to fertile territory. With precision and a sword-like beak, they grab a fish, eat and walk away.
Few of us can wait as patiently as the heron. This week, we will explore some of their teachings as we sit, write and move in a real or imagined waterside habitat.
Be like the heron. Wait. Make a move. Walk away. Repeat.
LUMI SIT: Be the Heron
Set aside 5-10 minutes for this mindfulness activity. Find a quiet place to sit. If you have access to a park with a lake or beach, try this prompt in that setting. Close your eyes and breathe. Notice the sounds, scents, and sensations around you. Visualize yourself embodying the heron's qualities of stillness, alertness, and gracefulness. Imagine you are the heron. Feel the gentle flow of water around your feet, the warmth of the sun on your skin and notice the quality of the air. Is it cold, warm, windy or still? Breathe. Relax. You have nothing to do at this moment. A heron finds balance and tranquility in the middle of any weather. So can you.
LUMI WRITE: The Heron's Perspective
Imagine you are a heron bird observing humans, grasses, shrubs, trees, animals, and snakes that might be later be lunch from the waterside. Write a list of everything you see, feel and hear. Write freely for 5-10 minutes. Put it away. Later, go back and read what you wrote. Notice any themes of patience, balance, and stillness in your writing. Go back and circle any words or phrases that embody the way you want to feel and be.
LUMI MOVE: Standing Heron
This pose is a variation of Mountain Pose. It's mountain pose in the lake. Try this: 1) Begin by standing tall with your feet hip's width apart and your arms relaxed by your sides. 2) Distribute your weight evenly between both feet, feeling the connection with the earth and imagine you are standing at the edge of the sea or the middle of a lake 3) Relax your shoulders and broaden your chest, allowing your arms to naturally fall by your sides 4) Soften your gaze or close your eyes, finding a sense of stillness and presence in the pose. Imagine the standing heron. 5) Feel yourself rooted like a heron standing in shallow water, connected to the earth and yet poised for action. 6) Stay in the pose for several breaths or as long as it feels comfortable.7) To release the pose, gently bring your awareness back to your body and slowly move out of the position.
Take time throughout the day to think about the heron. Repeat this pose. Watch some Heron videos on YouTube. Walk with grace.
See you next time! - Stef
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