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Russell Jack, Southland Yoga Founder, Discusses One-Minute Meditation

This was originally published in The Aussie Mag.

Meditation can be challenging. If you have a busy schedule, you might feel like you’ll never have the time to implement a meditation practice. However, successful meditation practice does not require a chunk of time in your calendar. 

You can enjoy this sixty-second mindfulness practice. Crafted for the busiest of bees by Russell Herbert Jack, Southland Yoga founder, you can practice this meditation whenever you’d like. With this quick one-minute meditation, you can clear your head and get back to the rest of your schedule.

Step One: Get Comfortable and Close Your Eyes

This step is optional. While you might not have the time to sit cross-legged with your hands resting on your knees as you would with more extended practice, it’s nice to be at least mildly comfortable when performing a meditation. Additionally, closing your eyes will help you focus on your practice, no matter how brief. However, you can perform this meditation pretty much anywhere.

Step Two: Box Breathing

Let’s calm down the body. Box breathing focuses your concentration and lowers your stress levels, making it a powerful tool during a short meditation. To perform a box breath:

  • Inhale for four seconds.

  • Hold your breath for four seconds.

  • Exhale for four seconds.

  • Hold your breath for four seconds.

  • Repeat the cycle three times.

If you’d like, you can also experiment with different types of breathing like the 4-7-8 breath. In this technique, you breathe in for four seconds, hold for seven, and breathe out for eight. This breathing technique is aimed at reducing anxiety and is often used to aid people in falling asleep. Whichever breath you choose, make sure that you’re comfortable and not holding your breath to the point of pain or dizziness.

Step Three: Body Scan

While this might be a bit faster than the body scan you’ll perform during a longer meditation, one of the most important things to do during this short break is to check in with your body and how it is feeling. Beginning at the crown of your head, move your focus down through your body until you reach your toes. 

As you move your concentration, try to relax each part of your body. For example, as you “scan” down your face, try to relax your face muscles. The move on to relax your neck muscles, shoulder muscles, etc., until all your body is soft and relaxed. If you find that a certain part of your body feels particularly tense, you can take a moment to “breathe into” that area to help it release.

Step Four: Move Your Attention to Your Breath and Mantra

Now, take a moment to focus on your breath, breathing slowly, evenly, and naturally. If you’d like, you can repeat a mantra to yourself a few times. You could mentally repeat a phrase like “I am exactly where I need to be” or use phrases that match up with your breath. For example, on your inhale, you could think, “I am calm.” On your exhale, you can repeat, “I am at peace.” 

Whenever you’re ready, come out of your quick meditation and go on with the rest of your day in a more peaceful and serene state.

About Russell Herbert Jack

Russell Herbert Jack, a Southland-based yoga and mindfulness teacher, specializes in Vinyasa Yoga, Qigong, and guided meditations. Russell is passionate about animal rights protection, regularly volunteers with the World Animal Protection Organization, and donates to protect endangered species in New Zealand.

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