Library program brings calm, focus

Class teaches clear mind in already quiet place

By Elaine Ezerins

Staff Writer

Just
The Facts

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ST. ALBANS — Find a seat. Lean all the way back and place your feet flat on the floor. Rest your hands in your lap, in whatever way is the most comfortable. Relax.

Close your eyes or choose a spot directly in front of you to look at, but not focus on, zoning out as you begin to focus on your breathing.

Take a deep breath, starting in your abdomen, and let the air fill your chest all the way up to your collarbone. Exhale in the opposite direction. Repeat as many times as necessary until you feel you have control over your breathing, instead of breathing being an involuntary function of the body.

Keep breathing. Focus on your breathing, how the air feels rushing in and out of your lungs. How does your body feel? Try to focus on different limbs and body parts. Relax.

If you start to think about work, refocus your thoughts on your breathing. If you start planning your day out for tomorrow, try counting back from 10, your thoughts solely focused on counting and your breathing.

Remain in this relaxed state for 10 to 15 minutes.

This quick meditation session was how Pamela Easterday of Meditation Therapy began the Introduction to Meditation Class offered by the St. Albans Free Library Thursday night.

This class was designed to showcase one of the library’s new nontraditional items, a bag full of books and CDs about meditation, now available for the public to take out for three weeks at a time.

Easterday walked through the different items in the meditation bag, letting the class know which books are geared toward beginners, kids and then people whom already practice.

She also dispelled some rumors and misbeliefs about the practice of mediation.

According to Easterday, the simplest form of meditation is about breathing and clearing one’s mind. While meditation apps, CDs and classes are fun and might be beneficial for some people, they aren’t exactly necessary.

When someone tracks the movement of their breath, they become more aware and in control of their body and ultimately, their life, she said.

Focusing on one’s breath allows the person to be more present in their life and open to a deeper understanding of one’s life, Easterday said.

According to Easterday, meditation can reduce stress, negative thoughts about oneself and increase energy and balance in one’s mental, emotional and physical self.

She said there is no wrong way to meditate. Some people like to sit on the floor; others prefer to walk, with even steps, around a room. What matters is if the person’s focus is on their breath, their body and being present, not allowing thoughts to wander from what is happening in the current moment.

To learn more about the practice of meditation and mindfulness, check out the new meditation bag available at the library.