Candle Breathing: Wind Down Routineby Kaajal Laungani
Practicing gratitude can make us happier, do wonders for our moods, help us be more resilient, and inspire generosity and kindness. We've been deepening our gratitude practice as a family over the past few months and I'm excited to share our special family wind down routine with you.
Every evening before bedtime, we sit on the floor of our living room for candle breathing where we incorporate mindfulness, reflect on the highs and lows of the day, give thanks, and recite powerful mantras. We create space to relate to one another on a deeper level and calm our minds and bodies.
How it works:
Mindful Practice - We anchor our practice by focusing on the candle, using our breath and sense of sight to notice what's happening within us and in front of us. We start the practice with three to five deep cleansing breaths together. Then, we take turns taking deep breaths while the others observe the candle flames. Our breathing pattern is slow and steady - gentle enough to not blow candles out, yet strong enough to make them dance. We take a few moments to notice the colors and movement of the flames. We notice the light reflecting on our hands and the warmth the light creates.
Reflection - We reflect on our day - what was not so good, what was good, what we can do to make tomorrow better. We learn so much about ourselves and one another when we share our lows and highs, and we create a plan to add in the things that bring us joy.
Gratitude - We take a moment to share who and what we're thankful for. Whether it's a person, place, personal quality, activity, or kind gesture, there is nothing too small or too big to be thankful for.
Mantras - We share some words of love that we offer up to our loved ones, people across the globe, and to ourselves. The act of coming together as a family to be mindful, reflect, and be thankful is pretty powerful so it often feels right to channel that positive energy into words that we can speak aloud into the ether.