You’ve made it through your day. You’ve cooked a delicious meal and now you’re ready to clean up and chill out.
1. Doing the Dishes with Conscious Awareness:
Have you ever thought about your spine while cleaning (the dishes or anything else)? It is so easy to move well during your yoga class, or fitness class, but how do you do when you’re tired, your hands are submersed in suds and you just want to get things done?
Breathe Diaphragmatically: Doing the dishes (or any household chore) is a part of our lives. Just like vacation is. We can use it to engage more deeply in our present moment, or rush through it. Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hahn has a beautiful dishwashing meditation in his book The Miracle of Mindfulness
Stagger your stance: Or widen your legs. Use your legs to adjust the height of your hands with respect to your work surface, rather than bending at the hips.
Feel Your Shoulder Blades: Feel your shoulder blades gently drawing away from your ears, and stabilizing your shoulder/ arm and hand movement
Allow your dishes to become a moment of mindful awareness: Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hahn has a super practical and beautiful washing dishes meditation in his book The Miracle of Mindfulness. Allow yourself to notice the warm water, the slippery feel of the soap. When looked into deeply, having warm water, dish soap, dishes and dinner are truly positive experiences.
2. Wash Your Face With a Neutral Spine:
Use the same techniques we employed above to make sure your neck and the rest of your spine are neutral when you are brushing your teeth, putting on moisturizer, washing your face and getting ready for bed.