Relax with Feathers
What is Magic Feather Meditation? Magic Feather Meditation is a relaxation technique that uses feathers and light feathery strokes to calm and relax the body and mind.
How does it help me? Light feathery strokes sooth and calm the nervous system and gently stimulate the sensory system, helping with body awareness and proprioception (sense of where the physical body is positioned or located in space). Most people find this exercise soothing and relaxing – just like magic!
How do I do it? Magic Feather Meditation is best done partnered up with a friend, however it can be adapted as a self-massage/meditation technique.
1. One partner lies comfortably on the floor with eyes gently closed. Guide them to relax fully by taking a few deep inhales and exhales before letting go, allowing the breath to be natural and the body to be relaxed, fully supported by the floor.
2. The second person, using a feather, gently applies soft strokes along the arms and legs, torso and the face – gently tracing the jawline, temples, forehead, bridge of nose and neck (avoid the inside of the ears and nose, and avoid the eyes).
3. Encourage the person applying the feather strokes to also use this exercise as a meditation, staying focused and present, observing any subtle responses in their partner. Switch roles.
Individual Meditation/Self Massage:
Begin in a comfortable seated position. Close your eyes and take a few deep inhales and exhales to feel centered and present. Using a feather, gently begin to apply soft feathery strokes to your body. Try out different pressures and strokes, noticing how it makes you feel and which areas of the body you are drawn to – do you notice you are holding tension in that particular area? OR, follow this simple routine:
1. Begin with light feather strokes on the back of the hand and fingers. Move to the palm, then along the arm, all the way to the shoulder (be sure to cover entire arm, back and front with light feathery strokes). Repeat other arm.
2. Gently sweep the feather along the jawline, temples, across the forehead and down the bridge of nose. Over the chin, under the chin, and on the neck (be sure to sweep sides and back of neck if your feather can reach).
3. Gently sweep across chest and down to the belly. Sweep the sides of the torso to the hips.
4. Sweep down one leg all of the way to the foot (be sure to cover entire leg, back and front).
5. Sweep the top of the foot and ankle and then the sole of the foot with the feather. Repeat other side.
No feather? No problem! Use your fingertips! Apply very soft, gentle strokes by lightly dragging your fingertips in an upward or downward motion, barely touching the body. Use short, upward strokes to energize, and long, downward strokes to feel calm and relaxed.
*Tips: Teachers – this is an excellent technique to use to gently awaken a student who falls asleep during a meditation or relaxation practice. Be VERY gentle so as not to startle them, and talk to them softly as you apply light feather strokes. For example, “The magic wake-up feather is gently waking you up now.”
Need more inspiring and kid-friendly Movement, Meditation and Mindfulness activities? Teach Your Child Meditation and Teach Your Child Yoga are wonderful resources for ALL regardless of yoga or meditation experience.