4) Starfish

Starfish is a fun mindfulness practice for any age! It can help to ease worried minds, restlessness and anger. Learning Starfish can help unhook us from difficult thoughts and emotions, and allow us to rest calmly in our bodies and our natural breath.

The Practice

  • Choose a hand to be your starfish, and a finger to be your breath pointer.

  • Start below your thumb, down at your wrist, and wait for your next in-breath.

  • As you breathe in naturally, trace your in breath carefully up your thumb with your finger. You need to time it so that you’re at the very tip of your thumb when your in-breath becomes an out-breath.

  • Let your breathing be totally natural. Your tracing finger is simply representing the breath along your hand.

  • Breathe down your thumb for your out-breath, so that you’re at the very base when your out-breath becomes an in-breath.

  • Remember – no messing with your breath! Simply speed up or slow down your tracing finger.

  • Breathe up and down each finger, with care and deliberate focus. Let yourself rest in the sensation of movement – your lungs breathing and your finger moving. As you breathe down your little finger, rest at the base of your wrist for a moment. Check in and see how you’re feeling. Simply notice the feelings – there’s no need to judge or explain anything. You’re just looking.

  • Then swap hands.

  • Settling at your wrist, wait for an in-breath and repeat the process, leisurely tracing your breath up and down your fingers, in and out. Pause again at your wrist. How are you feeling? Again, simply notice and label. There’s nothing to fix.

Once you have learned Starfish, your body can respond very quickly to the practice, immediately settling in to the sensation of breath and touch. We learn that this is an appropriate moment to rest in our body and focus on ourselves.