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Wind DownNighttime in Joshua Tree

Nighttime in Joshua Tree

Paint a scene for restful sleep with this calming wind-down exercise set in Joshua Tree National Park.

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Hi, this is Sam, and welcome to tonight's Wind Down, located here in the rocky hills of Joshua Tree National Park. In this exercise, we'll be using sound and imagery to paint a relaxing scene in the mind and help prepare you for a night of restful sleep. Here's how the exercise will go. I'll begin by setting the scene and introducing the environment. We'll then move into a muscle relaxation technique, where, as we breathe in, we'll gently squeeze and tense an area of the body for a few moments, and then slowly let go. By doing this, we help to release tension and tightness in the body and gently guide the mind to a natural place of calm and rest. At the end of the exercise, you'll have some time to connect to the different sounds around you and soak in the full environment. If at any time the technique becomes uncomfortable, you can shift your focus to the sounds, or even pause the exercise, if you'd like. Joshua Tree has been a source of inspiration for artists, musicians, and filmmakers for decades, and it's easy to see why, especially at this magical time, the shift between day and night when the sky becomes a blended tapestry of gold, yellow, pink, purple, and blue. With the sun hanging low on the horizon, its vibrant glow stretches across the entire landscape, from the open fields of cacti and seasonal wildflowers in Pleasant Valley to the California fan palms along the oasis of Mara Nature Trail. A soft breeze runs through the park. gently rustling the tent flaps of nearby campers. Rain clouds have started to form in the north just past Rattlesnake Canyon. (thunder rolls softly) The dull roll of thunder can already be heard in the distant hills as the clouds inch their way southbound. Looks like a spot of rain is in the forecast for this evening. A welcome surprise, especially for the wildlife who call the desert home. As the night approaches and the heat dies down, the local fauna makes itself known. American desert hares race from bush to bush, their feet beating into the warm sand. A colony of orange and black monarch butterflies pass through the park, still in the first leg of their annual migration. A herd of mountain rams can be seen in the southern hills near Mastodon Peak, scavenging for bits of green grass and yellow lichen. (animal yips) From even further away, the yips and howls of coyotes are heard echoing through the open Pinto Basin. They greet the moon with enthusiasm before combing the landscape for an evening meal. The unfolding scene of nature around you instantly triggers a sense of peace and belonging. There is nothing left to do but get comfortable in this space. Let's take a deep breath and settle ourselves further in the environment. Feel the warm sand beneath you, contouring to the shape of your body, gently cradling you in place. All is...


TypeWind Down
Duration45 min

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  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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