Hi Folks this is my first blog post and I am happy to share all kinds of great things with you about yoga, holistic practices, and all things in between (we will see where this goes!). I’ve been kicking around this idea of a blog for a long time and am finally ready to put the pencil to the paper, or should we say fingers to the keyboard 😀
I’ve made list after list of all the things that I have thought of sharing but choosing where to begin is where I always get stuck. This past week I had a student ask me for tips on mindfulness and figured well this makes for a great first post! So hear is a list of some of my favorite ways to add a bit of mindfulness throughout my day.
Pay Attention To Your Breath
You can do this absolutely anywhere! Take a moment to just notice your breath and ask these questions-
- Where is the breath flowing from, belly or chest?
- How deep and long are my breaths?
- Am I fully exhaling?
Come into a 2:1 breathing pattern – exhaling twice as long as you inhale. I like to start with exhales of to the count of six and inhales to the count of three; listen to your body and find what feels best. As you breathe take notice of the muscles being used, let the breath flow in and out through the belly.
After a few moments let your breath return to normal, without any effort. Answer the questions again and notice how the body has changed.
Connect With Nature
Step outside and breathe in the surroundings – staring up at the sky, watching the trees move in the wind, exploring the ground around you or just closing your eyes and listening to the sounds. If it is nice outside try taking off your shoes and connecting your feet with Mother Earth. Give yourself a few moments to take in all the awesomeness it is to be alive and the special role you play in the universe.
How often do you walk around not present in your body, maybe tripping over a chair or running into the wall? We all do and I for one have ran into a wall way more times than I would like to admit! When your mind is going in a million different directions it is easy to not “feel” like you are in your own body and you are only going through a pattern of motions.
Try moving just a tad slower, feel the foot strike the floor – heel, ball, and toes. You can even make this motion very slow and turn this into a walking meditation. I like to add this to my yoga practice by walking forwards and backwards up my mat.
Take a few stretches. You don’t need to go into a full yoga practice just find small movements like stretching the arms up over head and reaching side to side. Try to tune into all the muscles that are working to make the movements and feel the extra space being made in the body.
Unplug From Electronics
This one is obvious and everyone says it, but it is so true! We spend countless hours a day on our phones and we NEED to take a break. Take a scheduled time away from your devices and put them out of sight so you are not tempted to check any new alerts. If this is super scary for you try starting out with something small like 15 mins a day. Out of sight, out of mind.
Being alone with your own thoughts after you have been checked out for awhile can be, well, pretty scary for some people. Don’t fear it, meditation doesn’t have to look any particular way and you may have to try out a few different ones to find what works for you. Also training the mind is just like any other part of the body, you must practice.
Stay tuned for my next post on some different types of meditations. Hope you all find this list helpful, let me in the comments your favorite way to find mindfulness!