Sometimes it can be hard to find the time to meditate and fit your yoga practice into the day. Life happens, and it can get chaotic and busy for all of us. When I am in this space, I try to cultivate presence in my life off of my yoga mat. My intention for this post is to inspire you to apply these simple tools of how to be more mindful so that you can improve your own wellbeing.
What is the hype with mindfulness?
Mindfulness seems to be a buzz word and all of the rage lately. Maybe you’re curious as to why or what it even is and what it can do for you? The practice of mindfulness is simply being aware of your feelings, thoughts, and sensations as they change from moment to moment. When I am intentionally mindful it allows me to find a sense of calm in the chaos, reconnect with my center and to really enjoy the moments that life brings. If finding calm in the chaos feels out of reach for you, don’t worry; I know that feeling too.
There is magic in simplicity
Don’t forget that being mindful can be simple. Don’t be hard on yourself when your mind does what it is meant to. It is totally human to get distracted and pulled away from the present moment (constantly). I look at these moments as times to really put the practice of mindfulness into action. There isn’t one size fits all, so take what you need and make it work for you. I find the simple practices are the most powerful because they are the easiest way to show up and consistently create internal change.
One of the best ways to start your mindfulness journey is to be more present as you enjoy your favorite meal or drink. Who wouldn’t want to cultivate more awareness of delicious flavors?
Start with observing your food, look at it. What does it look like? What does it smell like? How does your body respond to seeing or smelling the food? What is your physiological response? The goal is to grow more aware of the sensations that you feel in response to your food. Are you excited? Or are you eager, impatient, and more hungry?
Then slowly take a bite or drink. How does it feel touching your lips, how does it feel in your mouth? What is the texture as you chew? What flavor notes do you detect? Take a moment to really savor your food and be grateful for it.
Breathe & don’t overthink it
Slow down and drop into your body with a quick breathing exercise. You can stand, sit or lay down. They key is that you are comfortable. Place one hand over your heart and one hand over your belly. Bring a sense of awareness to your breath. Observe and listen to your breathing there is no need to try and control your breathing but instead feel, listen and observe.
We live in a fast paced world where we seem to honor hustle over rest and sometimes wear burn out as a badge. It can feel like life is constantly on the go. Unaware, we run from listening to our thoughts and the discomfort of stillness and quiet as we stress over not checking tasks off our “To Do” lists. Lately I have realized that life doesn’t always need to be so fast paced. Carve out some time in your day where you can slow down and focus on one task. My favorite activity to truly savor is my morning coffee on the weekends. Pick one task to slow down that does not involve looking at a screen; it can be a bath, shower, a phone call with a friend, or time with your family.
Another incredible way to create more awareness is through moving your body in a mindful way. Choose a movement practice that works for you such as dance, yoga, or going for a nature walk. It doesn’t need to be long; just spend time with yourself, your mind, body, and breath. As you indulge in your movement practice become aware of the physical sensations in your body, then create awareness around your feelings. One of my favorite ways to practice mindful movement (aside from yoga) is to go for a mindful walk. I find that spending time outside in nature really calms my mind and allows for me to really tune into the sensations around me. This guides me in deepening my own self awareness in the present moment. If you are not sure where to stay, you can find free Yoga classes on my YouTube channel to support your mindful movement practice anytime and anywhere.