4 Mindfulness Tips
Mindfulness can be defined as “simply the practice of coming into the present moment”. Now you may be asking what being present means, because it sounds like gibberish to you. Being present and living in the moment can entail different things for different people. Whether you may be inclined to eat more mindfully, exercise more mindfully, or work more mindfully, here are 4 practical mindfulness tips & tricks below to help you achieve efficiency and happiness in your life.
Have you ever actually thought about breathing? Probably not. Breathing is just a natural bodily function. While this may seem like a oversimplified solution to a complex problem, breath awareness is a great place to start. Most of the time we breathe very shallow and inefficiently, but we should be breathing with more intention and purpose. Try this exercise:
Lie on your back on your Valley Girl ombre yoga mat and begin to inhale through your nose for a 3-count and exhale for a longer 5-count. This is a GREAT way to focus on your intentional breath and help calm your nervous system. You will be surprised how refreshed you feel after repeating this several times.
2) 5 Sense Awareness
Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste, and Touch. This is how the human body receives sensory information. However, we usually are not aware of how our body processes this information, and simply overlook its potential impact on our present state of mind/body. Each of your 5 senses are unique and your brain's feedback to function optimally. Try this exercise:
Sit on your Valley Girl ombre yoga mat and focus on ONE sense. Using Sound as an example, if you're outside, do you hear birds chirping? Cars driving? People talking? If you're inside, do you hear A/C running? TV on in another room? This is a great exercise because it allows you to slow down and be aware of your surroundings. This acute awareness can help you realize the effect that your 5 senses can have on how you're feeling in any given moment.
3) Listen To Your Body
Have you ever had butterflies in your stomach? Or a gut feeling? Or goosebumps on your arm? These are examples of our bodies trying to speak to our brains! The more you can notice these physical sensations and determine what they mean, the more you can understand your body and how to react in different circumstances. Being able to assess and access what information your body is communicating to you is a big step into recognizing a crucial component of your present moment - your body! Try this exercise:
Sit on your Valley Girl ombre yoga mat and assess how you feel. Maybe your muscles are sore? Maybe you have a stressful headache? Maybe you're hungry? Acknowledging how your body feels with purpose can be a big step in achieving full body wellness.
While yoga has many benefits as a form of exercise, bringing mindfulness to your yoga practice can allow you to concentrate on the additional benefits, transforming your yoga routine into a form of moving meditation. Try this exercise:
Standing on your Valley Girl ombre yoga mat, find yourself in a Crescent pose, (High lunge with arms overhead) and hold for 30 seconds. Are you breathing rapidly? Are your muscles getting tired? Pay attention to how your body responds and what you can do to focus on the present moment. If you are breathing rapidly, try to slow down with deep inhales/exhales through the nose and mouth. If your muscles are getting tired, acknowledge the tension and divert your focus away from the discomfort. Concentrate, don't stress.