You might have read already about it, here on my site or somewhere else, however it’s such an important topic, that I will continue writing about it! Just some main values and ideas today on how to implement the mindfulness approach easily, no matter if into your yoga practice or your daily life as such.
A QUICK RECAP
Mindfulness is being in the present moment without judging; being fully aware of what we are thinking and doing, by keeping our focus on just that.
WHAT VALUE WOULD YOU PLACE ON…
- A shift from reacting to acting
- Reduced distractions
- Lowered blood pressure and heart rate
- Increased awareness
- Increased attention and focus
- Increased clarity in thinking and perception
- Lowered anxiety
- Experience of being calm and internally still
4 IDEAS TO INTEGRATE MINDFULNESS INTO YOUR DAILY ROUTINES
- BE PROUD! Just repeat this phrase mentally again and again and again during the day, as often as possible. What will happen is a shift in your mindset – don’t think about what you are proud of, just be it, feel it! There’s always something to be proud of, don’t care about the details. Not just your mind but also your body will react on it: your posture will improve, your spine will lengthen, your chest lifts, your shoulders will slightly go down and back. You will radiate a positive and confident attitude. Wow!
- MOVE YOUR BODY! Of course you do that already when adding the mindfulness approach to your yoga practice. Think of it the rest of the day too! Many of us are sitting all day long, starring at a screen or any other devices. Sitting is said to be the new smoking – move as often as you can. Standing doesn’t do the work, your body needs movement. No need for a workout, just tiny little stretches work perfectly. Sitting or standing – do shoulder stretches, twists, side bends, balance, move the spine and many more. Easy little things that can be integrated without any effort.
- BREATHE! One of the most powerful tools with the purpose to either control our prana (life force, life energy) or to heal on a mental and/or physical level. We have loads of great techniques in yoga (so called pranayama) that we can use, however very basic techniques will already do the job, such as equal breathing (count your breath, inhale/exhale for 4) or lengthen your exhales (inhale for 4/exhale for 6) to squeeze your inner organs and get the toxins out. While we are used to breathe in a certain way during the yoga practice (e.g. Ujjayi breath), you can use the described techniques during the day and nobody will even recognize what you’re doing! It will immediately calm you down; do it in a train, car, plane, while waiting in a queue, during meetings, you name it.
- BE STILL! Meditation is a great tool to get ourselves into stillness, which is really needed in today’s stressful set up. Many of us struggle with meditation and I suggest to replace the term. Call it whatever works for you, it is just about going into stillness for a moment, you decide if 5 minutes, 30 or anything in-between. Bring your awareness internal, focus on your breath, allow any thoughts to pop up and pass by without giving them any further attention.
Go for it, it will change everything – to the better!
I’ve got news! The journey goes on and on…. I’m so grateful to be certified to teach the MINDFRESH approach in Switzerland!
As I’m working myself all day long in the office, sitting in front of a computer, in a stressful surrounding, driven by deadlines, I know very well what effects this has on our health. And I’m talking about body and mind. Bad posture, neck and back pain, multitasking, shallow breathing… to name just a few. Having a fitness program is great, eating healthy awesome, but not enough. We need to work on body and mind to better destress and recharge. The good news is, that very simple tools can do that job.
Read more here, and if you think this could be a good idea for your office, let me know!
Photocredit Nadja Kappeler
“Remember, the main thing that shapes our body is how we feel, so don’t waste your sacred moments in senseless distraction.“ (Samadi, Bali)
When I start a class, I usually ask my students to allow themselves for the next 60/90 minutes to be present, in the room, on their mat, and most important with themselves. I ask them to practice mindful as a commitment to being here and now. I know this isn’t easy, particularly when practicing over lunch, when students arrive stressed and might have challenging stuff to do or lots of appointments in the afternoon. The more important it is to grant our monkey minds a break. The morning is past, nothing to do about it and the afternoon not yet there. Integrating the attention of presence in action, this is what it’s all about. Sounds simple, anyhow, not always easy to realize.
There are a couple of things that might help:
- Stop comparing yourself to others
- Direct your energy and your full attention to yourself
- Keep your focus on your breath (and simply bring it back each time you lost connection!)
- Be gentle with yourself
- Feel what you are doing
- Relax and enjoy the process
Next time when you hit the mat, give yourself permission for the time of your practice to just do that, nothing else, physically AND mentally. Any thoughts that pop up, let them come and let them pass, knowing they will get the required attention after your practice. I promise this will change your practice significantly!
Done!!! I couldn’t feel more grateful – what a journey, what a week! Very intense, same time easy flowing. Flow is the right term, everything at the right time. No forcing, no judging. We just did it. Calm, peaceful, with a huge portion of passion. Great practice, touching ceremonies, yoga, breathwork, meditation, mindfulness.
But the best part was to share all this with stunning souls. Everyone so different, everyone in the same groove.
Thank you universe for giving me the courage to host my own yoga retreat. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done and I’m pretty sure, I will do it again!
Bali bliss to all you babes out there, keep on rocking, realize your dreams, fuck the doubts ✌️
Yogis, TUNEin:CALM is opening its doors and will finally start this year!
TUNEin:CALM is about learning certain tools to turn the volume down and tune in. I’m currently planning a series of workshops, which will be run on a monthly base (Saturdays) and take place from 6 participants.
Please let me know if you’re interested — see all details here, so we can schedule this first one. Are you in? Click here to let me know.
Forget about any end of the year stress and find peace of mind during the holidays with these techniques:
- Keep on practicing. No time to take a class? No worries, practice at home. Turn your favorite music on, it might be slow and calming or fancy and rhythmic – whatever your practice asks for is right. Start with some warm up, a couple of sun salutations and just continue flowing, allow your body to guide you. If this doesn’t work for you, youtube has loads of classes!
- Don’t care about time. Got 15 min? Practice. Got 60 minutes? Practice. All that counts is to show up and move your ass.
- Meditate. Right after waking up, before sleeping or any time in between. Same here, time doesn’t matter that much, even just 5 min a day will have an impact. Too much noise around? Go out, do a walking meditation!
- Practice yoga off the mat: stay present. What ever you do, do just that. Be fully there.
- Don’t listen just to answer. When you listen, hear and understand what someone wants to share with you, it’s not about you.
- Breathe. Lengthen your breath into your belly, extend your exhales. The easiest you can do to nourish yourself, calm down and refocus.
- Be grateful for all that is now. Literally everything. All the beauty, everything that is perfect and also the rather difficult and complex things. Everything has a reason, so just embrace it!
- Stop judging. Oh yeah, particularly during stressful times we tend to be less tolerant. But finally, this doesn’t help at all. The moment you recognize you’re about to judge, take a deep breathe, let it go, smile.
- Enjoy everything you do! Accept an appreciate your decisions. No matter if you’re attending a class, baking cookies or taking a nap, enjoy it.
- Repeat and surrender to the magic!
„If you practice yoga to get better at practicing asana, you will quit.“
Of course we all want to get better and master certain postures. But Yogis, this happens automatically, you just need to show up, practice and do your best. Yoga is much more – I had a quite good teaching today.
I woke up this morning with a terrible headache. I could hardly get up and as it’s weekend, I allowed myself to stay a bit longer in bed. I had my lemon water, but the stabbing pain was still there. I practiced with the hope it might help. It was tough, not just due to the pain, but my full body was stiff and constantly asking for Shavasana.
All of a sudden I recognized that I mixed up the sequence, wrong order of what I’m used to practice each day. I stopped, that was crazy. And I had to laugh, I was distracted by thoughts and forgot where I was in the sequence. The more I practice mindfulness, the more I recognize what it means NOT to be in the present moment. I clearly wasn’t when I practiced and this affected my flow. Nothing major of course, but it made clear how easily it could lead to injuries when allowing the mind to wander.
I continued my practice with a better focus and my medicine was close – no, not Shavsana, but headstand. My bad headache was much better after turning upside down.
My practice today teached me about the importance of mindfulness. Practicing asanas was nothing but the means to an end. What happened today to me on the mat is happening off the mat exactly the same. Think about it. How often are your thoughts wandering and you’re not paying attention? Particularly when doing things you are used to, things that reached a state of routine or even automatism?
Commit to what you’re doing, fully and mindfully. And take your learnings from the mat off the mat.