4 IDEAS TO INTEGRATE MINDFULNESS

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

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

TUNEin:BALI

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 ✌️

Let the games begin!

Woop woop – the work started! Just creating the first Yin Yoga sequence for my Yoga Retreat next year. A new book with blank pages is waiting to be filled…. We will practice Yin, Pranayama and Meditation each evening to relax and unwind as well as soothe our soul. We will float into the evenings with a huge smile on our faces 🙂

Stay true in your practice

Step back

From time to time I believe it’s a good approach to step back. Step back in my own practice, as well as in class with my students. Back to basics. All class focusing on correct alignment. Taking time to look at the details. Slow down. Practice to feel the postures. Also experience the difference when the alignment is not fully correct. Sometimes back to modifications and simple, basic postures. It works like readjusting the body and setting new anchors.

No rush

Stepping back is quite challenging for our minds. Particularly for those who claim themselves to be ‘advanced’. Let me give you an example of just one pose: after a very stressful day, go into Vrikshasana, tree pose. The graceful, steady stance of a tree. While maintaining your body balance, feel your roots, feel how they reach out through your mat, the floor, into the ground, guided by your breath. This is a huge opportunity to understand what’s going on with you. Are you able to properly connect? How about your balance that day? Are your thoughts wandering?

It might sound boring, but yogis, practice is not about more more more. It’s not about the ability to do the most complex or advanced poses. Practice is about your connection to yourself. It’s about withdrawing your senses, going internal. A meeting with yourself, a meditative state. Bring your attention to whatever pops up in your mind. What are your thoughts telling you? What do you feel?

The Ashtanga approach

Practicing Ashtanga means a commitment to practice 6 days a week, except moon days. A strong commitment. A useful one, no doubt, as it also strengthens our willpower and discipline. But. Yes, there’s a but. Yoga also teaches me to listen to my body. So what if my body says clearly, no? What if my body threaten to injure itself if I keep on pushing? I keep my commitment to practice 6 days a week, but adjusted the content into ‘yoga’. I’m on my mat each day, Ashtanga on the schedule, but if anything shouts out a clear ‘no’ (laziness doesn’t count!), I allow my body to get into the driver seat: a nice yin practice, a music driven flow, just a bunch of sun salutations, maybe a pranayama session or a meditation. Sometimes my body surprises me and I find myself doing the primary series, although my body told me a different story before 🙂 However, on my mat every day, that’s it.

Stop the competition approach. You are on a journey to yourself! Make your practice mindful and take care. Allow any progress to happen naturally, no matter if on a physical or mental level. Step back from time to time, take your time yogi and enjoy the ride!

How to transform air into breath

Yogis!

Read my new post @ YOGA LIKE A BOSS – all about pranayama and breathing and me…. Sorry, German only!

„Wie Luft zu Atem wird

Oh, was für ein Thema! Atmen, das war eine grosse Nummer für mich. Ich meine nicht den Automatismus, das Luft holen zum Überleben, das klappt prima. Aber jedes Mal, wenn ich darauf geachtet habe, wie ich eigentlich atme, dann ging es plötzlich nicht mehr. Es ruckelte, schüttelte mich, ich habe mich Luft-verschluckt……“

Read more

Breathe Yogi

“If you can breathe, you can do yoga.”

Krishnamacharya

Through yoga I learned proper breathing. I learned to breathe deep into my belly. I learned that my breath is my friend and even more, we can play. Lengthen the inhales and exhales, also pause, so called breath retention. I learned that breathing is much more than an automated process to survive.

Working with our breath in yoga is called pranayama. Built from the terms prana, which means life energy and ayama, control or extend. Through pranayama and the different breathing techniques, we control our life energy or even extend the life force.

In the Ashtanga tradition, we use Ujjayi breath during practice. We breathe through our nostrils, and when exhaling, we constrict the back of our throat, generating a sound, that reminds us on the sound of the ocean. Ujjayi breath creates the rhythm of our practice, while building and keeping the body heat inside. There are a lot of benefits, such as regulating blood pressure, increasing the amount of oxygen in the blood and many more.

I found Ujjayi breath very helpful to keep my focus. It’s my music when practicing. My rhythm. Deepening my asanas.

Bring your awareness to your breath and just observe. Start a good relationship with your breath, become friends. And eventually, extend your life force!