As 2022 moves forward, you may be feeling stressed or overwhelmed. You may even find yourself going through the motions of the day without really tuning in to what you are doing. We often wake up, rush to school or work, take care of children, and complete tasks without being fully present. We don’t stop to think about the smell of our shampoo, the taste of our breakfast, or the sounds of the car ride.
Yoga and mindfulness are tools that help us to slow down and be present in the moment. Yoga is a simple exercise that combines various poses with breathing. Mindfulness is simply paying close attention to the moment and how your body feels. Both can help us to create spaces that leave us feeling calmer and more present in our daily lives.
How can you incorporate yoga and mindfulness into your life?
- Try mindfulness in a small way: Once a week, focus on a daily routine that you usually rush through. For example, when brushing your teeth, focus on the feeling of the toothbrush bristles along your teeth and gums, the smell of your toothpaste, and the feeling in your arm and hand as you brush.
- Try looking for grounding objects: Look around and notice objects that you can physically touch. Are these objects: hard/smooth? heavy/light? warm/cool? What does the texture feel like? Focus on the object and take a calming breath to bring yourself back to the present moment.
- Try deep breathing: Take a few deep breaths during your day. A simple technique, such as 4-7-8 breathing, can help you get started. Here’s how you get started: breathe in for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds.
- Try one yoga pose: Practice a different yoga pose weekly. Look online at different yoga poses to try. Combine the pose with a few deep breaths to find ones that you like the best.
Remember, there is no right or wrong way to use yoga or mindfulness. You do not need to spend hours in mediation or attend a weekly yoga class to add these simple strategies into your life. Try one, small new habit and you may be surprised at the impact that it has on your life.
By: Holly Knaus, MSCP