A 10-minute meditation is a good way to start the day. If you can't find time to meditate, or simply don't want to, you can still reap the benefits of mindfulness by applying a mindful intention to three things most of us do every single day: Eating, speaking, and listening.
I took a class called “Bringing Practice to Life," guided by Dawn Mauricio in the iconic St. Bernard Chapel.
Dawn asked us all to get comfortable. It seemed ironic. Everyone knows, church pews were not built for comfort. They were constructed to insure you didn't fall asleep during mass.
Some yogis settled in on cushy meditation pillows on the floor nearest to the front of the softly lit sanctuary. Other yogis preferred to ground into the pews.
After being gently guided into a quiet 10-minute mindful meditation where we turned inward and focused on being present, and without judgment of whatever came into our minds or senses, we opened our eyes, and got to work.
It was time to have fun and get to know some of our fellow yogis by practicing 3 mindfulness exercises together.
3 ways to incorporate mindfulness into your daily schedule
1. Mindful eating:
Try eating with attention and taking the time to notice, taste, experience, and enjoy your food and how it makes you feel without too many distractions. Try it for at least the first bite of each meal.
In our meditation class, we practiced mindful eating with a simple, bite-sized raisin, taking the time to look at it and roll it around in our fingers before putting it inside our mouths and chewing it slowly and thoroughly before swallowing. This simple exercise can help remind you to slow down, take smaller bites, and enjoy what you are eating.
2. Mindful listening:
It can be a challenge to listen and not let the mind wander off to your own agenda. When your mind wanders away from what is being said, try to bring yourself back and listen without judgment.
In our meditation class, we paired up with a fellow yogi and took turns practicing paying attention and listening without judgment, and without interrupting what our partner yogi was saying for several minutes.
3. Mindful speaking:
Remember to breathe and take a few moments to relax while speaking. Speaking mindfully, in a gentle, thoughtful, relaxed manner not only makes you feel good, but it also engages the person you are speaking to. They may perk up their ears and be more interested in what you have to say if you are speaking to them, rather than talking at them as quickly as you can.
In our meditation class we paired up with a fellow yogi and took turns telling each other what we hoped to take away from Wanderlust. Another fun topic. The person speaking was asked to put one hand over their abdomen. It helps you feel and gauge if you are relaxed and breathing normally or nervous and tensing up when speaking.
Why practice mindfulness?
Mindfulness can reduce stress and anxiety and increase satisfaction and happiness. Another worthwhile benefit can be more meaningful interactions and relationships with people and your surrounding environment. When you practice mindfulness, you can feel a calmness in your emotions. It can help you discover a whole new world around you.
Peggy is a Canadian paddler, freelance writer, and communications professional with a popular blog called the BaffinPaddler. It's about kayaking, paddling, outdoor, travel, and perspective. Perspective being the most important word. Yoga keeps finding its way into Peggy's blog and life more and more. She's diving headfirst into Wanderlust Tremblant for the first time this year, ready to explore, learn, connect and share new discoveries.
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