You’re familiar with practicing mindfulness on your yoga mat; being mindful of your breath, being mindful of your “edge”, being mindful not to whack the person on the mat beside you in the head as you sweep your arms into an upward salute.

But how mindful are you off your yoga mat?
Do you practice mindfulness throughout your day?
Unsure about how you could include a little more mindfulness into your everyday life?
Here are three practical and easy mindfulness practices for you to begin with.

three-ways-to-bring-a-little-mindfulness-to-your-day-online-yoga-training1. Mindful eating
Have you ever left the dinner table feeling uncomfortably full? Maybe you spent the meal scrolling through your phone or watching TV or maybe the food was so darn tasty you couldn’t get it in fast enough and now you feel really uncomfortable and there is a distinct possibility that your jeans button is about to pop! Oops!

Next time try this...
Firstly put down the phone and turn off the TV. Now take the time to eat your meal slowly, chew your food fully and give the practice of eating your full attention. When we slow down our eating we give our bodies a chance to catch up with our brain and we’re more likely to feel our body telling us when it’s full. Slowing down our eating allows us to digest our food properly and absorb all the nutrients. It also gives us the chance to savour the flavours of our meal and appreciate our food. You’ve spent time preparing your meal so you may as well take the time to enjoy it!

2. Mindful walking
Have you ever decided to go for a walk to clear your head when you’re stressed and then spent the entire walk rehashing all the worries in your mind and going over all the things on your to-do list? Let’s be honest you’re not really not giving your head a chance to clear at all. In fact, all you’re doing is giving your busy mind a change in scenery!

Next time try this...
As you walk begin to become aware of each step you take. Notice any sounds you can hear; the birds singing or the wind rustling through the trees. Notice the feel of the air or the warmth of the sun touching your skin. Notice the colours in the sky. As you walk make an effort to notice the beauty around you. Allow a smile to come to your face. Perhaps your day is now beginning to feel a little less gloomy.

3. Mindful interactions
Have you a person in your life who manages to get under your skin? Interactions with this person always seem to pull you into a negative frame of mind and you end up feeling angry, frustrated or sad. Does this sound familiar to you?

Next time try this...
The next time you meet this person bring your full awareness into the situation. Notice any sensations that start to bubble up; feelings of heat or tension starting to creep into the body or your breath coming faster. Notice any feelings starting to rise. Acknowledge the feelings and sensations as you feel them rise. Now take a full, deep, slow breath in and a full, deep, slow breath out. You’ve just created a space in which you can now choose your reaction instead of being controlled by your emotions. You can choose to react in a way that keeps you captive in a place of suffering or choose to react in a way that leaves you feeling lighter, calmer and more peaceful. The choice is yours.

Have you any other tips for practicing mindfulness throughout your day?

Contributed by guest author, Siobhan, Yoga Teacher Training Alum

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