Walking into a yoga studio for the very time can be intimidating. Trying to figure out what the heck meditating is all about can be intimidating. Hell, figuring out what props you need and clothes you should wear can be enough to throw in the yoga towel (pun intended).
But I’m telling you – this mindfulness “stuff” doesn’t have to be so complicated. You don’t need a fancy pair of LuLu’s to be a yogi, and you sure don’t need do be a Buddhist or Hindu to soak up the benefits of meditation.
Instead, give one or all these super easy tips a try and POOF! You’re practicing yoga.
Practice #1 – Notice Your Breath
This one is so simple and can be done literally ANYwhere in the world (I’ve been noticing my breath on the subway for a year now and I guarantee you not a soul knows).
Here’s all you need to do:
- Take a deep breath in through your nose
- Part your lips and sigh out your exhale
- Allow your breathing to become normal again (you don’t need to change it at all!)
- When you take a breath in, say to yourself: Inhale
- When you take out a breath, say to yourself: Exhale
- Repeat this process for as long as you’d like, whether that’s the duration of your morning commute or just a couple of minutes!
Practice #2 – Go For a Walk (without your earpods)
Don’t get me wrong, I love listening to podcasts and jamming out to 80’s hits as much as the next gal when I’m out and about, but every once in a while I leave my phone at home and just…walk.
Your walk can be long or just around the block. You can even do laps around your backyard for all I care. The only important thing here is to WALK.
Feel each footstep making contact with the ground. Look up and notice what colors are in the sky. Notice the trees and animals and plants and gravel around you.
Make a conscious effort that, just for the duration of this one walk, you will soak up whatever colors, smells, sensations, and textures that surround you.
This, my dear friends, is called walking meditation…and it’s magical.
Practice #3 – Give Mindful Eating a Go
If I told you that eating your favorite bowl of pasta or the pizza from that amazing takeout place was a form of meditation, you’d probably call me crazy.
Well foodies, you’re in luck – because mindful eating is a very approachable, simple way to invite a bit of mindfulness into your daily life.
First things first: mindful eating is NOT a diet. This is NOT about losing weight. Your meditation practice could care less what size jeans you’re wearing or whatever fad diet you’re currently into (looking at you, Keto).
Instead, mindful eating is about enjoying your food. I mean, truly enjoying it. Savoring that first luxurious sip of coffee in the morning. Taking that first big bite of a burger off the grill and letting the tastes and juices explode on your tastebuds.
Just like we notice our environment when we go on a walking meditation, when we eat mindfully, we do so to fully immerse ourselves in the nourishing things we put inside our bodies.
….and sadly, you just can’t do that while you’re scoffing down some leftovers while bingeing episodes of Stranger Things on Netflix, texting your BFF, and scrolling through Instagram.
Instead, try turning mealtime into a sacred time. Gather as a family. If you’re having dinner for one, set the table for yourself and make it special. If you’re going out to eat, leave your phone in your pocket and take in the environment of the restaurant while you have a genuine conversation with someone.
Taste every single bite. Feel a sense of gratitude for the incredible food you’re eating (yup, even if it came from a taco truck). This, my foodie friends, is mindful eating.
What are some little ways you invite mindfulness into your own life? Share your practices in the comments!