When was the last time you fought stress?
You might have heard that stress is good because it gives us motivation and enthusiasm. It’s true, stress is something normal and even needed. The experience of stress is our bodies’ way of informing us that our subconscious-mind perceives something as a potential threat. In ideal scenario it pushes our limits and motivates us to take up the challenge so that we respond to it with a sense of hope, vigour and meaning.
This process however can sometimes become relentless, resulting in chronic unresolved stress. Such prolonged state of alertness may result in a psychological and physiological debt, and even conditions such as depression or anxiety…
One approach to this problem is to accept stress as a side effect of our lifestyle and aim to recover (or de-stress) at weekends or each time we go for a holiday break. We recommend however a more proactive approach, where we face the same pressures of a modern life but change our response to them. After all, stress is not what happens to us, stress is what we do with what happens to us.
Our Top Mindfulness Yoga Tips & Techniques will help keep your mind happy and healthy throughout your daily life, whether you are a beginner or already familiar with meditation. You will find yourself stepping back from daily challenges and approach them with new energy. You will get things done while enjoying the process without anxiety. We kept the format short and concise to help you benefit as much as possible and let you easily come back to it whenever you feel the need. Enjoy!
One of the most common techniques to reduce your stress level is Mindful Breathing. Focusing your attention on breath can be a game-changing skill in your life. It can help you deal with stress, anxiety, negative emotions, and sharpen your skills of concentration. Try it out also to cool yourself down when your temper flares.
If you would love to meditate and practise mindfulness daily but simply lack time and live on the go, then Mindful Walking is for you.
The technique not only has the power to deeply connect you with the world around you, it also gets you out of your head by aiding the focus on your body instead. Try it for yourself. Buddhists and modern scientist agree that from time to time it‘s important to leave our minds behind to enhance our calm energy, empathy, concentration, shed stress and harness the intent.
Being fully present with the experience before you beyond your thinking is a joyful and energising moment. We deeply wish you discover or enhance it within minutes.
Even the most successful people need sometimes a break from their own efficiency and goal-oriented thinking. Easier said than done. But we invite you to try out the following exercise anyway ☕
The Instant Pause is a suspension of activity, a time of non-doing, a temporal disengagement, to finally be and breathe, calming the nerves. It’s hard to take such a pause when we are in the midst of almost any activity. So why not to try it now? Stop reading the article and sit there, doing “no thing”. And simply notice what you are experiencing. Are you feeling pulled to come back to the activity? Keep practising to make the exercise easier to apply to your daily challenges.
Can you commit yourself to being fully aware and present, doing only one thing at a time? Mindful Eating is not necessarily the easiest form of practising this awareness but definitely worth trying as it will enhance your experience of eating. Follow the step by step instructions on how to be mindful while enjoying your meal.
Your best anchor to here and now, especially in the beginning of your journey with yoga and mindfulness, is your own breath – we presented the technique earlier. Breath however is not the only aspect of your present experience available to study and observe. World has also much to offer by accessing your inner world through your ears.
Choose to listen to the sounds around you and let them be your anchor to the present moment, at least for full five minutes – without judgement or labelling, bringing an attitude of openness and curiosity to listen, observe and experience sounds as they are.
Let us know your observations.
Are you one of those people with, what can be called, an unsettled, restless or uncontrollable mind? In meditation we call it a Monkey Mind. No need to worry though. Everyone experiences this state from time to time.
Monkey Mind is the name given to our unobserved thinking mind, constantly moving from place to place like a monkey in the trees. If we do not observe our own thoughts, we become spiritually unconscious. This unconsciousness means we are identified with every thought and emotion that arises. From there, it’s a downhill path towards having our buttons pressed in an autopilot mode.
Whether you live in the permanent Monkey Mind state, which may often disturb your peaceful reflection, or experience it just occasionally, mindfulness can be a powerful cure.
The trick is to practise just by watching what your mind does. So, do not label, judge, analyse or criticise your thoughts (because this is just the mind taking over again). Simply watch it from within and get to know it, as if you are watching or listening from the inside of your body. Become the awareness behind your thoughts which cannot be taken away by them.
The technique may seem difficult at first and you may catch yourself thinking. This is normal because the pull of the monkey mind is strong and habitual. But the good news is that noticing that you were thinking is a sign that you are becoming more and more conscious – you are waking up.
When you get sucked into the stream of thoughts again, do not judge it in any way. Simply allow it to be. If a monkey is restless and agitated, trying to grab it and hold it still will just make it worse. If you leave the monkey alone and give it some space, it will eventually calm down. As you watch your mind from a distance, you can still be at peace.
Four Point Breathing Meditation
If you missed your morning meditation, even on the go you can still find five minutes for this simple exercise to calm your mind and bring yourself back to your senses. That’s how our teacher and founder Paula Kaminska treated herself out of anxiety when she embarked on her Holistic Yoga path many years ago.
You can even practise this while walking, riding a bus, taking a bath, or even during a boring meeting at work. Simply breathe and notice the sensations as you move your awareness around your upper body.
Count From 1 to 4 To Improve Your Focus
As Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, has said, mindfulness is all about paying attention on purpose in the present moment.
Meditation with your mind fixed on counting your breath is probably the quickest way to bring your focus back.
Mindful Body Scan
If you are living a modern lifestyle abundant in distractors and multi-tasking challenges you need a deep investigation into the moment-to-moment experiences of the body.
With Mindful Body Scan you can quickly learn what your body does and doesn’t need in order to thrive, as well as lets you get more insights about your world and your life by finding links between emotions and physical sensations. By bringing awareness and acknowledgment to whatever you feel or sense, you help in working with stress, anxiety, and even physical pain.
As soon as you start practising you will discover that our sensations and internal experiences can be brought down to three basic feelings: neutral, pleasant and unpleasant. There is no need to judge, analyse, or figure things out. Just allow yourself to be to become aware of who you truly are.
We hope that this quick mindfulness yoga guide by The Yogi gave you lots of insight into the world of the present moment.
Our promise is that the more you practise our techniques the greater space you create between ‘you’ and the events at hand. It’s a precious and conscious space which can be used to change your habitual thoughts, feelings and responses to the ones you choose yourself. It’s a freeing alternative to being conditioned by our environment which not always has our best interest at heart.
If you feel you would benefit from a hands-on experience find out about our private tuition. It’s an ideal solution for students willing to be guided through individual lesson plans who desire to cope with stress and anxiety, rise energy levels, enhance clarity of thinking, develop self-nourishing, or improve the overall sense of wellbeing.
Or join our annual yoga retreat in Croatia. We will visit beautiful and remote parts of Croatia to properly get away from a civilisation. Daily holistic yoga sessions will help us draw the attention inwards to experience the unspoiled beauty of Croatian coasts in-depth. We will meditate, stretch, de-stress, and boost energy, to end up feeling restored and rejuvenated, with a profound sense of bliss and union 🙂