I went to yoga for the first time in a while this week and it felt amazing. Not only was it a great work out, but it really helped me get centered again. My legs and shoulders are so sore today, but I was able to focus afterwards with a clear head and react positively no matter what happened.
I feel like every time I go to yoga I have some moment where things click and make sense. Mine yesterday came with a simple statement: practice being present. Although the present is the only thing we (partially) have control over, we spend too much time fixating on what’s to come or worrying about what has. Staying in the moment lets me appreciate what’s going on around me and helps me be grateful for the simple things (like the sun and shorts in this pic below, definitely missing that).
Honestly, I was pretty terrible at practicing this. During the practice I kept catching myself going back to my to-do list, how the day went, even where I want to go on vacation. My mind was all over the place, and it took so much effort to try and keep it on the mat with me. It’s going to take a while before I can be back to where I was physically and spirtually with yoga, but every time I go there’s a little win.
If you’re finding your mind jump all over the place and not be able to focus in on the present, there’s a bunch of tricks and exercises you can do to help train your mind to be with you instead of with future you on a beach (although sometimes that’s a way better place to be).
Focus on Your Breath // Take 10 deep, full breaths, and imagine your lungs filling up and emptying as you go. Focus on the way the air fills your lungs.
Pinch Yourself // Sounds weird, but pinching yourself will help wake you up physically and snap yourself out of your mind.
Look Around You // Take a second to appreciate what is around you: the people, the energy, the stillness, the quiet. Embracing your surroundings is an easy way to get out of your own head and get in the real world.
Acknowledge the Distraction and Move It Aside // Everyone has their mind going in other directions all the time, it’s nothing to get frustrated about, even though it is easy to get annoyed and then it gets worse and worse. Instead of beating yourself up for letting you mind get lost, acknowledge the distraction, and just move it to the side. Tell your brain to come back to that later and just let it go.
Hopefully you can be a little more mindful or your mind (ha!) and take a second to focus in on what’s happening around you and embrace & appreciate it.