Last night, on the yoga mat, I had a fun moment of awareness
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I don’t have goals when it comes to yoga or mindfulness meditation.

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I do have intentions.
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Each practice, my intention is to be present and take belly breaths.
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It’s that simple. Arrive.
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When my mind wanders (as it always does), I bring my attentionback to the breath, or pose, and just be.
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Noticing my breath, deep within my belly.
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I’ve been practicing mindfulness meditation regularly for six years now.

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I’ve been practicing yoga off and on for about eight years.

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Over the past six months I have become much more dedicated to yoga,
practicing at least 4 times per week.
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I don’t rarely compare myself to others.
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I smile when I wobble or fall over.
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I feel pride when my arms shake because I am creating change in my body.
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Last night I noticed the following:
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  • My twists have increased significantly and my breath deepens while in them.

 

  • The strength in my quads is fun to notice – I’m much more stable in half moon.

 

  • My arms and shoulders can hold more – I did my first handstand (with wall support of course).

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All while doing deep belly breaths and just being present.

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Of course my mind still wanders.

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Of course my mind still has momentary judgements about my body (especially when I get stuck practicing near the mirror!).

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But the more I live and practice mindfulness, the more peace and joy I feel.
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I will continue to focus on my intention (arrive and belly breath).
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And maybe in six more months I will have another fun moment of awareness on the mat.
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Simply intend to show up and trust in the practice.

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For a free five minute guided meditation click here.

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For one free class in a great yoga studio in Calgary, check this place out.  Maybe I’ll see you there!

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peace & joy
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While I like routine, I also need flexibility.

 

If I set a rigid self-care or mindfulness schedule, I will spend much time and energy dreading what I “have to” do.

 

 

The Experiment

 

This week I decided to experiment with a new way to approach my mindfulness and self-care plan.

 

I created a flexi-self-care plan, in which I set weekly goals without a specific schedule.

 

My goals

 

I wanted to include:

 

3 Yoga Classes

6 Sitting Meditations

3 Mindful Movements (exercise, but done mindfully).

 

Each day I could chose whichever practice my body felt like doing.

 

This week I am happy to report:

 

6 Sitting Mindfulness Meditation Practices – both at home and in the office, ranging from 5 minutes to 45 minutes.

6 Yoga Practices – Restorative, Hatha, Yin and Yang, Restorative, Gentle Flow, Restorative and Yoga Nidra.

4 Mindful Moments – 2 Runs, 1 Walk, 1 Swimming Laps.

 

 

The Results

 

This week I ended up with more mindfulness practices than I normally have.

 

I’ve found that I’ve had more energy and have required less sleep.  I normally require 7-8 hours of sleep, yet this past week I have only been requiring 6-7 hours.

 

I’ve had more energy and better focus.

 

My mood has been very calm (less agitation when stuck in traffic).

 

My appetite has been more balanced – no urges for emotional eating, more cravings for healthy, clean foods.

 

I’ve done short gratitude practices before working with each client – I believe this makes me a better clinician.

 

Went to the doctors – my blood pressure was 104/70 BOOM!

 

What’s Next?

 

I quite like my flexi-self-care plan idea!

 

My mindfulness goals for next week are:

 

3 Yoga Practices

3 Mindful Movements (see, it sounds so much better than “exercise”)

6 Sitting Meditations

1 Mindful Cooking

3 Mindful Meals

 

Your Turn

 

What mindfulness goals would you like to set for the next 7 days?

 

Share it in the comments below and then come back once you’ve completed them.  Remember to make your goals realistic – you can increase them over time.