Yoga doesn’t own mindfulness

It’s time to stress less. Does this have to mean morning meditations and downward dog?

The quickest path to reducing stress and anxiety is finding ways to be more present. If finding your centre while Willow cues you through four minutes of a “delicious Pigeon Pose” isn’t your idea of a good time, you’re in luck. Yoga and meditation are far from the only tools when it comes to developing a more present, connected life. 

Hit the weights.

Get deeply connected to your body and breath by facing down the squat rack or picking up a kettlebell. Focus fully on how you’re moving and where your body is in space. Notice which muscles are contracting and which ones are lengthening as you move.  If you’re lifting heavy, pay close attention when you feel like you’re hitting your failure point. What’s happening? Is there more fuel in those muscles? Can you harness it with a focused mind, steady breaths, and determination?

Get outside. 

For me, nothing tops an outdoor adventure when it comes to getting hyper-aware of our current state and surroundings, but you don’t need to become a mountain climbing daredevil. Instead of taking your normal hiking route, turn off the trail and see what you find. Trek through the riverbed, climb a hill, and stop frequently to see, hear, and smell your surroundings. Feel the warmth of a rock from a day’s worth of sun. Can you hear the birds, water, rustling leaves?

Love your food.

Taking time to slow down for meals has so many benefits. Getting your nervous system to a “rest and digest” stage means you’ll process your food with more ease, resulting in less bloating, heartburn, and indigestion. Take it beyond digestion, and make delicious food the perfect path to stress less. Smell and feel your food while you prepare it. Chew slowly, as you consider where your food came from. Who grew it? How did it travel to get to your plate? Think of how your food is nourishing your body, providing you with nutrients and fuel to be your strongest, healthiest self. 

What are your favorite ways to get into the present moment?

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