Is mindfulness part of our daily routine, or part of your life in some way? If so, is there a particular time of day or place where you practice?
Do you have favorite mindfulness exercises that you come back to? In this busy, fast-paced world, it can feel difficult for some people to set aside the time and mental space for mindfulness practice.
At Flow and Grow Kids Yoga, we believe that it’s a life-affirming way to find greater focus, joy, and acceptance of things as they are -- and that it doesn’t have to take a lot of time or be overly complex.
From her deep and extensive experience with the practice, Flow and Grow Founder/Owner Lara Hocheiser wrote a book to guide readers in accessible mindfulness practice -- with a variety of exercises that take ten minutes or less -- calledMindfulness for Beginners in 10 Minutes a Day: Mindful Moments to Bring Clarity and Calm to Your Morning, Day, and Night.
To be most effective, the exercises are meant for a particular time of day, and the book is organized as such (as the title suggests).Flow and Grow team members wanted to share their favorite exercises from the book, one each for morning, day, and night.
Ava Dussault -- Flow and Grow Kids Yoga Social Media Manager, 95-hour Kids Yoga Teacher Training Graduate (Spring 2020 Cohort), Co-Founder of 2 Mindful Girls
"My favorite morning mindfulness activity from the bookMindfulness for Beginners in 10 Minutes a Day is the “Charting Your Free Time activity”, which takes about 5-10 minutes. In this activity, Lara teaches readers how to visualize their free time (even if it is only a few minutes each day). Once we visualize it, we can make a pie chart to divide the time to different activities we want to do!"
I think this activity is so important as the world is starting to go back to normal. We have been used to having alot of free time in our hands, but the world is shifting yet again and life is getting busy. Even though our routines are changing, we can’t let go of the little things that give us joy in life. Sometimes we move so fast we forget about those things. By having a visual in front of me, I can remind myself how I want to spend my time each day!
Kathryn Boland -- Flow and Grow Kids Yoga Blog Manager, 95-hour Kids Yoga Teacher Training Graduate (Spring 2020 Cohort), Founder/Creator of Mindful Movers
I especially love the “just this” exercise, intended to help create one-pointed focus while working. Simply put, it entails using the mantra (simple repeated statement) “just this” and sticking to one task while working on a computer. For those not working on computers, such as in the service industry or caregiving, it could also be done with any other task.
When working for a while on my computer, I have a tendency to distract my mind, when it feels tired or stuck, by flipping to other tabs, apps, or programs. It doesn’t help my brain feel more energized or get a new idea, as one might imagine -- it really only serves as momentary mental self-soothing. This exercise is a way to gently, peacefully redirect my focus, keeping it on the task at hand. It feels much better than distracting myself in the end!
Lara Hocheiser -- Flow and Grow Kids Yoga Founder/Owner and Teacher Trainer, Author ofMindfulness for Beginners in 10 Minutes a Day: Mindful Moments to Bring Clarity and Calm to Your Morning, Day, and Night
My favorite part of the book is where I describe how to build your sanctuary. Creating a sacred space to practice mindfulness, even on a very tight budget, gives you something to look forward to. Gathering objects like feathers, incense, stones, beautiful statues, images, photos, and/or fabrics is sensually pleasing.
Knowing where you can sit and clear your mind gives you a much less likely or chance you will sit and clear your mind.
If you have kids like me, you may need a very portable sanctuary. I roll out of yoga mat, place a meditation cushion on top and put some of my favorite gifts that friends and students have given me over the years that make me feel mindful.