Stop, Drop, and Roll: Mindfulness Made Simple(r)
When I was introduced to meditation in my yoga practice, it was through a classical lens. Meditation was breathing, chanting, and mantra. It wasn’t difficult per say, but I did not feel any benefit from sitting and chanting in a language I did not understand while praying to a god a didn’t believe in. I am not writing this to spark debate about which form of meditation works better, I am trying to say that that classical yoga meditation did nothing for my peace of mind and that mindfulness meditation changes my life on a daily basis. One of the reasons that I made sure to include “Fusion” in High Energy Fusion Yoga, was so that we would have unfettered room to grow towards what best serves the highest self. I believe mindfulness is the evolution of what I have learned in classical yoga. Perhaps the best part of mindfulness is that it takes no fancy equipment or mantras, and because it is not faith based it is appropriate for people of all religious affiliations and non-affiliations.
What is mindfulness?
Being present in our moment to moment experience in an interested way. Imagine living moment to moment and being completely focused on each moment as it passes instead of doing three things at once. Example: Drinking coffee, checking social media, and watching TV would be an example of not being mindful. Sitting at a table, with only your coffee, taking a sip, and focusing on the taste, aroma, and temperature.
How do I start a mindfulness practice?
Set a timer for five minutes. (Most phones have them)
Stop: Just be still. Sit and notice how the simple act of stillness can be revolutionary in your non-stop life. Sitting in a chair, standing, and even lying down can be a completely new experience in an otherwise hectic day.
Drop: Drop your attention into your body. Into the full experience of having a body. If closing your eyes is something that is accessible to you, see what comes to the foreground when your eyes are closed. How does it feel to fully experience your body in space.
Roll: Roll out the welcome mat to see whats there. When you come to stillness and drop your attention into the body, many different thoughts and feelings might come to the foreground. Observe what comes up without judgement. Notice the thoughts and emotions as they pass. Practice kindness and compassion towards yourself. No matter what comes to the surface, you are “doing it right”. Understand that these are thoughts and emotions that are always there, you are just usually distracted.
When the timer goes off, gently open your eyes.
What was your experience like? Jot down a few thoughts in a journal and practice this exercise every day for a week. If the mind feels calmer, try it before bed. If you feel energized, try it as soon as you wake up. Five minutes a day is a great first step towards cultivating peace of mind. Questions? Email me and ask!