“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” — Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindful Fitness Movements and Deep Relaxation can support our health and happiness in the practice, and keep us in touch with our body. Mindfulness is being aware of the present moment. Through mindfulness, you are freed from becoming intertwined in thoughts of your past, and you are freed from worrying about the future. But how do we stay in touch with the present moment, especially when your mind keeps running away from you. If mindfulness is a new idea to you, then it might seem a little overwhelming at first. Try to focus in keeping your attention fixed in the present moment.
The Difference between Concentration and Mindfulness
It is imperative to understand that there is a difference between mindfulness and concentration. Concentration is important to us, it helps you to focus your attention on one thing or another, and in this way, it helps you to take command of what goes on in your mind. But mindfulness is a step beyond concentration. Mindfulness is a state of awareness. It is “presence” of mind.
Concentration is the tool you use to bring your mind into focus and to close the door on mental chatter, but it’s still up to you to “show up” and be present in the moment.
A Few Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Practice:
When you catch yourself being caught up in worries about the future or guilt and regret about the past, just notice that it is happening and simply and kindly say to yourself, “Come back.” Then take a calming breath and focus on what you are doing right now.
Another helpful mindfulness trick is simply to notice what you are experiencing right now through three senses – sound, sight, touch. Take a few slow breaths and ask yourself:
- What are three things I can hear? (clock on the wall, car going by, music in the next room, my breath)
- What are three things I can see? (my laptop, that sign, that person walking by)
- What are three things I can feel? (the chair under me, the floor under my feet, my phone in my pocket)
Think of these answers to yourself slowly, one sense at a time. It’s impossible to do this exercise and not be present and mindful
One Minute of Mindfulness
This is an easy mindfulness exercise, and one that you can do anytime throughout the day. Take a moment right now to try this. Check your watch and note the time. For the next 60 seconds your task is to focus all your attention on your breathing. It’s just for one minute, but it can seem like an eternity. Leave your eyes open and breathe normally. Be ready to catch your mind from wandering off (because it will) and return your attention to your breath whenever it does so.
Pick up an object that you have lying around. Any ordinary everyday object will do (mug or pen for example). Hold it in your hands and allow your attention to be fully absorbed by the object. Observe it. Don’t assess it or think about it, or study it intellectually. Just observe it for what it is.
You’ll feel a sense of heightened “nowness” during this exercise. Conscious observation can really give you a feeling of “being awake”. Notice how your mind quickly releases thoughts of past or future, and how different it feels to be in the moment. Conscious observation is a form of meditation. It’s subtle, but powerful. Try it by practicing mindfulness in this way and you will really start to sense what mindfulness is all about.
Mindfulness can be achieved through calming exercise such as Yoga or Pilates, take the next step and register for one of our courses below:
To apply for the Group Exercise Instructor Pilates Mat Course, click here
To apply for the Group Exercise Instructor Yoga Course, click here