Practicing Mindfulness Off the Mat, how do we accomplish this?
Being mindful during your yoga practice is key. With mindful movements, you ensure you are taking-in all the good that yoga can offer you, and releasing what you no longer need. However, the most important step in your yoga practice is practicing mindfulness off the mat into your daily life.
Many times, we are tempted to build artificial walls between our “spiritual” and everyday life, forgetting spirituality is the whole, and our daily actions are part of this whole. We can live our daily experiences mindfully, by avoiding identification with our conditioning, beliefs and roles. You can be mindful during the day, no matter what.
First, remember you are a human being, not a human doing or a human having. After making space for practicing mindfulness off the mat to arise, pay attention to what is now. When your alarm clock kicks in the morning, be mindful of which foot you put on the floor. That’s the first step toward a happy day. Be mindful of your feet touching the ground. When you have your breakfast, taste each spoon, and be grateful for that. When you have a shower, feel the water on your skin, and be mindful of your movements. Etc.
So, now is the time to be practicing mindfulness off the mat. Make sure to support your mindfulness off the mat with a regular yoga practice, and to support your yoga with mindfulness. They are mutually reinforcing, and they facilitate the flourishing of your consciousness and talents.
Practicing mindfulness can not only change your practice and how you are on your mat, but also can change your life off the mat. How do you incorporate mindfulness in your life, in your practice on and off the mat?