Mindfulness has become quite the buzz word lately, now being used as much in yoga studios as it is in the corporate world. But what exactly is it?
I love Jon Kabat-Zinn’s definition of mindfulness as paying attention in a specific manner: on purpose, in the present, without judgement.
Mindfulness is the informal practice of being fully in the moment and accepting it just as it is. Simple, right?
Maybe, but certainly not easy! In fact, mindfulness is one of the hardest things to implement when we need it most – in times of change. Nobody really likes change, and resistance can run pretty deep if the change is unexpected or unwanted. Instead of accepting what is, we fight, we get angry and get upset and argue with the Universe asking why things couldn’t be different.
I’m writing this today from my home in Houston…but if things had gone my way, I’d be sipping a Pisco Sour (Chilean drink that I highly recommend) with my family in a beach house we rented months in advance in Brigantine, NJ. Matias, my littlest, started getting sick a few days ago, and ended up in the ER on Friday with trouble breathing. Thank goodness it turned out to be a regular virus (not Covid or RSV or anything severe) but nevertheless, here I am. NOT AT THE BEACH.
It has taken everything in my power to be ok with this! I know it sounds silly, but once your mind is set on something, it has a darn hard time being ok with something else. And that’s where a mindfulness practice comes in. The more we can be ok with little changes in our lives and avoid getting triggered, the better we are at it when big changes hit us.
So, this week, let’s start with simply incorporating a few moments of mindfulness into our yoga practice and into our days. Let’s work on learning into discomfort, into the unexpected, into whatever the moment is offering us – just as it is.