To celebrate Mindfulness in May we have asked our incredible yoga and mindfulness guru, Lisa Moor to give us a few tips on simple techniques to live more mindfully and bring some peace and tranquility into our daily lives.
Lisa was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in her teens and, faced with the prospect of being confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life, she embarked on a journey of self-healing and this led her to yoga, relaxation and meditation.
Lisa trained at Gita International, one of Australia’s longest running yoga schools, where she obtained her diploma in yoga teaching and the teaching of deep relaxation and meditation.
She has also been fortunate enough to study with Mark Breadner, one of Australia’s most prominent yoga teachers, where she obtained her qualification as a Yoga Coach. But her most valuable knowledge has come from self-enquiry and exploration in all fields of health and wellbeing. She has been able to leave behind those years of ill health and lead a vibrant, healthy and positive life. Lisa currently teaches yoga in the Macedon Ranges and takes yoga retreats to Bali each year. She has experience in corporate and children’s yoga as well as holding many workshops in relaxation and sleep as well as yoga in the workplace.
Lisa is currently training with Vidyamala Burch, the founder of Breathworks in the UK to become a certified Mindfulness Based Pain Management and stress reduction teacher. She has attended many mindfulness retreats and trainings and is currently teaching high school students & corporate classes for Mindfulness.
Her mantra for this life is to ‘Smile, breathe and go slow’ Thich Nhat Hahn.
Living Mindfully – Lisa Moor
We are all familiar with being fully engaged in the present moment. It comes very naturally to us when we are doing something we love. This is mindfulness…. fully engaged and present in each moment of our lives. But perhaps it is a little more familiar to you to be anywhere else other than the present moment.
I love this quote from 80 year old Nadine Stair:
“Oh I have had my moments, and if I had to do it over again I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day.”
So how can we remember? How can we be reminded to be here, present and awake to our life unfolding?
1. Informal practice – You can choose something that you usually do on autopilot each day and dedicate mindfulness to that activity.
For example when you prepare your favourite drink.:
- Sit down comfortably.
- Notice the colour.
- How does it taste?
Pay attention from the time the drink first enters your mouth until you are unable to sense the drink in your body.
- How do you feel?
Your mind will wander many times so just gently bring it back to the experience of enjoying your favourite drink.
2. Use environmental cues.
- Traffic lights are a great opportunity to check in with your body and your breath.
- Scan your body for any tension, letting it go each time you breathe out. You may take this time to notice the sky, the trees the warmth of the sun coming through the window
- Waiting in line – take 3 conscious breaths. Then just notice what is around you in this moment of your life.
- Stand up from your desk or stop whatever you are doing every hour. Stretch, breathe, smile, relax. Move gently into the moment. Schedule this mini break into your calendar or phone.
The more we do this the more we come back to this moment of our lives, the more we strengthen that pathway in our brain. Be gentle with yourself. The mind will resist and wander away from the present moment again and again but the more we practice mindfulness, just like the more we practice anything, the better we become.
Basic Mindfulness Meditation
Sit quietly and focus on your natural breathing. Allow thoughts to come and go without judgement and return to your focus on the breath.
Mindfulness practice can lead to
• Improved wellbeing
• Better physical and mental health
• Stress reduction
Enjoy this moment……