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Mindfulness Off The Mat

Mindfulness means paying attention in the present moment. It can be easy to do in a yoga class, with an instructor reminding you to breathe deeply through your nose, asking how your body feels in various poses, and encouraging you to embrace whatever feelings come up. But what happens when you get off your mat and return to your busy life? Here are five simple (yet challenging!) ways to live with more awareness in your everyday life.

Do one thing at a time.

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Instead of multitasking, do one thing at a time, really well. In fact, according to researchers, multitasking is a delusion. Instead of focusing on a few things at a time, you’re actually switching back and forth very rapidly. Instead, try focusing your complete attention on one task at a time. You might be surprised at how productive you can be.

Turn off the noise.

When I’m in the car without my kids, I often embrace the silence. Turn off the music. Save the podcast for later. Listen to the sound of the wheels on the road. Watch the detailed changes of the sky. Create space to hear your own thoughts. On your next commute, try shutting down the stimuli. What can you observe that you didn’t realize was there before?

Eat sitting down.

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I often eat standing up or on the go, but the meals I share around a table with people I love are invaluable. Many people also end up choosing healthier foods and better portion sizes. Try committing to a few sit-down meals per week. Make time to chew slowly and fully taste your food. Pause after each bite and allow your body to recognize when you’re full.

Walk barefoot.

Weather permitting, take advantage of any time you can feel the earth beneath your feet. Notice the rhythm of how your heel, ball, and toe take turns making contact with the ground. For most of us, everywhere we’ve been, our feet have taken us there! Show gratitude to your amazing body and speak kindly to it. Your body hears everything your mind says.

Put your phone to bed.

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Do you find yourself absent-mindedly scrolling through social media when you’re lying in bed? Do you habitually reach for your phone as soon as you get up? Try being more intentional with how you start and end your day. Charge your phone at night in a room that’s not your bedroom. Buy an inexpensive alarm clock to wake you up in the morning. When you get dressed, open a window to check the weather instead of clicking on your weather app.

How do you bring mindfulness off the mat and into your everyday life?

About the Author

Bethany is a YogaClub ambassador and RYT-200 based in Denver, CO. She has two children under two years old and tries to live mindfully by being present with them every day. Check out her personal blog at and follow her on Instagram @b_goodsy. 

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