13 Mindful Exercises for daily life

Without a doubt mindfulness is a relaxation technique that allows us to recognize, know and control our emotions. One of Its purposes is to transform and integrate emotional states such as anxiety, worry and frustration in our daily life. Do you find this interesting? If so,  below you will find 13 exercises which will assist you to become familiar with this practice.

What is the difference between formal and informal mindfulness practices?

A formal practice is a discipline that is carried out in total stillness, sitting or laying down on the ground. This practice encourages us to stop any body movements for a specific amount of time. The aim is to calm our mind and body through the breath. 

Throughout this practice, people in general learn how to recognize the thoughts and emotions that constitute their life. Some examples of these practices which are popular in the west such as Vipassana or Brahma Kumaris, come from places like India, Tibet, Nepal and Burma.

On the other hand, informal mindfulness practices are those actions that are present in our daily life. Some of these activities are eating, walking, greeting someone and many more. You may want to make a list of your daily activities and routines. All of them can be transformed into mindfulness practices.

A MINDFUL DAY
13 Exercises in 24 hours

🌅 IN THE MORNING

Waking up in the morning 

While still in bed,make sure you spend a few moments in stillness. Ask yourself; How was my sleep? How am I feeling? Do I remember any dreams? This is a practice that will help you integrate the evening rest and prepare you for daily tasks and duties. 

Attentive Shower

From the moment you enter into the shower bring your attention to your feet and feel the temperature of your body. Observe how water runs along every part of your body. Feel any changes in temperature and perceive the scent of your soap and shampoo. In this way you will engage fully your senses into the present experience.

Enjoy combing your hair

When brushing or combing your hair, feel the texture of your hair. Engage your sense of touch, smell and sight. Feel and focus your attention in any sensations on your scalp.


Be attentive when brushing your teeth

When placing the toothbrush in your mouth, focus all your attention in the movements of your hand. Observe and feel the different positions of the toothbrush as it adjusts to the shape of your mouth. In the same way pay attention to the sensation in your teeth, gums, tongue and palate.

Heighten your senses by simply preparing a hot drink 

Walk to the kitchen and notice if there are any sensations in your stomach. Proceed to prepare yourself your favourite or usual morning drink; either a coffee, a tea, or simply lemon water. Fill up the kettle with water while focusing your attention on the sound of the moving water. Turn the kettle on and notice the sound it makes while gradually heating up. Be attentive when preparing your ingredients, awaken your sense of smell by focusing on the aromas. Finally enjoy your drink while sipping slowly, feeling and tasting the liquid in the whole of your mouth.

Exercise to connect your body and mind

While performing physical exercise we have a great opportunity to practice mindfulness. Place your attention carefully in these three aspects: breathing, postures and transitional movements in-between postures.  For example; if you are at the gym lifting weights, feel the metallic bar and its coolness in your hands, notice the pace of your breath and how it changes, feel your spine column while in different postures, etc. Do not let negative thoughts, worries or tension distract you from your activity. Allow the thoughts to simply pass and return to focusing on what you are doing in the here and now.

🕒 AT MIDDAY

Stretch your body

It is very important to take a break from work, not just for eating but also to move slowly and mindfully. This can fully change how you approach the afternoon. If possible, leave your office or work place for at least 5 to 10 minutes. Go for a walk and stretch your arms as you feel your muscles and skeleton moving. Place your attention on your breath, if possible take a few deep inhalations and exhalations. Notice if there is tension in any part of your body and with your fingertips give yourself a few gentle taps around the area where there is tension. This is a very healthy habit that can be very energising. 

Self-checks

Remember to pause throughout the day to observe your body and mind. Something simple to do is to check your posture.  Bring attention to your jaw and observe if there is any tension or clenching happening. We all have unique patterns of muscular tension in our body depending on our lifestyle –  so becoming aware of yourself throughout the day will help you to learn more about how you are using your body. An easy way to remember this practice is to set a reminder on your phone and to stop for at least 5 minutes every couple of hours.

Empty your mind

Everyday spend at least 15 minutes to simply sit down comfortably in your favourite place and have with you paper and a pen/pencil. Write down anything that comes into your mind. Without selecting or judging the thoughts, simply write as you think -even if words do not coincide or have no apparent link. This will help clear your mind and will transfer those thoughts, feelings etc onto the paper, making them conscious to a degree and liberating stress and tension in your head. 

🌙 IN THE EVENING

Avoid using headphones 

When returning home from work or vice versa, avoid as much as possible using headphones. Instead place all your attention in your surrounding area. For example, you can listen to different sounds such as; voices, birds singing, children playing, etc.  Enjoy the fresh smell of beautiful flowers and trees that you come across. 

Clean the dishes with clear attention

Arriving home and perhaps having a lot of dishes to wash may not be very pleasant. However if we approach this task or any other home duty as an exercise of mindfulness – with our full attention and awareness, the “have to do list” becomes an enjoyable process of self observation and learning. Moreover this will increase our attention, focus and concentration for life.

Listening to music

Music is a great tool to exercise mindfulness in your daily life. I invite you to select a song that you have never heard before. If there is singing involved in this song, try to focus your attention on the melody only, without giving much attention to the voice and words of the singer. Let all your thoughts and ideas pass-by and simply close your eyes and focus on the melody. Observe where your imagination may take you. Feel and listen with your whole body, rather than just with your ears and enjoy a mindful sound body experience.

Take a minute of deep breathing

Focusing on the breath is the fundamental principle of all schools of meditation and spiritual practices around the world. The breath is the carrier of life. It is with us from the very first moment we are born until our very last moment of life. Nevertheless we often breath mechanically and unconsciously.  This is why it is very beneficial to spend some time in the evening taking some deep breaths. This will strengthen the connection between your body, mind and heart. For this, find a comfortable position where your back is straight. Inhale the air slowly through your nose and deeply into your body. Exhale the air gently and softly from your abdomen instead of the chest and remember to count 5 seconds in between the inhale and exhale. Retaining the air will calm your whole circulatory and nervous system.

Put these exercises into practice and you will begin experiencing your day differently. You may start with a couple of practices a day and slowly increase the number of exercises. Enjoy!

Abundance in Being

I have been reflecting on abundance and slowly coming to the understand that abundance is really a state of being in which we accept all the infinite possibilities that exist. This understanding helps me to become open to the wisdom and the will of my inner divine nature. 

I recognize myself as part of the abundance of mother earth, I recognize myself in the abundance of each breath of oxygen which is given at every moment and which keeps me alive and nourished.  Whilst reflecting on this, I have discovered deeply engrained within myself a fake belief that “The more I have, the more I am”. By observing closely this belief and looking at my life I have come to the realization that in the past I have experienced an emptiness amongst the comfort of modern-day life, a secure job, etc.

Abundance is to trust in my own Being, in my inner nature, my inner intuition. This understanding of abundance is vibrating in infinite subtle levels. There is no time or space here, all possibilities unite in one single point. Here I give space to my being to express, to guide me through my intuition. Often, with my mind, I avoid this intuitive sense and I try to control situations from my rational mind which then limits possibilities. This acts as a safety mechanism, however, when I bring this sense of control into consciousness, I come to understand that there is nothing really secure or guaranteed and I am ironically creating just the illusion that “I have control”.

So abundance is about accepting and receiving daily food or daily wisdom.  Sometimes I crave to have more than I have. “I want to know it all”.  However, my Being is the holder of the deep wisdom and knows exactly what I need on a daily basis.  My intuitive heart can see much further than my limited perception of things, so it gives me just the right portion of what I need. It knows which lessons and at which times it is needed. At times I will receive a double portion of food all at once.  This may come in the form of a strong situation that leaves me with no ground to hold onto and I get swept into the unknown.  

Artwork: Tobe Fonseca

So gratitude fills my heart, as I deepen my understanding of abundance. I slowly learn how to digest and be patient with what life presents and realize that abundance is not about having more. It is about trusting that what I am receiving is right to sustain me and help me grow. In knowing this I move away from the belief that more is better. Abundance is a state of Being in which gratitude is the motor because it sees and recognizes the richness in every moment. My clear consciousness recognizes richness in every instant when it fully embraces the present, the being, and its infinite possibilities. So I no longer attach to one single way with specific conditions set by my mind. On the contrary, I learn to trust, to simply trust.

I am mesmerized when I think of all that has brought me to this point in time in which I am standing today, all the forces and influences of life that brought me to this very moment. It could not have been “me” planning this perfection. My mind could never have pictured this reality 14,422 km away from the land in which I was born.

Mother Nature and her creation, every animal, every plant, every being inhabiting her are in perfect order and harmony within this dance of life; birth and death. I reflect upon the intelligence that exists within her and which I have completely underestimated in an abrupt manner with my forgetfulness. And as I tune in with the abundance of being, it invites me to look at this aspect in mother nature which is holding and nourishing me at every moment. I recognize the infinite and absolute intelligence within Creation and I simply surrender to spontaneity, not feeding the battles in my mind and always being in defense mode. 

What is necessary will arrive every day, every moment in the right portion and my heart is at peace.

Thank you for reading

Adriana

Learn more about my work with Sound Healing and Creative Mindful Workshops

Coming up events in the Blue Mountains

Transformative Times

¿What are Mindfulness workshops?

What is a Mandala?

The word mandala means circle or wheel in Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language from the Vedas. A mandala is a representation of the universe; a reminder of the interconnection of all beings, unity and harmony. It’s a cosmic diagram which is found everywhere we look in natures dynamics through its geometry.  

Mandalas have been in history of humanity since long ago as a form to remember and find again the origin. The natural movements of nature and creation are in spiral, concentrical. Observe the shape of a cell, and atom, mother’s womb, an eye, the spiral in a sunflower, the shape of our solar system.

These are some example of how nature create life and we are part of this. In order for us to remember and return to harmony within we required to go back to the source. Mandalas allow us to reconnect with the spiral of life and be reminded of the simplicity of life.  

Join me on the next Mandala Workshop to learn more and experience the benefits of creating mandalas

Thank you

Adriana

The basis of Sound Healing/ Therapy

The basis of sound healing is that vibration is fundamental to all matter. We understand that the atoms within the body vibrate at a specific speed/ frequency dependant on the area of the body. When this vibration can not occur at the speed that creates harmony this is what we call ‘dis-ease’.

Sound healing also known as Sound Therapy is all about restoring this healthy vibration to the body in order to gain balance again and recuperate the natural vibration of the human body.

Sound frequency impacts our sympathetic nervous system, your brain waves synchronise. The body is so cleaver that when it hears a frequency that it is not in tune with, it will match it, this is called law of resonance.

It is a law – just like gravity – when a vibration is stronger all the other energies in the area will begin to attune to its exact vibration.

Learn more about Sound Healing and the magnificent effect on body, mind and spirit. One to one Session and group Sound Baths can be arranged at any location. Contact us for more information.

The relationship between Mandalas & woven God’s eye (Ojo de Dios)?

A God’s eye is a weaved mandala They originally come from the Huichol culture in Mexico.

The Huichol believed that crafting an object is a way to get in touch with the spiritual world. For protection from the uncertainties of the future, the Huichol make decorative, ceremonial shields with coloured yarn and sticks. These shields are called God’s eyes because through them the Gods will keep a watchful eye over the person.

The Huichol believed that crafting an object is a way to get in touch with the spiritual world. For protection from the uncertainties of the future, the Huichol make decorative, ceremonial shields with coloured yarn and sticks. These shields are called God’s eyes because through them the Gods will keep a watchful eye over the person.

A God’s eye is also weaved as part of a ritual when there is a new born baby. The center of the God’s eye is weaved just as the baby is born, then every year it will be weaved one more color section until the baby turns 5 years of age. Then the God’e eye is completed and offered in ceremony as is believed that only then the child will start to be more autonomous.

Ojo de Dios in traditional house

Learn more about the Huichol culture or watch this beautiful documentary “Huicholes: The Last Peyote” to understand more about their life and cosmovision.

The world has known the work of the Huicoles for years, and wool God’s eye have developed into intricate shapes. This work is by no means a mass production object. It has an spiritual depth that must be understood and respected. Mandalas help us to understand the importance of acquiring self knowledge.

This is where the answer for the world suffering is, within.