Using Yoga to Support Body Positivity

Using Yoga to Support Body Positivity

One of the most wonderful shifts we’re seeing more and more of in society today is the shift toward body positivity. The body positivity movement affirms that every body is beautiful and deserving of love, no matter what it looks like or what its current state of health may be.

While prying ourselves away from toxic media that continue to shame us all into thinking bodies need to look a certain way to be worthy of love, practicing yoga is something else we can use to help us all develop healthy, loving relationships with our own bodies. And it absolutely doesn’t have to involve changing the way we currently look.

Quiet Negative Self-Talk

Yoga is all about being mindful. As mind, body and spirit connect in the present moment through each asana, we learn to become more effective observers of our own thoughts, accepting them without judgment and freeing ourselves from the monkey chatter that consumes us throughout most of the day. We’re better able to to recognize the ways in which we automatically label, criticize and even insult ourselves so we can choose to dissolve and neutralize this negative self-talk.

Discover Your Uniqueness

Body positivity seeks to reveal each individual’s beautiful uniqueness, and because yoga can be designed and modified for anyone of any level of fitness–from beginner to advanced–it truly is a personal practice as well as a collective one at the same time. By connecting the breath and body, each of us will discover new things about our flexibility, strength, balance and calmness of mind that we could never discover by trying to live through somebody else's experiences.

Develop Your Own Strength

When we realize what our bodies truly are capable of doing, it’s a lot easier to show our appreciation for them. Anyone who practices yoga can take a trip down memory lane to remember just how challenging it was to stretch, bend and hold certain poses in the very beginning. Over time, the body naturally gets stronger, becomes more flexible, and gives us the opportunity to be grateful for how far we’ve come and how much we’ve improved.

Practice Self-Love and Compassion

All of the above ways that yoga helps us become more body positive paves the path for an even stronger sign of growth: genuine self-love. Expanding our awareness can help us identify and dispose of the lies we’ve been led to believe about ourselves and about body image in general, encouraging us to forgive ourselves for how we may have treated our bodies in the past and shifting to honor them instead for what they're able to do for us today.

It’s true that a lot of people start practicing yoga to improve their physical appearance. While toning up and even losing a bit of weight may be welcomed benefits, the true goal of yoga is to obtain peace of mind by ceasing to identify with thoughts and feelings that cause us so much emotional pain.

Change of physical appearance or not, yoga is a practice that supports the body positivity movement no matter what our personal goals may be. And most importantly, yoga is and always will be for every body.

Image (edited) via Randy Pantouw


Simple Tips to Attract Abundance

Simple Tips to Attract Abundance

We all want to attract more abundance in our lives. Whether it’s money, love, a particular career, good health or something else, most of us grow up to believe and assume that we can achieve these things by simply setting strong goals, taking action and staying persistent.

This is good advice, but what we don’t always realize is that attracting abundance is primarily a mindset game. If our deepest beliefs and thoughts about ourselves and the world around us aren’t in alignment with how the universe works (the law of attraction), then our goals and actions won’t work to bring us what we think and say we really want.

If trying to change your habits hasn’t brought you the results in life you’ve always wanted, it may signify that you’re living through life with a scarcity mindset. Here’s what you can do to fix that.

Love Your Fears and Flaws

Attracting abundance into your life starts with self-acceptance and self-love. This means accepting yourself exactly as you are right now–including all the icky, scary stuff you’d rather ignore or criticize. Every time you think a negative thought about yourself, just stop to notice it, and then embrace it with love.

This is very unintuitive. It’s natural for our minds to run from fearful thoughts and avoid or criticize the things we don’t like about ourselves. Start with simply accepting it before moving to a place of love. The more lovingly you treat your fears and flaws, the less power they’ll have over you. Eventually, your fears and flaws will fade away entirely.

Turn Excitement into Gratitude

Ever stop to wonder why you get excited? Excitement comes from interpreting something as scarce in nature. If you’ve adopted a mindset that money, relationships, a job opportunity or something else doesn’t come your way very often, you probably get excited about it and naturally set your expectations high when it finally does come around. And when those expectations aren’t fulfilled, you feel disappointed, which pushes you out of alignment with abundance.

Think of it like this: it excitement correlates to scarcity, then gratitude correlates to abundance. When you notice yourself getting excited about something, focus on what you’re grateful for about it instead. Gratitude is the recognition of how abundant you already are right now in the present moment, which is exactly what you need to attract more of it.

Give in Order to Receive

Once you learn to embrace your fears, flaws, and abundance that you’re grateful for already, you’ll be in a pretty good place to start giving to others straight from the heart. Too many of us do what we do primarily from a selfish place. We work because we want more money, we get into relationships because we want love, we diet because we want to look good.

You have to think like a giver instead of a taker to attract abundance. If you focus on putting genuine passion into your work, you’ll attract more money. If you focus on how you could express love to your partner, you’ll attract love back from them. If you focus on taking care of your health no matter what your body looks like, it will naturally respond and change in accordance with how you treat it.

These are simple pieces of advice, but they’re not so easy to come across in today’s success-driven society that often ignores the real "inner" part of the game in favor of results. Just remember that abundance always starts with where you are on the inside.


Easy Ways to Moisturize with Coconut Oil

3 Easy Ways to Moisturize with Coconut Oil

Let’s face it–skincare products can be pretty expensive, and the truth is there's not much good evidence proving them to be better than all natural alternatives. In fact, plant-based oils can help to balance out the natural oils of the skin in ways that keep it healthy and youthful looking, with coconut oil being a big favorite among natural wellness enthusiasts.

You can apply coconut oil directly to the skin right from the jar, or try using some of the following simple recipes for a little extra healing action on areas of your body that need it the most.

Coconut Oil Nighttime Face Moisturizer

Most of us want to help our faces stay properly hydrated while keeping pimples and acne out of the picture. Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties that make it one of the most popular essential oils to use for keeping skin clear, and combining it with coconut oil makes a powerful and all natural mixture that both cleanses and moisturizes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 - 6 drops tea tree essential oil

Mix the two ingredients in a glass bowl or container using a spoon. Apply a small amount to the face at night before going to bed by rubbing it gently into the skin, the way you would use any regular face moisturizer.

Starting with a small amount is always a good idea since the oil will melt and get very greasy as it comes into contact with your warm skin. If you end up using too much, you can always dab some of the excess off with a clean face towel.

Coconut Oil Body Moisturizer

Believe it or not, showering daily can really dry out the skin–especially when we use harsh soaps or body cleansers. Areas like the arms, legs, back, chest and stomach that don’t typically sweat as much as other places like the armpits and groin, so they can often be robbed of their natural oils due to over-washing. Moisturizing daily can help replenish and preserve that protective layer that your skin needs to stay healthy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • A few drops of your favorite essential oil (optional)

Add the coconut oil to a large glass boil and use a hand mixer to whip it for about 3 to 5 minutes. The consistency should turn to something that’s white and fluffy, like frosting. Apply it to the skin the same way you would with any moisturizer.

If you like scented moisturizers, you can always add a few drops of essential oils to make it smell nice. Try essential oils like lavender, vanilla, jasmine, rose or orange.

Coconut Oil Foot Moisturizer

Hard, dry skin on the feet can be stubborn to eliminate for good. In addition to this, many people end up mistaking foot fungus for dry skin. Yuck! Peppermint oil has antimicrobial properties that can work with coconut oil to naturally eliminate mild cases of fungus while providing a cooling effect that can soothe tired feet.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 - 6 drops peppermint essential oil

Use a spoon to mix both oils in a small bowl or container and then apply a small amount directly to clean feet. Consider spending some extra time rubbing it into areas of the feet where the skin is thicker, like around the heels and any callouses.

You can make larger batches of the above moisturizers and store them in a mason jar. Coconut oil turns to liquid when it gets pretty warm, so remember to keep it in a cool place!


How to Surround Yourself with Good People

How to Surround Yourself with Good People

We’re all responsible for our own happiness and the attitudes we bring toward life, but the people we surround ourselves with on a day-to-day basis also influence our state of wellbeing. They can either lift us up, or drag us down.

Unfortunately, it’s all too common for people these days to find themselves surrounded by people who exhibit toxic behavior–dramatic friends, manipulative coworkers, relatives who always need rescuing and all sorts of other types of people who radiate negative energy. There are ways to improve these relationships, but ideally, we shouldn’t be pouring so much of our own energy into them if the offending individuals are not willing to do their part.

Here are a few things anyone can do to manage existing toxic relationships while building and nurturing healthy ones.

Identify Your Values

We all want to surround ourselves with people who share similar values. If you’re not clear on what you value in life and in other people, how are you going to determine what type of people you want in your life? Take some time to journal about it. You may even find that you’re living some parts of your life according to other people’s expectations, which will give you the opportunity to explore your authenticity and get clear about it. Once you have your values clearly written down, you can start thinking about the types of people currently in your life who share these same values. These are the relationships you want to focus your energy on.

Address Current Toxic Relationships

Ignoring current relationships that are toxic won’t resolve them. More often than not, the floodgates of communication need to be opened up in order to address the other person’s toxic behavior. A relationship is a two-way street, and the other person has to be willing to cooperate as part of the "detoxification" process. If they simply refuse, and the level of toxicity is significant, then the relationship may need to come to an end. If it can’t be ended, such as if it's a work relationship or a family relationship, you’ll need to work on setting boundaries and increasing your awareness when interacting with this person to avoid sucking up their negative energy.

Go Where Good People Hang Out

Ask yourself, where do the types of people who share similar values to you spend their time? Maybe it’s at the gym, in the woods, on a basketball court, online in a particular forum or at a local club meetup. Wherever it is, you need to identify those places and start spending time there as well if you want to build more relationships with the types of people you actually want to be around. Likewise, remember to nurture those good, existing relationships you identified in the first step through journaling. Aim to spend more time with those people by suggesting things to do based around the values you both share.

Personal growth may be a very individualistic journey, but without people around to support you along the way, you’ll probably have a harder time getting there. Putting in the effort to detoxify bad relationships and create or strengthen healthy ones is really worth it.


Connecting with Nature

Connecting with Nature

Just as the sun continues to grow stronger each day, sparking the energy in plants all around us to bud and bloom, it's natural for many people to experience a quiet awakening deep inside themselves. This isn’t a coincidence, since spring is universally recognized in cultures around the world as the transitional season of rebirth and renewal. It’s an ideal time for exploring the possibilities of new beginnings.

Consider it to be sort of like the childhood stage of the seasonal life cycle, where getting outside can invoke a genuine sense curiosity and desire to learn and grow. One of the best ways to tap into that pure and innocent childlike self that wants to come out and play is to simply take a leisurely walk through a park or wooded area where we can mindfully experience the awe of life blooming before our very eyes.

Doing this can inspire us to ask ourselves questions like, “what urges or ideas do I have inside of myself that need to be explored?” and, “what have I been afraid of pursuing in the past that I feel I finally need to start?” We can even ask more specific questions about how we might explore new ways of having fun, improving our health, building new relationships, altering our career paths or rejuvenating other areas of our lives.

As we use this time to work on exploring different ways that we can renew ourselves, let us remember to also dig deeper to identify any leftover negativity that may still be looming from the winter or fall. The light, warmth and aliveness of spring can help ground us in the present moment so we can meditate on anything we may still be unconsciously carrying around with us that needs to be felt more deeply or perhaps even addressed more actively before it can be completely released.

Keep in mind that connecting deeply with nature doesn’t have to stop at getting outside a little more often and reaping the benefits of personal renewal. In fact, we could all take this time of year to act as a firm reminder to be a little more grateful for this planet we call home. Showing our love and appreciation by continuously taking small actions that add up to a healthier environment not only brings us closer to creating a more sustainable planet, but also invites mores positive energy into our lives.

Easy ways to start making more eco-friendly decisions include starting a compost, turning off lights and electronics when they’re not in use, switching to organic/non-toxic products and cutting back on buying items with packaging materials that are destined to end up in the trash. Joining a local environmental organization that needs volunteers to help clean up local lands, rivers and streams of garbage and debris is another great way to work on inner growth and help the environment at the same time.

There are endless amounts of ways we can connect closer with nature, and everyone will have their own personal preferences for how they go about doing so. Whatever your plan is to make the most out of the time you spend outdoors and the things you do to give back to the environment, be sure make it count!


Easy Ways to Live Like a Minimalist

5 Easy Ways to Live Like a Minimalist

When we hear the word “minimalism,” many of us instantly think of a very spacious and nearly bare home. Or maybe we think of the type of person who owns 100 things or less and spends their time traveling the world.

Despite what minimalism might look like to us on the outside, it has everything to do with what it can do for us on an inner level. It frees us from the anxiety, the overwhelm, the distraction and all sorts of other negative emotions we experience in today’s consumer-driven society.

Minimalism is really just another word for intentionality, and the good news is that you don’t have to go all the way by tossing out almost everything you own and drilling it all down to less than 100 essential items. You can use the following starter tips below for easy and painless ways to think and live more like a minimalist.

Get rid of duplicate items

This is an easy step anyone can take to instantly declutter and feel much better for doing it–without having to go through the emotional stress of deciding whether an item is really worth keeping. Just say no to duplicates. If you have more than one version of a specific item, keep the one that you love and use the most, and then toss or give away all the extras. Coffee mugs, linens, clothes and cosmetics are a few common items to get you started.

Buy something new, toss something old

Just because you’re deciding to take a more minimalist approach to your lifestyle doesn’t mean you can’t ever indulge in something new that simply makes you feel good. The real problem occurs when things to start to pile up so much that it starts to negatively impact your mental wellbeing, so make it a general rule to toss or give away an old item every time you bring a new item into your home.

Create at least one clutter-free space

We’d all really love to live in completely clutter-free homes, but who has the time to completely purge their whole house or apartment? Unless it’s to prepare for moving to a new place, not many of us can dedicate an entire week to decluttering every single room. So instead, keep one small space (or even an entire room) a clutter-free area. Good examples include your home office desk, the living room coffee table, the kitchen counter space, the entryway or your bedroom.

Streamline your meals

If you’re always stressing over what to eat, try picking just a few favorite meals and sticking to them to keep it simple. Streamlining your meals will help you waste less food as you become better at estimating how much of each ingredient you really need. In addition, you’ll likely become much more efficient at prepping your meals, saving you both time and energy, and your waistline may seriously benefit as a result of a better planning process.

Unplug for one day a week

Physical clutter is something we all have to deal with, but these days, digital clutter is also a pretty big problem. Many of us stay completely plugged in to email, social media, texting and general internet browsing all day, every day. It’s really worth going on a digital detox once a week on one of your days off. Using that day to spend more time with friends and family, get outdoors, have new adventures will leave you feeling refreshed for the upcoming week.

Remember, you don’t have to take minimalism to the extreme to benefit from it. Use it where you need it the most, start small, and take notice of how it positively impacts your wellbeing.


Green Smoothie Recipes

3 Green Smoothie Recipes for St. Patrick's Day

Everyone knows that St. Patrick’s Day is typically celebrated by drinking green beer. Whatever you’ve got planned for the day and the following weekend’s festivities, there’s absolutely no reason to throw all your healthy eating habits right out the window just to have a bit of fun.

Green smoothies are perfect for kicking your health up a notch, and best of all, they fit right in with the green theme. Check out the following three green smoothie recipes suggestions to get you through the morning, the afternoon, and even the day after all the St. Paddy's Day fun has been had–until next year!

Pineapple Avocado Energy Smoothie

There’s no better way than to get energized with the natural sugars of some of Mother Nature’s sweetest fruits. Fresh pineapple with a hint of your favorite natural sweetener gets the job done by providing you with a powerful carb boost that can put you in a good mood early on in the day.

This smoothie is perfect for early mornings or as a pre-workout drink. Research has also shown that healthy fats like avocado can give our bodies a boost in absorbing nutrients from fruits and veggies, so combining them is always a great idea.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh pineapple
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 
1 tablespoon honey, maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 1 cup water or unsweetened almond/coconut milk
  • 4 - 6 ice cubes

Add the water or almond/coconut milk to your blender first, followed by everything else. Blend until smooth. That avocado will make it extra creamy!

Green Vegan Protein Smoothie

Protein, protein, where do you get your protein? Whether you’re recovering from an intense yoga session, powering through lunch at work, or gearing up for a night of fun with friends at the pub–supporting everything you do with enough protein is important for staying healthy and feeling good.

One of the best ways to incorporate more protein into your green smoothies is by adding hemp powder. Ideal for vegans, this neutral yet slightly nutty tasting protein source is a must-have for all green smoothie enthusiasts.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 large handfuls of your choice of leafy greens
  • 2 - 4 tablespoons hemp powder
  • 1 tablespoon natural nut butter
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon mini vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 cup water or unsweetened almond/coconut milk
  • 4 - 6 ice cubes

Pour the water or milk into the blender and then toss everything else in on top. Blend it all up and enjoy!

Hydrating Green Apple Smoothie

For the party animal who’s looking forward to a few drinks this St. Paddy’s Day, here’s a delicious green smoothie recipe to use to relieve common hangover symptoms the morning after. In fact, you could use it almost any time you get a headache or a migraine.

Headaches often occur as a result of dehydration or lack of nutrients. Combining a variety of green, watery veggies will give you that nutrient-packed burst of hydration your body is craving, and combining it with some freshly grated ginger may provide some extra relief by inhibiting prostaglandin synthesis.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium green apples, chopped
  • 6 celery stalks, chopped
  • 8 - 10 kale leaves
  • 1/4 lemon, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, freshly grated
  • 1 cup water or unsweetened almond/coconut milk
  • 4 - 6 ice cubes

Again, add the liquids first to your blender, followed by the heavier stuff. Add the ginger last and blend until smooth.

You'll be way ahead of everyone else who's chugging green beer and stuffing themselves with greasy pub food when you've got these healthy smoothie recipes to keep you energized and satisfied. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Photo (edited) via VegaTeam


How Yoga Can Boost Productivity

How Yoga Can Boost Productivity

Anyone who's familiar with yoga knows that's it's great for building strength, improving balance and increasing flexibility. We also know that it can be a great stress reliever and a very spiritual practice for those who use it for personal growth purposes.

Perhaps what’s most interesting about adopting a regular yoga practice that covers both physical fitness and mental wellness is the effect that we start to notice it having on some of the most seemingly unrelated aspects of our lives. Many of the busy careers we have today, for example, are often considered to be anything but stress-free and spiritual.

But yoga has a way of touching all areas of our lives, no matter how much it may be rooted in the daily chaos of the modern world. Here’s how it can help you be more productive at work and even at home too.

It enhances mood and increases energy

A big part of yoga involves propping up the spine to be erect during certain yoga poses, which takes strain off the neck and back from slouching and other bad posture habits we unconsciously tend to adopt in our everyday lives. Practicing yoga can help us become more aware of our posture while we’re sitting in our desk chairs or on the couch at home.

Research has shown that altering our posture to a proper upright position can actually put us in a better mood and even give us a bit of an energy boost. And when we’re feeling happy and energetic, as opposed to moody and sluggish, it's a lot easier to get work done more efficiently.

It improves focus and prevents multitasking

Clenching the muscles to hold certain body parts in sometimes very awkward positions all while keep our balance and staying still for a period of time naturally forces us to increase our awareness while we focus on what we’re doing. Several studies have shown that yoga can stimulate brain function immediately after a session, leading to improvements in coordination, memory, reaction time and even IQ performance.

Improved brain function makes it easier for you to focus and less likely to become distracted, so we can give our full attention to one task at a time. Despite what some people might have to say about multitasking, it's actually a total productivity killer and can negatively impact brain health too.

It reduces stress and anxiety

We’ll always have to deal with stressful situations both at work and at home, and while we may not have much control over this part of our lives, we can at least exercise some control over how these types of situations tend to affect us. The combination of deep breathing and meditation that’s involved with yoga builds awareness in ways that have been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and even chronic pain.

Increased awareness from practicing yoga helps us break free from our impulses that are triggered by our emotions. When we can ground ourselves in the present moment and avoid getting caught up in a bad habit of always just immediately reacting in response to emotional stress, we automatically become better decision makers.

So whether you’re constantly struggling to meet deadlines at work or can’t find the energy to start on a personal project at home in the evening, making yoga a daily practice and really tuning in to the mindful aspect of it can probably help. This is one mind-body workout that has more benefits to offer than you might realize.


Healthier Ways to Spring Forward

Healthier Ways to Spring Forward

We tend to welcome the longer days and warmer weather with the arrival of spring, but maybe not so much the hour we lose when he have to “spring forward” for the return of Daylight Saving Time. According to experts, springing forward is indeed harder on our bodies than it is during the other time of year when we fall back and gain an hour, which matches our body clocks better.

To make matters worse, the clocks always go back on a Sunday morning/Saturday night, which doesn’t give us very much time to adjust to it before Monday. That’s bad news for those of us who use the weekends to catch up on lost sleep from the previous workweek.

The solution? Plan ahead to make the transition less painful.

Start setting your clock back early

A couple days before Daylight Saving hits in full force, consider going to bed 20 to 30 minutes earlier and waking up 20 to 30 minutes earlier. Spreading that hour out by gradually shifting your body clock over the course of the Friday and Saturday before the big time change will help you to deal with it better come Monday.

Exercise during the day

Springing forward gives us all a great excuse to try something new with yoga or any other type of workout. Getting physically active in the morning or afternoon helps regulate our body clocks by pushing it forward a bit and exhausting us a little so we can sleep better at night. Just be sure not to schedule it too close to bedtime.

Get some sunlight

Melatonin is the hormone we rely on for our sleep and wakefulness, which fluctuates depending on how much light we’re being exposed to during the day and at night. It might be worth taking an early morning walk or run to help trigger your internal body clock earlier than normal, while avoiding bright light in the evening hours before you plan to turn in.

Avoid stimulants before bed

On Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night, make sure you pay attention to what you’re eating and drinking. Consuming caffeine, alcohol, sugar or any heavy meals 4 to 6 hours before your earlier bedtime could prevent you from falling asleep at the appropriate time that you planned. Instead, drink water or tea and have a light meal or snack with a combination of healthy protein and complex carbohydrates.

Do something relaxing if you can’t fall asleep

There’s no point in lying there trying to fall asleep at an earlier time if you just can’t. It will likely only make you frustrated. Get up and do something relaxing like journaling (with pen and paper), reading (a real book), meditation or listening to calming music. Remember to avoid all light-emitting electronic devices and keep the room lighting as low as possible.

As a last little tip, be sure to pay extra close attention to the other drivers on the road come Monday and the following few days after the time change. Even if you took the opportunity to plan ahead for the time change to make it easier on yourself, you still have to watch out for the other groggy, disoriented drivers whose body clocks might be taking a hard hit.

Springing forward sure does have its ups and downs. But with the right preparation, we can all get through it!


An Easy Trick for Being More Mindful

An Easy Trick for Being More Mindful

Mindfulness is the mental state of being totally present and accepting of what’s happening right now, and let’s face it–we could all stand to be a little more mindful at work, in our relationships, with our health situations, and in all sorts of other important areas of our lives. But that's easier said than done, right?

Practicing yoga certainly helps, but there are lots of other ways that we can help ourselves become more mindful people. The following technique is a good place to start for people with busy lives and racing minds. If you can make it into a habit, you’ll probably start to notice some good mental benefits–including enhanced focus, minimized distractibility and less anxiety.

Pick one mundane activity you do every day

Think about your daily routine and pick out something that you do every day without even thinking about it (that doesn’t include electronic devices). Ideally, it should be a morning task. It could be showering, brushing your teeth, getting dressed, putting on makeup or brewing a cup of coffee.

Choosing a morning task to serve as your mindfulness practice will help set the tone for the rest of your day, and it doesn’t have to be anything that takes longer than a few minutes to complete. It also doesn’t have to be anything complicated that has a lot of steps to it. In fact, the simpler and more mundane it is, the better.

Use a trigger to activate mindfulness

Once you’ve chosen a daily task you’re used to doing on autopilot, it’s time to pick an initial action to serve as your trigger. As an example, a trigger could be the simple act of picking up you toothbrush if the mindfulness activity you’ve chosen is brushing your teeth. Or if you’ve chosen showering, your trigger could be turning on the faucet.

Triggers help to remind us of our daily habits so we don’t forget to do them. After the first few times you pick up your toothbrush or turn on the hot water for a shower while consciously thinking about it as a trigger for the habitual activity you’ve attached to–in this case it’s practicing mindfulness–you should find that it becomes easier to remember to practice your mindfulness habit every time you pull the trigger.

Let your mind explore every moment through your senses

So you’ve started brushing your teeth, or washing your hair in the shower, or doing whatever it is you need to do for your brief mindfulness practice. Now you can let your mind wander around every experience you’re seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting. Place your awareness on different aspects of the task and accept it as it is, without passing any judgment on it.

If you’re brushing your teeth, you might want to place your awareness on the wetness of your saliva and the bubbly suds of the toothpaste. The feeling of the bristles of the toothbrush along your gum line. The sound of the brushing. The smell and taste of the toothpaste. If you find yourself getting sucked into focusing on thoughts running in your head, that’s okay–just acknowledge that you went away for a bit, let the thought pass and bring yourself back to the present.

That’s it! That’s all you have to do. For people who aren’t used to being so mindful, it’s much more practical to focus on short bursts of mindfulness of just a few minutes rather than long sessions. Start with one mundane task, and once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you can perhaps try adding another.