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Yoga Off The Mat

Mindful Mornings: Coffee Meditation

Mindful Mornings: Coffee Meditation

A Moment of Calm With Your Coffee

Mornings can feel hectic and rushed. In this crunch for time, many of us chug our morning coffee (or caffeinated beverage of choice), wanting that jolt of energy as quickly as possible. But mindfully drinking your coffee can slow your morning and your mind down, even for just a brief moment of calm. Gloria Chadwick, the author of "Zen Coffee: A Guide to Mindful Meditation," explains that our daily coffee ritual can be a moment of serenity before the rush. She says that "by focusing on your coffee — making it a special time to meditate, it can actually make you calm and relaxed." Drinking your coffee mindfully is a powerful practice, and like any mindful eating or drinking exercise, can help you more fully enjoy your morning brew, leaving you more satisfied. Who knows, you may not even feel the need for a second cup...

Enjoy this mindful coffee drinking exercise and experience least before the caffeine rush. 

Mindful Coffee Drinking Meditation⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Take a deep breath.

Pick up your coffee. How does the cup feel in your hands? Notice the temperature.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Look at your coffee. Notice the color, the texture, the shine. Does it look different in the light? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Hold the coffee up to your face. How does it smell? Do you like the smell? Can you feel steam? If so, how does it feel? 

Take a sip. Hold the coffee in your mouth. How does it feel? Notice the temperature. Can you describe the taste?

Is there a sound as you pick up and sip the coffee?

How does it feel as you drink the coffee? Are you experiencing any sensations in your body after your first sip? If so, where and what?

Notice your mouth after drinking. Is there an aftertaste, any lingering sensations?

Take a deep breath. Enjoy your coffee, trying to notice the details of each sip.

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How Yoga Helps You Develop A Growth Mindset

How Yoga Helps You Develop A Growth Mindset

Growth vs. Fixed Mindset

A growth mindset is the belief that you can improve your intellect and skills through focus and effort. It’s the attitude that you can improve and master any subject or skill through study and practice. On the other hand, a fixed mindset mentality sees intelligence and talents as set traits. Accordingly, they are less likely to put effort into developing their talents. Those with a growth mindset view feedback as an opportunity to improve, while those with a fixed mindset internalize criticism as a personal attack. When you have a growth mindset you are more likely to progress and succeed in both your personal and professional life.  

Grow Your Growth Mindset With Yoga

Practicing yoga helps shift your thought process toward a growth mindset. You may not be aware of it but every time you step on your mat you do it with a growth mindset. You understand that your yoga practice is a process and that strength and flexibility are not fixed traits.

Very few people start out able to do full lotus or arm balances like eight-angle pose. But you don’t give up on the poses that are more difficult for you. When you practice yoga, you don’t only do the poses your body naturally goes into. Rather, you start with half lotus and modified versions of poses. This is you applying a growth mindset to your practice. You should think of your intellect and other skills the same way you think about mastering that difficult pose.

Yoga Teaches You That Failing is a Part of Progress

Learning how to accept failure and feedback are essential to nurturing a growth mindset. Yoga encourages you to fail and accept feedback. Has a yoga teacher ever yelled at you for falling out of a pose? Absolutely not! Yogis understand that falling is a sign that you’ve pushed yourself and only through pushing yourself do you improve. Because yoga allows you to fail in a safe, supportive environment it teaches you not to be scared of failing off your mat. More than that, yoga teaches you that failing is a key step in reaching your full potential and achieving success.

Consistently, yoga teaches you how to not only accept but welcome feedback. Is any yogi ever upset when their teacher shows them an adjustment? No! Learning how to accept feedback is a crucial step in shifting toward a growth mindset. When someone gives you constructive criticism they are helping you develop and advance. So welcome feedback in all walks of life the way you welcome pose adjustments!

Yoga Nurtures Mindfulness

Strengthening your mind is just like strengthening any other muscle in your body- you have to train your mind. Shifting your perspective requires practice. Practicing mindfulness and meditation helps you control your thought processes. As such, you can consciously change your frame of mind toward a growth mindset. Since yoga trains you to think and behave mindfully, it is a great tool for training yourself to think with a growth mindset.

By instilling all these wise perspectives in you, yoga is strengthening your growth mindset! So, let's take the growth mindset we practice on our mats and practice it in all aspects of our lives!

How has yoga taught you how to have a growth mindset or how has having a growth mindset improved your yoga practice?


Co-authored by Chloe Lew

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Nama-stay At Home: Creating Your At Home Yoga Space

Nama-stay At Home: Creating Your At Home Yoga Space

Bring a little Om to your home.

Creating a dedicated yoga space is crucial to establishing a successful home practice. The idea is to design a space that entices you to your mat and eliminates the need to rearrange furniture. If you have less room and are unable to carve out a space without rearranging some furniture, try to make moving the furniture part of your ritual. The important thing is to have a permanent space you visit everyday. With a designated yoga area already waiting for you, all you need to do is step into your practice!

It’s all too easy to skip your yoga routine. Seeing a space in your home already set up can help inspire you to visit your practice. Moreover, without the need to commute to a studio, you can spend more time on your mat.

When your mind and body greet the same space everyday, it allows you to take better notice of your mental growth and physical progress. Being rooted in the consistency of your space will help you dive deeper into self-inquiry and discovery. Practicing in your own personal space can help push you past your comfort zone. In the privacy of your own home, you can Om a bit louder and lose balance without losing face.

You can use your new space for more than just yoga. It can also be a quiet place to meditate, read, or relax with your morning brew, a place for you to reconnect and re-center.

Creating a yoga space doesn’t have to be a big project. Here are some tips for setting up your home sanctuary and personalizing your peace of mind.

Natural Selection  

At Home Yoga Space Light

Go through your home and pick out your permanent yoga spot. It can be a room or a corner of a room. I suggest picking a place with by a window or doors to let in sunlight and airflow. You can watch your practice change with the seasons.

You may enjoy decorating your space with natural elements, such as plants, flowers, and/or crystals. Candles are a great way to create natural light when you are practicing at night.

Practicing by a window and/or surrounded by natural elements can simulate the feeling of being outdoors. If you live somewhere, where the weather permits you may even want to consider setting up your yoga space outside. Immersing yourself in nature is a proven way to relieve stress.

Soften Your Space    

Instantly transform a drab room into a peaceful sanctuary by pinning a tapestry or sheet to the wall. Experiment with different colors and textures. Or if you’re feeling up to it decorate the walls (or an accent wall) with a soothing color or patterned wallpaper. You can also decorate with wall decals. Keeping pillows and blankets nearby is a great way to cozy up your space.

Find Focus

At Home Yoga Space Altar

Anchor your eyes and mind with an altar. You can turn a bookshelf, nightstand, dresser, or coffee table into an altar. Decorate your altar with anything you find beautiful or spiritual, whether it by sound bowls, ceramics, photos, or little ornaments. If you don’t have space for a full altar, a sculpture on the floor can focus your gaze. If you have even less space, a floating shelf with candles and/or a few devotional items can direct your drishti.

Tidy Space, Tidy Mind

At Home Yoga Space Props

You want to keep your yoga area uncluttered. But you also want to make sure you have all the props you need nearby. Keep cushions, blankets, foam blocks, and straps around for support. Buy a cute basket or box to organize your props and yoga mat. If you are using a dresser for an altar, store your props in one of the drawers. If your yoga space is in the corner of a room make sure the rest of the room is tidy.

 Scent-er Yourself

At Home Yoga Space Sage

Add some aromatherapy to your yoga space. Scented candles and/or essential oils can encourage you to breathe deeper into your practice. Lavender and rose are soothing scents for more restorative/ yin sessions, while citrus scents, like grapefruit and orange, are energizing for vinyasa sequences and power yoga.

Burning sage or incense can cleanse your space and create a tranquil ambiance. Burning sage ceremoniously separates your yoga space from the rest of your house and the time you spend in your practice from the rest of your day.

How do you like to decorate your home yoga space?


Co-authored by Chloe Lew. 

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