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20 Ideas for Cultivating a Mindful Summer

Ah, summer. Here we go! While it’s usually a fun-filled, busy time of year that we all try to fit as much into as possible, it’s also important to remember to take some time.

(Like, for doing slow, meticulous, quiet things.)

But first, what is mindfulness?

“Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.” mindful.org/what-is-mindfulness

Here are 20 ideas to help you have a mindful summer:

  1. Walk in the rain
  2. Meditate outside
  3. Go for a walk by yourself without your phone
  4. Go for a hike
  5. Sit by a waterfall
  6. Read a book on mindfulness
  7. Practice conscious breathing
  8. Pet an animal in silence for 5 minutes
  9. Go earthing
  10. Paint on canvas
  11. Commit to keeping a journal
  12. Write some poetry
  13. Eat an entire meal in silence
  14. Take a 24-hour technology break
  15. Create a peaceful space in your house
  16. Intentionally watch a sunrise AND sunset
  17. Practice daily gratitude
  18. Initiate a conversation with a homeless person
  19. Volunteer somewhere
  20. Stretch for 5 minutes every day

Wanna be especially mindful? Try going through this list every month! Or sharing it with others. Or adding your own ideas to it.

To be extra awesome, try attending a yoga class three times a week or more! By the end of the summer, you’ll be thanking yourself for both upping your mindful game and getting in shape, both physically and mentally.

And spiritually!

And because we’re big fans of yoga and nature in combination, we’re offering Yoga in the Park on Wednesdays at 8:30pm starting in July. Attending this class each week can help you add yoga to your schedule while practicing with the birds and the bees.

For more information, visit our website or stop by the studio. Happy Summer, friends!

Namaste, lovely yogis.

 

 

Living with Intent

We hear a lot about mindfulness and intention within the walls of Parallel Yoga, but what do these words really mean? What do they mean to you? Living mindfully and with intent is a way to steer your daily life in the direction of your goals.

It’s also a way to be certain you’re taking full advantage of each and every day, because most of us glide through our weeks looking forward to the weekend—that is to say we “get through” things in order to appreciate what’s on the other side.

But what if the “getting through” is what we should be focusing on? We may never reach the other side, but we certainly have this moment, right here, right now.

When we choose to live with intent, we choose to slow down and consciously make decisions about our actions, and reflect on how our actions will affect other actions that take place after. We recognize that life is fleeting, and by taking the extra time to capture small moments around us, we become more attune to what we may not notice if we didn’t mindfully decide to do so.

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” –Lao Tzu

Here are some ways to help you practice living with intent:

Practice Gratitude

We are all grateful for a variety of our life’s gifts, but we often forget to acknowledge this gratitude. By actively taking time each day to recognize what we have to be grateful for, it reminds us to be gentle, have patience, and appreciate life’s incredible gifts, both big and small.

Say Thank You

As with gratitude, we are all thankful. Take a few minutes at the end of each day to say aloud (to your family or just yourself) what you are thankful for. Even on our worst days, we are all thankful for much. Saying what we’re thankful for aloud on a regular basis helps to remind us that life is not a guarantee and to develop a deeper appreciation for what may seem to be mundane.

Meditate for 5 Minutes Each Day

The 5-minute meditation is practiced by more than just a handful of people—in fact, its popularity as a way to recharge and slow down has been helping people from all over the globe in all aspects of life to gain insight, develop new ideas, and flow through their days more easily and with grace.

Just Listen

Do us a favour: walk outside, stand in Mountain Pose, close your eyes, and just listen. Maintain this for 30 seconds, and you’ll gain a temporary appreciation for what you don’t usually notice. If you do this everyday, that temporary appreciation will become permanent.

Practice Conscious Breathing

You can do this anywhere. In the car, at your desk, in bed before you drift off to sleep, or anywhere else you can think of. Just the action of consciously breathing in deep, slow breaths and then slowly letting them out is extremely relaxing and great for your parasympathetic nervous system.

Try to practice conscious breathing for 8-10 breaths, 2-3 times per day, every day.

Make Stretching Part of Your Daily Routine

Even 5 minutes of stretching each day can help your body to release tension and assist in injury prevention. Do it alone, in a safe and quiet space. Close your eyes.

Practice Yoga

Because yoga envelops so many of the above suggestions, committing to 2-3 yoga classes a week can result in huge rewards in the long-term.

Be Kind to Nature

Remember, living with intent means making choices regarding all of our actions. The next time you go to swat a fly or kill a spider, try and direct the insect outdoors, instead. Everything created by nature has a purpose, and it’s not up to us to decide what is more valuable than another.

Pet a dog. Feed a bird. Love what nature has provided for us.

Give Yourself Time

Don’t rush—instead, give yourself the time you need to experience what you need to within your day, and not have to worry and stress. Leave for an appointment ten minutes early. Don’t wait until you feel sick to eat.

Treat yourself with the respect you deserve, and don’t rush. Slow down. Breathe consciously. Stretch. Practice yoga and meditate. Notice nature and listen to her sounds. Be thankful and grateful and love your life—it’s a gift, remember. Don’t accidentally waste it.

By choosing to live with intent, we can enrich our lives in many ways.

Namaste.