Yoga beyond the mat: How mindfulness can change your life

By Hannah Moss

Welcome! Thank you for coming and for taking part in this wonderful festival. My name’s Hannah Moss, and I’d like to start with one simple, but very powerful statement. Mindfulness can change your life. I’ll say that again: Mindfulness can change your life.

Now, that might sound a bit grandiose, a bit far-fetched even. But I’m going to explain what I mean by sharing how it’s changed mine.

Becoming aware

I used to think I wasn’t good enough. That I’d never be successful. That people found me too shy, too awkward, too quirky or too weird. And I grew up thinking my Dad didn’t really like me that much.

Today, I’m pleased to say that none of that any longer holds true. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I still have negative thoughts. I still feel very self-conscious at times and can feel almost crippled by worrying about what other people think. But, the difference is that I’m now AWARE of these thoughts. And I know that they’re simply that – thoughts. And thoughts definitely do not always equal facts.

So, what’s changed? I’m still not particularly successful – not in a career-driven, ambitious kind of way at least. People probably do find me a little awkward or weird at times. And my Dad may well find me difficult to understand or a bit of a nuisance from time to time, even if he doesn’t actually dislike me. So, nothing external has physically changed. But what has changed is my internal landscape. The way I see the things around me, the perspective from which I CHOOSE to look out on the world.

Making choices

And it is a choice. Every single one of us can choose how we see the world. How we relate to others. How we react to situations. How we deal with our emotions. Nobody else can make us do these things. Nobody else can make us feel a certain way. This power is entirely our own. Yes, our choices are inevitably affected by our past experiences, but they are still choices. And we CAN become empowered to make these choices.

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking we’re a victim. “It’s so unfair!” “Why is this happening to me?” “It’s all his fault!” “She made me feel this way.” Well, I’ve got news for you – that’s total crap! No-one can MAKE you feel anything. It’s your choice. Yes, someone’s actions can cause you to feel a certain way. Perhaps something they said or did triggered something in you that CAUSED you to feel angry. But they didn’t MAKE you feel angry; you did that by yourself. They may even have pressed your buttons and triggered you on purpose, wanting to provoke you and knowing how to do it. But you STILL have a choice as to how you react to that trigger.

Two wings of mindfulness

OK, so how do we make these choices that might feel impossible at first? And how did I change my internal landscape to see the world differently? In my opinion, and in my experience, it all boils down to two things: awareness and compassion. And, as I explain in my book The Practice of Mindful Yoga (yes, that’s my first shameless plug!) these are also the two wings of mindfulness: awareness and compassion. This idea has always resonated with me, but the more I reflect on it, and the more examples I come across in everyday life, the stronger it gets.

Because I have more awareness about who I am, how I operate in the world, and how I relate to others, than I ever have before, I’m able to see things more clearly and hold things more lightly. So, when I feel angry, or frustrated, or anxious, I’m able to hold that feeling as well as hold the position of the observer of that feeling. So, I don’t BECOME anger, I simply FEEL anger. And, as we all know, feelings change. They come and go. You know this feeling will eventually pass so it doesn’t have to completely consume you. One of my favourite phrases that an old friend taught me, and that has helped me and others countless times in the past, is, “You won’t always feel this way”.

I can even laugh at myself sometimes. During my monthly cycle I can become incredibly clumsy and accident prone, which isn’t like me at all. When I start knocking into things and dropping things on the floor, I can get very frustrated with myself. But then I bring awareness to the situation and realise it must be that time of the month again and have a little chuckle to myself. How fascinating that this happens on a monthly basis – isn’t the world a weird and wonderful place?!

Recently, during my weekly swim at the King Alfred, I was approaching the end of a lane doing breast stroke and getting ready to do a quick turn into a faster front crawl length. But a woman who had paused at the end of the lane decided to push off just at that same moment, causing me to have to stop and wait for her to get ahead. I felt so annoyed. “How dare she cut me up like that! That’s so rude!” I spent the next 2 lengths feeling very put-upon and having all sorts of imaginary conversations with her in my head, telling her what I thought of her and how rude she is. But, gradually, as I brought more awareness to the situation, I started to see how comical it all was. The chances are, she had no idea she’d cut me up, or caused me to feel so annoyed. She didn’t know I was about to do a faster length, and might have thought she should go ahead otherwise she’d catch up with me! In any case, she would have been completely oblivious to the thoughts and feelings going on inside me, so there I was getting all het up, huffing and puffing away inside my head, and the only person it was affecting was me!

So, awareness not only means becoming aware of the present moment, but aware of our own thoughts, behaviours and reactions. Rather than trying to change external circumstances that are outside our control, can we become aware of our response to them? Suffering is inevitable. With mindful awareness we’re not trying to escape from suffering, merely improve our relationship with it.

Understanding suffering

There are two quotes about suffering I’d like to share with you. The first is by Jon Kabat-Zinn, the scientist, writer, and meditation teacher attributed with bringing mindfulness to the West. He says, “Suffering is perfectly natural… it is not always the pain per se, but the way we see it and react to it, that determines the degree of suffering we experience. And it is the suffering we experience the most, not the pain.”

The second is from the late American author and therapist, Virginia Satir, who said, “Life is not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.”

Strangely, two of my exes both lost their fathers at the age of 8. But the differences in how they dealt with this situation were immense. One let the pain and suffering overwhelm him so much that he spent at least the next two decades feeling sorry for himself, like a victim, and blaming most of his problems on the fact he’d lost his father as a child. By contrast, the other ex chose to turn this suffering around and not let it ruin his life. If anything, it actually made him more determined to live his life to the full and make his dad proud.

Finding compassion

So, it’s awareness that first brings clarity to a situation and then compassion that helps us deal with it. Compassion for both ourselves and others. Can we put ourselves in the other person’s shoes? Can we imagine what might be going on for them? Similarly, can we be a little kinder to ourselves, even treat ourselves with the same compassion we’d offer to a close friend or loved one? It’s often said that we need to love ourselves and be kind to ourselves first before we can offer the same to another. But some people find this incredibly hard, so in that case, maybe it’s easier to start developing more empathy and compassion towards others first, before learning to turn the same kindness towards ourselves.

Bringing awareness and compassion together

So, the first step to making any changes in our life, is awareness. We can’t resolve any of the issues we’re facing, or find a solution to a problem, if we’re not aware that there is a problem in the first place. We can experience this when a loved one is going through a difficult time, perhaps facing an addiction, anxiety or depression. Even though we might be able to see what they need, or think we know what they “should” do, we’re powerless to help them until they can see this themselves. They need to become aware.

During meditation, we’re often encouraged by our teachers and guides to try not to get caught up with our thoughts. Can we be aware that our thoughts are merely thoughts, not necessarily facts, and that we can choose not to engage with them?

Similarly, can we bring awareness to our emotions? When we’re feeling anxious or sad, it’s easy to let this feeling overwhelm us and take over our whole being, so that we know nothing in this moment except this anxiety or sadness. But, instead of BEING anxiety, can we find a way to hold this more lightly and recognise that it’s simply an emotion that will pass? So, “I feel anxious” but I can also feel other emotions at the same time. Bringing more awareness to our emotions can help to diffuse them and stop them becoming all-consuming.

When it comes to compassion, can we develop more empathy for other people and try putting ourselves in their shoes more? One example I offer in my book is to imagine you’re walking down the street carrying some shopping bags and someone hurries past you, knocking into you. Your initial reaction might be anger, or at least irritation. How dare they knock into you? Why didn’t they look where they were going? This feeling might even stay with you for some time, as you recover from the shock and the feeling of being wronged. But what if you could take a moment to put yourself in the other person’s shoes? I wonder why they were in such a hurry? Maybe they were late for a job interview? Perhaps a loved one has been in an accident, or is about to give birth? Who knows what’s going on for the other person. They might have felt awful about bumping into you but didn’t have time to stop and apologise. You probably would have done the same in their shoes. If you can bring mindful awareness, compassion and curiosity to this situation, you can choose how you react and probably stop yourself feeling worked up about it – which is only hurting YOU anyway!

Practice: Focussing on sounds

OK, so at this point I’d like to invite you to join me in one of my favourite mindfulness practices. It’s called “Focussing on sounds” and is a great way to become aware of your surroundings in the present moment.

Hannah Moss at Brighton Yoga Festival

Make sure you’re sitting comfortably. If you’re sitting in a chair you ideally want your legs uncrossed with both feet flat on the floor, and your lower back right up against the back of the chair, so you can keep your spine straight, slightly away from the backrest. Now close your eyes, or lower and soften your gaze if you’re keeping them open. Take 3 deep breaths in and out of your nose, to take the attention inwards and fully land in your body…

And now I invite you to simply notice what you can hear. There might be sounds close by or far away, loud or quiet, short & sharp or continuous drones. Perhaps you can hear voices or birds outside this room, shuffling noises nearby, or even sounds inside your own body, such as creaks, gurgles or the sound of your own breath…

Whatever sounds you hear, try not to attach any meaning or judgement to them. You’re simply a curious observer, taking in all that you can hear. Try not to fixate on any one sound, but keep your ears open for whatever might arise next…

And then, when you’re ready, gently open your eyes and come back into the room. Hopefully you’re feeling a little calmer and a little more grounded.

If you like this practice, it’s a great one to try any time you feel lost, overwhelmed or ungrounded. You can do it pretty much anywhere, and I find including it as part of a formal meditation practice is a really helpful way to stay focussed on the present.

My yoga journey

OK, so what does all this have to do with yoga?

Well, if you know me, or you’ve read my book, you’ll know I’ve been practising yoga since the age of 19, so about 24 years now. For 6 of those years I had a daily Ashtanga practice, which meant getting up at 5:30 every day and sweating out a strong, almost 2-hour yoga practice on the mat before work. 6 days a week. For 6 years. It was intense! Ashtanga is one of the most dynamic yoga styles and I got so many benefits from it. It made me fit, strong and flexible. It showed me things about myself I didn’t know before. And my two 3-month trips to its birthplace in Mysore, India, plugged me into a global Ashtanga community where I made the most amazing connections that I’ll always be grateful for.

But, one of the things about Ashtanga is that there’s a set sequence to follow. Everyone starts at the same place and your teacher gives you the next posture in the sequence when they think you’re ready. This makes for an amazing atmosphere in a traditional Mysore-style Ashtanga class, as everyone is moving and breathing to their own rhythm at their own pace. But, what I found, after 6 years of practice, is that I started to practise it mindlessly. A lot of people have said to me, when I’ve mentioned the concept of mindful yoga, “Surely yoga, by its very nature, IS mindful?” Well, yes a lot of the time it is, but, in my experience, not always.

Losing the connection

I was simply rolling out my mat each morning and going through the motions. My mind wasn’t even there any more. I’d lost touch with why I’d started practising in the first place. Now, I’m not saying it’s not possible to practise Ashtanga mindfully – I actually know many people who do, and I’m sure the more you practise, the more insights you gather about your own personality, habits, and patterns of behaviour. But, for me, it wasn’t working anymore. So I stopped. And I started moving towards more mindful styles of yoga, where the emphasis isn’t on how a pose looks from the outside, but on how it feels from the inside. And that really resonated with me. I realised that yoga shouldn’t be about one-size-fits-all; it should be about finding what works for you and your body. Because although we’re all connected and all share the same fundamental needs and desires, we’re also individuals. We’re beautifully and fascinatingly unique.

A little while after I stopped practising Ashtanga, a fellow yogi was chatting to a friend of hers who worked for a local publishing company. They’d been publishing a series of books on mindfulness and thought it was about time they included one on yoga. My friend suggested they contact me, so when I was approached, asking if I’d like to write a book about mindfulness and yoga, and drawing on my personal experiences to do so, I jumped at the chance! It felt like a wonderful moment of synchronicity.

Yoga beyond the mat

This concept of “yoga beyond the mat” is something I’ve been hearing a lot lately. There’s a class I’ve been going to that’s billed as “yoga for stress and anxiety” and the teacher talks about how yoga practitioners often say how great they feel after a class, but now they have to go back into the “real world” and back to their “normal” lives. So, what if there doesn’t have to be such a disconnect? What if we could take some of the lessons, the wisdom, the insight that we discover on the mat and integrate it into the rest of our life off the mat?

I’ve also been hearing a lot about yoga beyond the mat at work lately. The work I do is around authentic yoga marketing – helping yoga and wellbeing businesses thrive online by making sure they have a high-performing website, growing an engaged community using email marketing, and publishing regular, high quality content on their website via a blog. The work that one of our US yoga clients is doing at the moment really resonated with me. Yoga is big business in the US and it’s easy to think you have to be posting images of bikini-clad arm balances on tropical beaches, or videos of your latest yoga “achievements” on social media in order to get ahead. I beg to differ.

For me, what really counts in a yoga teacher, and makes them stand out in the sea of yoga noise, is integrity. Have they put the work in? Are they teaching from a place of experience? Do they practise what they preach? Do their values and messaging align with mine? These are the kind of questions that matter to me. And, having practised yoga for over 24 years now, I’ve come across a lot of teachers!

So, when I started working with Amy of Yoga With Spirit, and began to understand more about what and how she teaches, I felt a strong affinity with her. Woven throughout her classes, workshops, teacher trainings, one-to-one sessions and online yoga master class, is this idea of taking yoga beyond the mat. And that yoga philosophy has so much to offer and teach us. I think for many people the idea of “yoga philosophy” and particularly Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, is that it’s a bit stuffy, academic and old-school. That the sutras are just some ancient text steeped in tradition that has no bearing on today’s world – it merely represents material we must learn by heart in order to pass an exam or teacher training course.

An exercise in Sauca (purity)

I’d like to share with you one of the exercises Amy includes in her online Yoga Philosophy Master Class. This is taken from her class on Sauca, which means purity, and is one of the Niyamas listed in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. The Niyamas are inner observances, or positive duties we can direct towards ourselves. The exercise is called “People Change the People Around Them” and starts with 2 brief stories. The first is called:

A Little Story about a Commuter Train Conductor

There’s a conductor on one of the commuter trains that runs on weekday mornings from my little town into Philadelphia that commuters talk about.

He is always super cheerful as he walks through the train checking tickets. He has a great smile. He remembers the people he sees day to day. He asks about their jobs or their kids. He comments about it being a great day no matter the weather. He is welcoming and his friendly demeanor makes his train feel like a community.

All who have met him agree that he sends you off into your day with a smile.

I don’t know if he knows that he is “known” in our town, but I sure hope he is. He makes such an impact on the commuters in our community that even a non-commuter like me knows of him.

And the second one is:

A Little Story of an Unknown Angry Driver

Just the other day, I was driving to my acupuncture appointment. There was a decent amount of traffic so there were longer than usual waits at each light.

There’s a spot along this way where the left lane, without warning, becomes a left-turn-only lane. This regularly causes a little kerfuffle as drivers who don’t know the area realize they need to get out of the left lane and others realize they need to move over.

On this particular day, the pick-up truck behind me had been trying valiantly (with his turn signal on) to get over into the left lane. He was thwarted because of the jammed traffic. As we got closer to the turn-off, he had no choice but to angle his truck into the left lane and wait for the cars ahead of him to move so he could get in. This obviously slowed the cars behind him. As he eased further into the left lane, the car behind him pulled up alongside of him aggressively.

I watched in my rearview mirror as the driver of that car rolled down her window and started screaming at him. She was screaming with all her might and with great venom. Astonished at the power of her reaction, I couldn’t tear my eyes away and even cracked my window so I could hear. She sounded like a lunatic as she cursed him out.

I know she’ll never know this, but her behavior that afternoon left a mark not only on her victim, but on me too. So much of an impression that I’m sharing it with you right now!

She then invites students to spend a few minutes imagining they’re in these stories and what they’d say to these people if they could meet them. And she poses various reflection questions to encourage students to think about any times when their own or others’ words and reactions have influenced others or shaped the world around them. Looking back, she asks them to think of a time when they could have used perspective to change their experience.

This is something I think we could all benefit from. I’m sure we can all think of times when we’ve either been shocked by another’s behaviour, or have regretted something we’ve said or done to someone and wish we could go back in time and do it differently. The old adage, “Think before you act” is very relevant here. Perhaps if we can remember to pause in future, to take a deep breath before reacting, we might be able to change a situation for the better.

Two secondary wings of mindfulness

So, yoga philosophy gives us so many nuggets of wisdom – about how to understand ourselves better, how to be more compassionate towards others, how to communicate better, how to develop acceptance of the parts we don’t like – in both ourselves and others. And, for me, at the heart of all this – what I see as the common thread running through every spiritual practice and philosophy – is mindfulness.

As I’ve said, the two main wings of mindfulness are awareness and compassion. But for me, there are two other, secondary, wings if you like, which are equally as important: acceptance and gratitude.

So, we might be aware of a strong feeling we’re experiencing, but we can still have great resistance to it. Or we might feel resistance towards a particular situation, wishing we didn’t have to do a particular task or that it wasn’t happening at all. But if we can find some acceptance – that it’s ok to feel hurt or annoyed or resentful – or surrender to the situation, we might just find that things start to become a little easier.

Practising gratitude is so simple but can be incredibly powerful. One of my favourite quotes, that I think was said by Oprah Winfrey is, “If you always focus on what you don’t have, you’ll never, ever have enough.”

It’s so easy to see the negative in our lives and to only see what’s missing. “If only I could have this…” “I wish I had more of that…” “I’ll be happier when….” But, why not be happy now? If we can switch our focus to what we DO have and find a sense of appreciation for all the wonderful things we have in our lives – a roof over our head, nice food to eat, people who love us, being able to get out into nature and appreciate the sea, the sun, the birds, the trees – then we can shift our perspective in a profound way.

There’s an old saying that goes, “It is not happy people who are grateful, but grateful people who are happy.” So, if you want to, you can decide to be happy right now. Not tomorrow, not next year, but NOW! And gratitude is a really useful tool to help us do this.

Practice: Gratitude

So, let’s take a moment to practise some gratitude. Again, I invite you to close your eyes to help turn your attention inwards. Take a deep breath in through the nose… and slowly exhale through the nose. Now, take a moment to think about one thing you’re grateful for from this morning. It could be as simple as a nice cup of coffee you had, or that you were on time for an appointment, or that someone smiled at you in the street…

Now think about one thing you’re grateful for that happened this week. Again, it could be small, or more significant. Perhaps something positive happened at work, or you received some good news, or a friend did something nice for you…

Now think of a person in your life for whom you’re grateful and why. It could be a loved one or close friend, a colleague, a neighbour, or a fellow member of a community. Just take a moment to appreciate them and experience the gratitude you feel towards them…

And then when you’re ready, gently open your eyes and come back into the room.

Hopefully you found it relatively easy to find things and people you’re grateful for. And you can probably already see how beneficial it is. Simply focusing on the positive things in our lives helps us feel more connected, more compassionate and, ultimately, happier. So, try this simple practise every night before you go to sleep and see what effect it has for you. You might even want to start a gratitude journal so you can record your thankful thoughts.

Reconnecting with myself

At the beginning of this year I came out of yet another relationship. It wasn’t a very long relationship but it still felt quite significant. At the age of 42 and desperately wanting a family, every relationship that ended made me feel more and more of a failure. I sunk into quite a low place in my life and I see now that what I thought I had become were simply symptoms of this depressive state I had gotten into. I didn’t feel much like socialising, I couldn’t bear the thought of venturing outside my comfort zone, and I was just trying to get through each day as best I could, collapsing in front of the TV and comfort eating to try to numb the pain – even though I knew I’d feel worse for it. I felt like I was constantly on the edge of losing it, and almost screamed at a friend once when I felt unheard and misunderstood. I knew things weren’t going great but I’d lost the tools to pull myself out of it.

Then, suddenly, everything changed. I went to a one-day women’s wellness festival called RestFest and was reminded of all the great tools available to me that I’d been neglecting – yoga, meditation, gratitude, journalling, conscious dance, my connection to the Angels and the Universe, and of course – mindfulness. A few days later it was Spring Equinox and I literally felt like I was coming out of hibernation. Suddenly, the whole world looked brighter, things felt lighter and easier, and I had a fresh new perspective on my life. I realised I’d lost touch with my intuition, my inner wisdom and guidance. And these wonderful tools helped me reconnect with that, as well as restore my faith in the Universe.

So, even though my situation hadn’t changed, my inner landscape had. I was seeing the world through a different lens. And I felt like a completely different person. I felt happy and free for the first time in months. And I had faith that everything would work out just the way it’s meant to. I felt back in my flow.

I bought some oracle cards by Gabrielle Bernstein called The Universe Has Your Back and one of my favourite cards so far, which I kept “coincidentally” pulling around that time (I use speech marks because I don’t actually believe in coincidence!), is “My happiness is a direct reflection of my level of faith in the universe”. So, this was another example of perfect synchronicity!

And another great happiness quote which I recently read in Psychologies magazine, which was said by someone called Denis Waitley is, “Happiness cannot be travelled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.”

Since re-finding my flow, everything has changed and I now find myself in the most wonderful situation that I couldn’t even have imagined only 4 months ago. And I truly believe that’s down to shifting my perspective of the world, which helped restore my faith in the Universe and bring about such positive change.

How to be mindful in everyday life

So, how can we apply these practices to our everyday lives? There are a few things I like to do to help me remember to be mindful, and some of them might resonate with you too.

Get outside

Getting outside into nature is a great one, and it’s possible wherever you live. I try to get out for a walk every day even if it’s only for 15 minutes. I’m lucky to live near the sea so I get to see it most days. I always feel better after being outside and often have inspired thoughts, or a change in perspective. I also make a point of not getting my phone out whilst I’m out walking, but try to look around more, to notice and appreciate what’s around me, and become more aware of my surroundings.

Eat mindfully

I’ve been trying to eat more intuitively lately. So, mindful eating isn’t about restricting what you eat, but simply becoming aware of how different foods affect you – both physically as well as emotionally. My motto is “everything in moderation” as long as you’re eating with awareness & compassion. I believe it’s far better to eat a piece of cake feeling good about it, and really enjoying it, than being racked with guilt – which probably causes more harm to your mental and emotional health than the sugar and calories do to your physical health!

Take back control

There’s so much anxiety and depression around these days. I see it all around me, even in friends and family. People are becoming overwhelmed and they don’t know how to cope. One of the biggest issues I see is that people are feeling out of control but what they don’t realise is they actually have all the control. You can change your life, in fact you’re the only one who can change it. All you need to do is shift your perspective. Once you realise you can change how you see the world and how you relate to others by changing your thought patterns, behaviours and the way you react, your whole world will shift.

Put it down

It’s worth remembering that whatever you’re feeling, you can put it down. You can put down your negative emotions, your spiralling thoughts, the things you tell yourself that aren’t helpful about who you are. The facilitator on a recent rebirthing day I went on said, quite bluntly, “You’re never gonna sort your shit out! But you can put it down.” It’s your choice.

Practise mindful yoga

And when it comes to yoga, maybe you’d like to try approaching your practice with more awareness and curiosity. What if you do something differently, perhaps move into a posture in a new way. If you usually dive straight into the full expression of a pose, what if you hold back, move slower, let gravity play more of a part, let your body soften into the pose? If you usually practise slowly, what if you tried being a bit more dynamic? Introducing more flow, build up some heat? See how your body’s feeling in the moment. You might want to remain in stillness in a posture, or you might feel like moving, exploring, flowing. Listen to your body and see what it wants.

Tips for a mindful life

We can apply mindfulness to every area of our life – from our health and wellness, to how we communicate and relate to others, to how we deal with and handle our emotions, to how we can reduce our carbon footprint and live more in harmony with the planet. So, finally, I’d like to end with a few tips to inspire you to keep practising and hopefully boost your mood, and overall wellbeing:

  • Try to see the good in everything and everyone. We all have the same basic underlying needs; it’s just how we try to get those needs met can be very different.
  • Smiling is infectious, so smile at someone today and watch them smile back.
  • Go outside as often as you can to appreciate nature and fresh air. As Matt Haig once said, “Look at the sky; remind yourself of the cosmos. Seek vastness at every opportunity in order to see the smallness of yourself.”
  • Practise gratitude daily. Remember: feeling happy is a skill, not a gift – it’s all about the daily practice.
  • Remember to breathe deeply.
    When you’re feeling sad, low, hurt or angry, remember you won’t always feel like this.
  • Try to find moments of stillness in your day. As Brené Brown says, “Stillness is not about focussing on nothing; it’s about creating a clearing. It’s opening up an emotionally clutter-free space and allowing ourselves to feel and think and dream and question.” And Eckhart Tolle said, “When you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself. When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world.”
  • When it comes to your yoga practice, find a teacher you resonate with.
  • Focus on how yoga feels from the inside, not how it looks from the outside.
  • Yoga, meditation and mindfulness are lifelong practices. They’re about the journey, not the destination. So, enjoy the ride!
  • Experiment, be curious, play, and have fun!

Thanks for listening. I hope there are some useful nuggets you can take away from my talk, and perhaps feel inspired to make small changes in your life.

Further reading

If you’d like to learn more about mindful yoga, about breathing techniques, and about mindful practices such as mindful eating and walking, loving speech and deep listening, loving kindness, body scanning, focusing on sounds, labelling thoughts and practising gratitude – then check out my book The Practice of Mindful Yoga – A Connected Path to Awareness.

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