Mindfulness? What’s that?

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Mindfulness is the new “buzz word,” but what exactly does it mean???

When was the last time you ate a meal and savored all the flavors partying in your mouth? How about the last time you listened to the birds singing outside….or smelled the sweet scent of the summer air, the fall leaves, the air before a rain storm? We are constantly rushing around in life and we neglect to take a moment and just BE.  The definition of Mindfulness is:
 mind·ful·ness        ˈmīn(d)f(ə)lnəs/ noun
1the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
2.  a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
When was the last time you were consciously aware of your surroundings..the sights, the sounds, the smells, the temperature, the taste….
Many of us, myself included, rush around like a chicken without a head. Running errands, transporting several kids to different activities across town, helping your children with homework, cleaning, doing laundry, dishes, …only to crash at 9:00 on the couch and fall asleep as soon as you sit down. Then wake around midnight and crawl into bed, just to wake up at 6 am to do it all over again!  It’s a vicious cycle and you can  not even imaging the light at the end of this long, long tunnel. Many people cant even shut their cell phones off without creating panic and anxiety. This creates a constant state of fight or flight, anxiety and worry. These heightened emotions affects not only you but your household, your spouse, and your children.
 

Mindfulness is slowing yourself down. Taking it down a few notches. Being aware of  your feelings and your surroundings. Savoring the moment. A place where there is no time. A place to just Be

It’s not easy to sit quietly without multitasking. How do you stop internal chatter stop? How do you clear your mind? The answer is one that we teach our own children but rarely listen to ourselves. Practice. It takes practice, and sometimes a lot of it.

 Its important not to set yourself up for failure or to self sabotage. Start with just a few minutes a day, even 1 or 2 minutes. Increase your time by a minute each day, up to 10, 20, or 30 minutes. When thoughts enter your mind, acknowledge them, then allow them to be released. Focus on the way your body feels and the environment around you. It may help to put on relaxing music or a guided imagery. There are many free apps you could download. I find it helpful to do this with ear buds or head phones so I can focus on the music or the person talking in my ears during guided meditation or guided imagery.
Engage your children in a few minutes of “quiet time” each day. Do some relaxing breathing with them. Put on relaxing music or a guided imagery. Trust me, kids love this! The favorite part of the kids yoga class I teach is the relaxation at the end..and they don’t want it to end!
Mindfulness is being aware of the hustle and bustle of our lives and making a conscious decision to be aware of the present moment. Take a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness and you will be amazed how this new “buzz word” will change the quality of your life, your children’s life and your family’s life!
~Namaste

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Yoga 4 Kids is a unique yoga studio for kids only! Our yoga teachers are licensed clinical therapists. Our philosophy is that kids require to be “Healthy From The Inside Out!”

At Yoga 4 Kids, our yoga classes are infused with empowerment, mindfulness, breath work and social skills.

We empower kids to be the best version of themselves through challenging yoga poses, self-awareness, managing stress through breath work, and cooperation in working together and group work.

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Cheryl Kasper, LCSW
Cheryl Kasper, LCSW is a clinical social worker in private practice. Cheryl also owns Yoga 4 Kids where yoga is infused with mindfulness, relxation, coping strategies and empowerment.

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