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Mindfulness at Work

By: NATASHA BRYANT

Tuesday 12 March 2019

As a children’s yoga instructor, I often get asked by parents and caregivers for ways in which they can encourage mindful practices with their young ones. Now I could give you lots of different techniques, breathing exercises etc. but my most solid bit of advice would be look after yourself first. How often have you seen your little ones copy something you do? Maybe it’s a toddler wiping his highchair, a pre-schooler putting on your shoes, or your teenager giving you an attitude you may possibly have seen somewhere before. The point is these little people are looking to us. Their games involve role playing where they act out their version of our lives. If you want them to be more mindful, the best place to start is with yourself. By adapting your own mindful practice, you are making it the norm. Let them join in with your practices, talk about what it is you are doing and invite their questions. You will find that you will learn just as much from them.

Showing them and letting them be part of your practice is wonderful but let’s not forget, you need some real ‘you’ time too. It’s not selfish to take this time just for you, it is necessary. Schedule it into your day as you would an important meeting. Even if it’s just 5 minutes. Even now as you are reading this, start by taking a deep breath, relax the jaw and on an exhale, relax the shoulders down. Try it again but this time sitting up nice and tall, uncross your legs and just find that ease. Give yourself permission to close the eyes and just take 5 deep, slow breaths in this way. Just 5 breaths... You have chosen to take a mini moment of self-care, go you! Can you commit to this each day? Maybe taking just a couple more minutes? Maybe you need more guidance or someone to help keep you accountable. Yoga and meditation classes are obviously the ideal here, but if you really can’t go for that right now here is one way you can practice at home or in the work place:

Find a relaxing piece of music (I often use Spotify or YouTube). When choosing your song, notice the length of the song. If you only have 5 minutes, choose one that is 5 minutes. This way you are not tempted to clock watch and are free to focus on your breath. Get comfortable, sit up tall on your yoga mat, blanket, chair or bed. Close the eyes. Notice any thoughts that come to you, and they will come to you, but just bring it back to the breath. This might feel strange the first time you do it, you might laugh, you may even cry but just be present with it. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is you feel without judgement. You may even choose to focus on a mantra during this time. The repetition of a mantra (positive word or phrase) is thought to affirm its meaning to ourselves and change our thought process.

Try one of these or come up with your own:
  • I am enough
  • I am Strong
  • I give myself permission to slow down
  • Everything I need is within me 

Woman doing yoga - Mindfulness at Work

Be the change you wish to see in the world. Fill your own cup first. They have become such clichéd sayings but they couldn’t be truer. You deserve to be at your best and I truly admire you for taking steps to do this even if it was just sitting down and taking the time to read this article. You are amazing. Enjoy your practice and remember, you guide the direction of your energy and you are powerful.

 

Check out local Yoga and Mindfulness classes for Children and adults on my website:
www.amazingmeyoga.weebly.com

 

Further reading: 

Early years educators 'your well-being matters' too - Dr. Jennifer Pope

 

Bio:

Natasha Bryant is a mother of two young children and runs her own children’s yoga classes under the name Amazing Me Yoga. As someone who has suffered through illness, chronic pain and anxiety, health and wellness became very important to her. Natasha started as a gym instructor and very quickly fell in love with working with her body rather than against it. What started as a love for exercise soon grew when she realised it was just as important to look after ones mental health. She trained through Rainbow kids yoga and is passionate about learning more and more everyday. Now Natasha specialises in bringing yoga and mindfulness to children and families around the Dublin area. 

1 comments Comments

One Response

  1. Evelyn Murphy says:

    what a lovely piece, well done Natasha. Sometimes we forget about ourselves as we are always putting others first. We should all practice mindful moments and should be proud of who we are and what we can achieve. Thank you Natasha

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