With 2017 just around the corner, there's no better time to slow down, reflect, and try to incorporate some calm into our busy lives. If you're hoping to increase your focus on wellbeing in the new year, approaching 2017 mindfully is a great place to start. Practicing mindfulness means many different things to different people, from reducing your dependence on technology and increasing your awareness of the present moment, to decluttering in order to find calm. To enter the new year with good intentions and best habits in place, we spoke to yoga teacher and wellness guru Lisa Hedimann’s, who offers private yoga lessons with London’s newly launched yoga app Yogi2Me, to discover her top ten tips for mindfully seizing the New Year...
Keep it simple
There's no point coming up with 27 New Year's resolutions that are all forgotten by 6th January... pick something uncomplicated and achievable.
No need to go all feng-shui, but you'll probably find reaching inner peace a little easier in a calm, tidy environment.
Put your phone down
Yes, at 8am on Monday morning this might make you the only person on London's public transport system not texting, tweeting, Instagramming, or news checking, but all these things disconnect us from what is going on around us and living in the moment.
Take a deep breath
Don't just add "be more mindful" to your to do list, or schedule in time when you feel forced to sit in silence and meditate, because it will become a chore. Sometimes all it takes is to simply guide your mind back to the present moment by focusing on your breathing...
Leave your ego at the door
Often we take ourselves too seriously, letting the drama of the ego take over, tensing up and feeling annoyed at everything. Practice a little light-heartedness.
Just let go
All of us find it challenging to let go of questions buzzing around our mind constantly, getting caught up in worries about the past and the future. But just for a few moments, be an observer of your own thoughts and stop worrying. You'll be surprised how much more refreshed and grounded you feel.
Drop those grudges
What purpose are they serving? Think about starting 2017 with some more compassion towards those unresolved issues, disagreements or relationships.
We love judging, especially ourselves. Perhaps enjoying the journey to reaching some of your New Year's resolutions is more fruitful than judging our efforts by the final result.
Meditate on this
Mediation can be the easiest tool to help us stay in the present moment, but can also be the most difficult one to start and develop a regular practice in. Let's face it, sitting in comfortable stillness for long periods of time is challenging for the mind and the body, so start with just a few minutes per day and increase this little by little. Don't think you have enough time? Remember this Zen proverb: “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day — unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.”
Kick some asana
In yoga, asana is the physical practice of different postures, aimed at quietening the mind through coordination of breath and movement. Yoga can be a meditative exercise in itself and in addition to its physical benefits, it can help you to find that little bit of mindfulness off the mat. Find a yoga style you love and start practicing today.