Memorial Day is a holiday of reflection and contemplation. It’s also a time to be grateful for the calm in your life before the craziness of summer arrives.
We’ve interviewed two yogis who we think keep their Memorial Day Mindfulness and have keenly learned to live in the present.
Photo Courtesy: Stephanie Manning
The present moment is real - I often struggle with looking into tomorrow or behind in the past. In order to experience the present moment, I like to tune into these three things: they are easy, sweet and simple.
1) Your Five senses ( yep you know them: see, hear, feel, taste & smell ). Look around you—notice the beautiful landscape, taste the coffee in your mouth, feel the chair under you, smell the fresh cut grass, listen to the sound of the lawn mower. Be aware of all of them!
2) Notice your breathing—is it rapid? Try taking a slow five-count inhale and a slow seven-count exhale. When you are aware of your breathing you are fully present ! Don't ever forget it!
3) Notice your thoughts. They are going to come and go (inevitably) but they are just thoughts —-let them pass. If this seems challenging, go back to your breathing. When you listen to your breath, you are unable to think about anything else.
Awareness of these three things not only grounds me but enables me to be fully present. When we have the ability to become present we are able to give and receive so much more.
Yogi and Kore Movement Founder, Jennifer Glass, sees Memorial Day as the perfect day to practice living in the present. “By living mindfully, you're living in the present moment—cultivating a happier well-being by truly feeling and experiencing Memorial Day. This Memorial Day, pay purposeful attention during the time you're spending with family and friends creating new memories.”
Jennifer recommends choosing gratitude. Be mindful of the specific reason you're grateful. Take pause throughout the weekend to reflect on all the reasons you're grateful for the brave past and present Armed Forces who have impacted the freedom we all get to experience this weekend.
How you can extend mindfulness to others this holiday weekend:
- Pause with your family to take a "mindful moment of gratitude" and each talk about specific reasons you're grateful.
- If you're an instructor offer free mindfulness lessons, yoga to those who previously or currently serve.
- Lead a meditation class themed around mindfulness and gratitude.
At Johnny Was, we always choose the present. There’s no better time to embrace the ones you love and be grateful for the gifts of the universe. Peace & Enjoy!