How can you incorporate mindful practices into your everyday activities? It takes consistent practice to bring your full self to the moment intentionally. Focusing on your breathing during yoga or a meditation session in the morning can strengthen your mental stamina throughout the day.
Did your mind wander in the few seconds it took you to read the first three sentences of this post?
Give yourself some grace. With 24/7 access to photos, videos, and other media, it isn't easy to concentrate. Everyone and everything is vying for your attention.
To help me strengthen my attention span, I use my phone. That may sound counterproductive, but through my phone, I have apps for meditation and yoga. I also use the alarm feature to measure time sitting in silence.
Last Thursday, I finished an online course on the topic of mindfulness. During the third week of the six-week course, we discussed the commercialization of mindful practices. We explored the use of technology in helping others develop more awareness of activities such as eating, walking, and sitting.
From my positive experiences with the use of apps to support meditation and yoga, I suggested that the commodification of ancient mindful practices is a step in the right direction. Through apps, videos, and digital texts, vast populations can learn about and experience the benefits of bringing more attention to breathing and moving.
My introduction to mindfulness did not happen at a Buddhist temple. I saw a YouTube video, read a book, and took multiple yoga classes; they sparked my interest in bringing more alertness to my everyday activities.
To help build your concentration and focus skills, here’s a challenge for you. Exercise once over the next seven days without music. Respond to several email messages minus the YouTube videos playing in the background. Eat two dinners with your family without the phone on the table.
This push toward developing more mindful moments is not easy. I trained capoeira, responded to multiple emails, and ate without the phone nearby this week. It sucked, but each experiment helped me feel more attentive to activities that I often do without being fully present.
Use your tech resources as critical tools to help repair broken attention spans.
Here’s another suggestion to encourage intentional silence around your daily activities. Post one picture or video of you practicing yoga or meditating on your favorite social media platform.
Your feed can serve as a meaningful space to display and teach others healthy activities.
If you think yoga is only for women and you might lose followers or friends, with a picture of your downward dog pose, that's foolish. Use your platform to disrupt sexist beliefs. Men and women practice yoga.
I practice yoga and meditate at least three times a week. The header picture is from Monday’s session.
To further encourage your mindful beginnings, I added a 10-minute meditation video to the Capoeira In-tune Training Vault. Episode 11 of 111, March Meditation, shares breathtaking footage from the stunning view of Antigua's Signal Hill. Get your eyes and ears on this meditation upload here:
I expand on this conversation about yoga and meditation's benefits in my book, Dear Brother: 82 Powerful Poems to Guide Your Journey to Healthy Black Masculinity. Pick up your copy today on Amazon or at this link.