Yoga is not limited to the performance of a few asana on a yoga mat. Yoga is a self-development practice that progressively pervades day-to-day life. Here is a small “first thing in the morning” practice that you might want to try even if you do not practice yoga and do not intend to. You wake up and open an eye. Maybe you extend your arm to grab your mobile phone to check the clock and perhaps some mails, posts or news pushed-in during the night. You start your normal routine, moving to your bathroom to take a shower or your kitchen to sip your first coffee or tea of the day. Your mind already started listing some of the Do’s of the day. You are focused on this buzz, while performing usual morning gestures and actions in automatic pilot.

    Stop and rewind. Unlike in real life, you have the chance to experience the play for a second time: You wake up and open an eye. You avoid letting your mind begin to chatter and auto-run like a computer programme to plan and comment on the tasks of the day. Instead, you stay alert and keep your mind quiet, just observing your natural breath and feeling the simple pleasure of being alive. Gently stretch, enjoying feeling each part of your body progressively wake up. Finally, get out of bed and, walking to your bathroom or your kitchen, feel the contact of the sole of your feet with the carpet. Then, continue your morning routine observing with a silent mind all the messages conveyed by your five senses: the cascading of the water on your skin when you are in the shower, the smell of the body wash, the colour of the morning sky though the window, the noise of the bread jumping off the toaster, the taste of your coffee or tea…

    Just acknowledge the thought and let it go…

    – Lydie Gala

    Try living every single moment and action as a brand new experience that you have never lived before, dedicating all the attention and intensity you only devote to critical things you experience for the first time; and when your mind starts telling you “What are you doing? Stop this useless practice, hurry up”, just acknowledge the thought and let it go, gently coming back in full and silent attention to your routine. What is the difference between the two scenarios described above? The difference is that, in the second one, for a few minutes, you stopped acting mechanically.

    You managed to keep your mind silent, focus on the present moment and on the perceptions of the now. The difference is attention. If you manage to do this little morning practice for one month, you will start experiencing interesting and perhaps even amazing things. I will not explain to you what will happen, because everybody’s experiences and feelings are unique. It is your practice. What I can certainly tell you, however, is that you will have initiated a path to bring more awareness and more buoyancy into your life, to become more alive.

    About the author:
    Lydie is a Yoga Alliance and Yoga Academy certified yoga teacher RYT 200. She left the busy corporate world a few years ago to move to a slower life in Morocco. For more information on Lydie’s yoga teaching you can reach her via Instagram:

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