Mindfulness is a simple way of being, that’s very easily over-complicated. We often try very hard to be mindful, however it’s the trying that gets in the way of paying attention to the present moment, without judgement.

Practising mindfulness during routine activities cultivates the necessary awareness needed to maintain focus. Let’s take a look at eight ways to become more mindful, every day.

1. Pranayama Practice

Prana, or life-force energy, enlivens us and the entire world in which we live. The practice of Pranayama brings our individual breath into harmony with the universal breath, whereby we immerse ourselves in the present moment. It’s important to pay attention to the quality of your breathing, the food that you’re eating, the people you associate with and your connection with nature, as providers of prana.

2. Asana Practice

Practicing asanas, or postures, helps you develop the concentration necessary for mindfulness and meditation. In Ashtanga, concentrating on your breathing as you move from posture to posture encourages meditative focus and increases your ability to maintain mindfulness in daily life.

3. Awareness of Mundane Tasks

When you’re brushing your teeth, doing the dishes or even driving, chances are you’re on autopilot. Begin to pay attention to daily tasks, by zeroing in on tastes, smells, sounds and the feel of actions. You might be surprised at how much more tolerable or even interesting they become.

4. Switching Off

Simply sitting and letting the mind wander, without judgement, gives you the opportunity to notice your thought patterns, and helps you to gently return to mindfulness. This is impossible to do when you’re watching TV or scrolling through social media. Switch off, when you can, and just ‘be’ in the present moment.

5. Mindful Eating

It’s something we do every day, and sometimes even a source of enjoyment. However, how often do you really focus on the food you’re eating, rather than viewing it as a means to an end? Taking the time, each and every meal, to pay attention to the texture, smell and taste of every bite, puts you into mindful mode and fosters appreciation.

6. Creating Prompts

Placing reminders around the house or workplace is an easy way to prompt you to be mindful. A sticky note on the fridge, mirror or your coffee cup is enough to shift your brain back to the present moment.

7. Getting into the Flow

Whether it’s your asana practice, painting, singing or gardening, getting ‘into the flow’ with something you love is a fast path to mindfulness. In this state, you’re truly present and open to sources of prana.

8. Making Space Between Actions

In your meditation practice, space is created between thoughts, giving way to nourishing silence and stillness. You can use this technique in your daily life, by pausing between actions. When you sit in a chair, pause to notice how your body feels on the surface, when you open a window, pause to take a deep breath of fresh air.

It’s in this space that mindfulness lives and the more you give it, the more it thrives.