It has never been more vital to create a sense of daily routine than it is now as so many of us have had our usual way of life flipped upside down. This is even more important when spending longer at home; time becomes a vortex and days of the week lose their meaning. Bringing more ritual into your day can encourage a deeper intention with your practice which will trickle out into other aspects of your life.
Perhaps start out with a 10-minute meditation each morning – find a quiet, comfortable space and carve out some time for yourself before your day kicks off. When this starts to become part of your everyday routine, try incorporating a sense of ritual – light a candle, cleanse the space, burn some incense or sage and set an intention for your day or week ahead.
There have been multiple studies on meditation and movement-based yoga (asana) and how it can positively affect the brain. Research shows the capacity for these practices to influence neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to change the behaviour of neurons (chemical messengers in the brain), and sometimes even create brand-new neurons and neurological pathways in response to new activity, movement and sensory stimulation.
During meditation and yoga we use the mind and body in a different way to normal. We stimulate the senses and learn completely new forms of movement, which can activate dormant parts of the brain and create new pathways – changing the way we perceive the world, ourselves and our environment along with increasing brain function and memory.
5. Helps to instil a sense of presence
Practicing mindfulness-based meditation techniques can help bring you into the here and now. It can take away from worrying about the future and dreaming of the past. The aim is to pay attention to, and fully acknowledge what arises during practice; accepting any physiological, emotional and psychological feelings in that present moment.
There are many techniques to practice mindfulness meditation, one of which is body scanning – bringing your awareness to each part of the body from the tips of the toes to the crown of the head. This practice can be a great way of not only cultivating presence, but to also creating a sense of embodiment.
By Hannah Staunton
Hannah is a 240hour certified Hatha & Yin Yoga and meditation teacher based in East London. Trained by world renowned teachers such as Bridget Woods-Kramer and Sarah Lo, Hannah is also currently training as a Yoga Therapist at The Minded Institute in Camden with Heather Mason. Her style of teaching draws from many influences and traditions with a strong sense of embodiment, breathwork and meditation. She also likes to weave in elements of yogic philosophy and ancient wisdom wherever possible. Hannah is passionate about making yoga more accessible, inclusive and therapeutic and works with some well-known charities to offer this. Find out more about Hannah at https://www.hannahstaunton.com/.