Today we speak with Yoga and Meditation instructor, Hilary Packin. She is a teacher at Green Monkey Studio in South Beach and also offers private classes and workshops.
Hilary has been practicing yoga since she was a student at the University of Miami where she took an Ashtanga Yoga class.
Read on for more tips and insights from Hilary!
(SE) What does Mindfulness mean to you?
(HP) To me, mindfulness is awareness. The practice of being aware that you are aware. Not needing to judge what you see or experience in the present moment, while also allowing yourself to make conscious decisions to shape it. Simply being at peace with what is your present.
(SE) What tools do you think are essential for living mindfully?
(HP) Living your day-to-day mindfully is a very liberating practice and is accessible to all who wish to pursue it. In your toolbox you need only willingness to practice and a dedication to begin again continually as your practice ebbs and flows naturally.
(SE) Do you have a mindfulness practice? If so, what does it look like?
(HP) My mindfulness practice is with me from the moment I wake up to the moment I close my eyes at night. Each morning before my meditation practice, I set an intention for the day. Then, as I sit in quiet meditation should I notice my mind has drifted away from the quiet focus I am working to cultivate, I simply bring myself back to center with this intention and begin again. I focus on smooth, steady breaths inhales and full, complete breaths out. This practice I work with continually throughout my meditation and I carry it along with me throughout my day as well.
(SE) When did this practice begin?
(HP) I began a mindfulness practice a number of years ago while in university.
(SE) How did you get started?
(HP) When I discovered and subsequently fell in love with yoga, I delved deeply into all that it encompasses. This led me naturally to meditation. Within that, the mindfulness meditation practice resonated strongly as it still does to this day.
(SE) What has this practice done for you as a person?
(HP) On a deeply personal level, I feel more aware of my true self because of my mindfulness practice. It has honed my ability to listen to my body and mind as a more neutral observer, thereby seeing inside to the core of the real me.
(SE) What advice would you give to someone who would like to incorporate a mindfulness practice into his or her daily routine but cannot find the time or the headspace?
(HP) Here is some great news! A mindfulness practice doesn’t need to be time consuming. You do not need to be a master meditator to adopt this practice. It is easy to begin and anyone can do it. I invite you to start small, manageable. You might begin your day by selecting an intention. Something you’re working on. Something positive. State it to yourself in the present as if it is already true. For example, let’s say that you would like to cultivate within yourself more generosity to others. Begin your day by writing this statement down in your smartphone or someplace you can see it time and again throughout your day as a reminder. “I am a generous person.” Say it to yourself as you brush your teeth. As you comb your hair. As your mind races during your lunch break, make the conscious decision to pause for a moment and clear your mind by silently repeating to yourself your centering phrase. In traffic as you notice yourself losing your cool at other drivers, take pause to repeat the phrase over again in your mind. The practice builds. You will begin to find that you are conducting yourself in keeping with the intentions you work with. Continue the practice daily and watch your journal of centering phrases grow and grow. See how you begin to develop into that which you set your mind to. You will be in awe looking back on where you have guided yourself.
(SE) Is there a particular practice you would recommend to cultivate mindfulness?
(HP) Mindfulness meditation is the core of my personal practice. I find beginning each morning with this helps to shape each day to be one that I live mindfully.
(SE) Can you list three, everyday things that we can do to stay in the present and live a mindful life?
(HP) - Adopt an intention or centering phrase for each day.
- Reinforce this intention to yourself continually throughout the day.
- Couple this with conscious breathing. Take pause throughout your day for a few moments to take full, deep breaths in focusing on your intention and complete breaths out visualizing yourself releasing anything that is not in keeping with this intention. Allow your intention to flow in and all else to flow out.
(SE) Sounds easy enough! Do you offer any type of mindfulness training? If so, can you provide details?
(HP) Yes! I work privately one-to-one with students to develop and maintain a mindfulness practice. Additionally, I teach a group class centered on these principles.
Green Monkey South Beach
All levels welcomed
(SE) Are you currently working on anything you would like to share with the Soulful Essence community?
(HP) I love to talk with others about mindfulness practice. Please always feel free to reach out to me with any questions, to have a conversation, if you would like to work together on developing your practice, for tips, or whatever you may need.
(SE) Is there anything else you would like to share?
(HP) Mindfulness practice can free you to be able to confidently live your most authentic life. Simply put, just start.
Thank you Hilary for the tips! For all of those that wish to connect with her, visit her at Green Monkey Studio in South Beach or visit her site: http://www.hilarypackin.com/.
Do you practice yoga or any types of meditation? We would love to hear from you! If you have any questions for Hilary, drop them in the comment section.