Embark On a Nature Hike
The dynamic combination of brisk movement and fresh oxygen have been shown to stimulate brainwaves. Unplug from distractions and reconnect with your own introspection while admiring the “great outdoors” on a fall nature walk or hike.
Exposure to natural environments can also decrease anxiety, allowing you to clear out the cobwebs and stress, and reach a place of mental clarity. Either way, the characteristic autumn vibrancy offers an ideal hiking backdrop to improve focus and get in tune with your body.
Venture Into a Corn Maze
This seasonal pastime is both entertaining and conducive for increasing awareness, rapid recall, and attention to fine detail. Honing these traits can promote mindfulness for extended periods thanks to navigating a labyrinth of crooked bends, roundabout turns and dead-end barricades.
This fun fall activity engages your thorough concentration and memory, which is an important practice to bring to your mat.
Research has found that crafting can produce the same effects on the nervous system as meditation does. The repetitive motions of knitting, for example, activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which quiets that "fight or flight" response. Becoming engrossed in artistic endeavors will trigger a space of heightened association to your role in both the process and outcome.
Put your craft skills to the test and make an autumn wreath for your door or a to hold candles on your kitchen table.
Plant a Vegetable Garden
This temperate, invigorating weather provides the optimum conditions for growing cruciferous vegetables like spinach, cabbage, lettuce and other robust varieties. Not to mention, the hands-on productivity of gardening keeps your focus rooted—pun intended—in the moment, rather than wandering to disjointed thoughts, unnecessary concerns or unresolved tensions. Contact with plants can even reinforce sensory consciousness.
If you don’t have space outside, start a small window garden with a few herbs to reap similar benefits.
Learn How to Knit
This art form, which was voted the top-rated indoor hobbies of 2016, requires you to make rhythmic and repetitive motions, allowing the labor itself to be both relaxing and challenging at the same time. With each pull of yarn, you have to be focused and intentional, an important skill to bring to your mat.
It’s also the perfect way to make awesome DIY holiday gifts for friends and family. Hone your skills with scarves, blankets, hats and more.
Take the intentions you’ve learned from yoga off the mat and use them in other areas of your life, while improving focus for your next practice. Upon returning to the mat, you might just discover a renewed sense of passion and purpose for this ancient discipline.
Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than ten years and is currently a full-time blogger. She is also an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition specialist, and the owner of her own personal training business, Honest Body Fitness. She’s also a part-time yogi and loves to bring yoga breathing and principals into training with clients. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for health articles, new workouts and more.
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