Laura is a trained yoga teacher and writer with a deep belief in the power of a holistic approach to life. A creative heart and a passion for creating unique and engaging content, her stories span well-being, yoga, travel and health. Laura’s clients are yoga and meditation teachers, spiritual healers, writers and artists. They are big thinkers and go-getters each sharing their own magic with the world.
WHAT DOES MINDFULNESS MEAN TO YOU?
Mindfulness for me, is being aware of how I’m showing up in the world every day.
It’s about having an awareness of what’s happening around me and is something that I try to practice daily in everything I do. It’s recognising how I’m communicating with others and how I’m talking to myself. It’s trying (and often failing) to fully focus on an individual task rather than juggling a million things at once.
It’s in the little choices like remembering my keep-cup in the morning, choosing non-packaged veggies in the supermarket or making an effort to reduce my wardrobe.
Being mindful relates to being in touch with myself, it helps me to find peace amid the frantic energy of the world. It helps me slow down and consciously feel into my body and breath. It brings me back to the present moment when I need to find some calm in the middle of a busy day.
When I am stressed my breath can get shallow and short, noticing this means that I can stop to take a deep breath which always makes me feel better.
There are techniques that I carry with me like a toolbox. One of my favourites is super simple and can be done wherever you are at any time. It’s often known as square breathing and is a practice writer Brene Brown swears by.
Start by taking a few deep breaths; in through your nose, out through your mouth. Allow your belly to expand as you inhale and constrict as you exhale. When you’re ready you can begin;
Inhale through your nose for a count of four
Hold your breath for a count of four
Exhale through your mouth for a count of four
Pause and hold for a count of four
Returning to your breath brings you back into your physical body and the space you are in. This can make it easier to maintain a sense of mindful awareness. It’s not always easy but knowing I have the tools available to me when I need them really helps me stay grounded.
WHEN DO YOU FEEL YOUR MOST AUTHENTIC SELF? WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
Finding a sense of authenticity is often more to do with how I feel on a specific day or moment, rather than doing one thing in particular. I’m an empath and a bit of an introvert so I’ve learnt that I feel the most authentic when I’m able to do what feels right for me, rather than pushing myself into something that doesn’t feel in alignment. Regularly checking in and asking myself why I’m saying yes or no to something helps me feel steadier and more grounded in myself.
I’m usually doing something low-key that encompasses a mix of good food and good conversation with grounded, open and honest people. Some days it might be dancing at sunset with a margarita in hand or spending hours exploring a new travel destination. Right now, it takes the form of long chats on the phone with my sister in London, slow days in the sunshine with close friends and home cooked meals watching Friends re-runs. I need a lot of quiet alone time to recharge as well, so lots of reading and writing usually gets me back to me.
IF YOU COULD GIVE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE TOWARDS FINDING INNER PEACE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Let go of who you think you should be. Feeling like you should have done this or should have done that is really common but can be so exhausting! Someone wise once told me, there is no such thing as should. Accepting things as they are can bring some inner peace.
Also try not to compare yourself to others. They say comparison can be the thief of all joy and it’s something that rears its ugly head for me more often than I’d like. I think if we all found a way to be truly comfortable in our own skin, to show up each day in whatever way we needed to, without fear of judgement, everyone would find a lot more peace.
Laura Kelly, yoga teacher & writer ~ @laurakelly_yoga
Laura’s Digital Yin Yoga and Guided Meditation is created with you in mind; to find calm among frantic energy and become more connected to yourself and the world around you. Discover more; Digital Yin Yoga and Guided Meditation — Nimbus & Co.
Interview by Alex Carroll ~ @alexcarroll_