10-Minute Morning Meditation

Monthly intention: Connection

Today’s meditation: Morning Meditation

Your journal prompt for today is: How do you want to feel today? How would your day look from this place and this feeling?

If you found a connection to yourself from listening to this podcast, please rate, review, subscribe, and share it with your friends.

Add a yoga class to your practice today from my YouTube channel, Katie Arnold Yoga.

Find more from me @iamkatiearnold and @soulconnectionpodcast visit my website iamkatiearnold.com for more tips for your practice, to learn about my virtual yoga and meditation studio, Studio Connection, live events, and more.

Freebies:

Stock music provided by bulukmusic, from Pond5

Mindful Thoughts Meditation + Journaling

Monthly intention: Presence

Today’s meditation: Mindful Thoughts Meditation

Your journal prompt for today is: What does observation reveal to me about my thoughts?

If you found a connection to yourself from listening to this podcast, please rate, review, subscribe, and share it with your friends.

Add a yoga class to your practice today from my YouTube channel, Katie Arnold Yoga.

Find more from me @iamkatiearnold and @soulconnectionpodcast visit my website iamkatiearnold.com for more tips for your practice, to learn about my virtual yoga and meditation studio, Studio Connection, live events, and more.

Freebies:

Stock Media provided by meditation / Pond5

How to be be more present

Today I’m really excited because we’re going to talk about ways to be more present in our lives. 

It sounds like such a simple idea but I think when it comes to practice, it’s one that’s hard to put into play. We have so many distractions in our lives these days and while I very much believe technology is a huge factor, that’s not the only thing to blame. Our schedules are packed and making time for ourselves seems to be a lost art. I’m hoping that with this conversation (and definitely check out this episode of The Soul Connection podcast) we’ll learn to make that a bigger priority. 

So today we’re talking about 9 ways to be more present in your life.  You may find that you do some of these or none of these (but I’m guessing if you’re here and you follow me, you’re hopefully doing at least some of them), but I’m hoping you find something new you can try or add into your life on a more regular basis. Being present in our lives allows us to be more present with ourselves, in our jobs, and when we’re interacting with those we love most. 

How to be more present in your life

Meditation 

When it comes to our meditation practice, this is something that we’re constantly practicing. Meditation is the practice of coming back to our present moment. It’s not uncommon for our mind to wander off while we’re meditating but the goal is to become aware of that and then simply return to the moment at hand.

Put your phone down 

I wrote a post on my old blog about a day when I was working at a coffee shop and watched a group of teenagers sitting on couches together and every single one of them was looking down at their phones. I’ve also been in many situations where everyone at the table has their phone on the table, whether face up or down. I challenge myself to keep my phone in my purse or coat pocket and instead be in the moment of my life and the people I’m with. Sometimes this means I don’t get as many photos, but I like to think the memories are deeper because I was able to experience them not from behind a camera. 

Focus on one thing at a time 

I’ll admit that this one is particularly hard for me. I’m a chronic multi-tasker and I spent most of my life, up until a few years ago, thinking this was something to celebrate. I’m no longer sure that it is. I have a hard time just watching TV shows as I’m often also on my computer or phone. Movies are next to impossible unless I’m at a theater as I usually find myself pausing them to get up and do other things and need more breaks. But this carries over into other areas of our lives too. Food becomes more fulfilling when we’re just eating and noticing the deliciousness of what we’re eating and how it’s making us feel, instead of sitting in front of a TV while eating. I’m not saying I’m great at this, but it is another thing I’d like to work on. 

Get in nature 

It’s so easy to get grounded so quickly when in nature. I love to get out on a walk and since it’s something my dog also really enjoys, it’s something that I prioritize. Sometimes I will listen to a podcast, audiobook, or music but sometimes I just listen to the sounds of nature while I walk. I find myself immediately ground back into my body and breathe a little easier after a walk outside. You could also just sit outside in your backyard, in a park, or even put your feet on the Earth (preferably bare feet), or work in your garden. However you enjoy getting in nature, give it a try and notice how it makes you more present.

Listen to your body/mind/soul 

Learning to have conversations with yourself about how you’re feeling requires being really in-tune, aware, and present with yourself. If this feels like a foreign concept, keep practicing. It takes time, but it’s such a beautiful thing when you start to get the hang of it and it becomes easier and easier the more you do it. You can start practicing this with my Mindful Movement Class Calendar. It helps teach you to tap into how your body is feeling each day and choose your movement for the day based on how you’re feeling. 

Release distractions 

This may seem like a duplicate of putting your phone down and in some ways it is, but it also deserves its own point because it’s actually so much more than that. We have so many distractions in our everyday lives that sometimes it can be hard to focus on the thing in front of us. For example, I recently took a Yoga Breath Coaching course. It was a 12-day intensive. I couldn’t attend the sessions live because I was working my day job, but since it was not a self-paced course and I needed to ensure I had everything done at the end of the 12 days to submit my exams, final project, and graduate, I needed to stay on top of everything in a timely manner. I would work my day job and then spend my evenings reviewing what I missed earlier in the day. It was a lot of screen time and I was so easily distracted at the end of the day until I found the way that was a game-changer for my focus…I’d hop on my stationary bike and watch the sessions. I found this was such a great way to focus because I couldn’t be distracted by emails, texts, or other notifications because I was busy moving my legs on the bike so my mind was available to fully focus on the sessions. I started calling these my “Bike + Learn” sessions and they were a game-changer for me.

Movement 

Obviously, I’m a huge fan of movement which is a great way to get really present with yourself. Whether you’re choosing to walk, run, lift weights, or take a yoga class, you have to be really present with your body to ensure you don’t get injured. These practices also often become a practice of mindfulness and presence in and of themselves. For me, teaching yoga really requires me to be so present because I’m focusing on how to safely guide my students into and out of various postures and help them have the best class they can. I’ve noticed that when I get distracted in my teaching, that’s when I get my left and right confused and stumble on my words.

Journaling 

Reflecting on your day, expressing gratitude, or letting your subconscious take over in your journal practice requires you to get really present, and often, the more present you can be in and throughout your day, the easier it becomes to reflect on your gratitude or what you were feeling at different moments because you were actually in them.

Feel your feelings 

This means ALL of them – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Instead of trying to diminish the feelings we are having and trying to judge them as being “too much” or “bad” – can you sit with them and FEEL them? 

This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but these are things that I have personally put into play in my own life and found to be really beneficial. It is my hope that something on this list resonates with you to try for yourself. But I also want to know if there are things that didn’t make my list that you have found to be helpful to be more present in your life? Come chat with me on Instagram @iamkatiearnold and let me know how you are able to be more present in your life!

ways to be more present

Body Scan Meditation + What You Noticed

Monthly intention: Presence

Today’s meditation: Body Scan Meditation 

Your journal prompt for today is: This is what I noticed in my physical body… 

If you found a connection to yourself from listening to this podcast, please rate, review, subscribe, and share it with your friends.

Add a yoga class to your practice today from my YouTube channel, Katie Arnold Yoga.

Find more from me @iamkatiearnold and @soulconnectionpodcast visit my website iamkatiearnold.com for more tips for your practice, to learn about my virtual yoga and meditation studio, Studio Connection, live events, and more. 

Freebies:

Mindful Sound Meditation + Journaling for Presence

Monthly intention: Presence

Today’s meditation: Mindful Sound Meditation 

Your journal prompt for today is: This is what I heard and experienced by listening to the world and nature around me… 

If you found a connection to yourself from listening to this podcast, please rate, review, subscribe, and share it with your friends.

Add a yoga class to your practice today from my YouTube channel, Katie Arnold Yoga.

Find more from me @iamkatiearnold and @soulconnectionpodcast visit my website iamkatiearnold.com for more tips for your practice, to learn about my virtual yoga and meditation studio, Studio Connection, live events, and more. 

Freebies:

Present Moment Meditation + Journal Prompt for Presence

Monthly intention: Presence

Today’s meditation: Present Moment Meditation

Your journal prompt for today is: I was the most distracted by ____ in my environment during my meditation today. This is the story I told myself about that.

If you found a connection to yourself from listening to this podcast, please rate, review, subscribe, and share it with your friends.

Add a yoga class to your practice today from my YouTube channel, Katie Arnold Yoga.

Find more from me @iamkatiearnold and @soulconnectionpodcast visit my website iamkatiearnold.com for more tips for your practice, to learn about my virtual yoga and meditation studio, Studio Connection, live events, and more.

Freebies:

Relaxation Breath Meditation + Journal Prompt

Monthly intention: Breath

Today’s meditation: Relaxation Breath Meditation

Your journal prompt for today is: How have you been finding time for relaxation lately? How can you find more of it?

If you found a connection to yourself from listening to this podcast, please rate, review, subscribe, and share it with your friends.

Add a yoga class to your practice today from my YouTube channel, Yoga with Katie.

Find more from me @iamkatiearnold and visit my website iamkatiearnold.com for more tips for your practice, to learn about my virtual yoga and meditation studio, Studio Connection, live events, and more.

Freebies:

Stock Media provided by AudioSphere / Pond5

Meditation + Journaling for Letting Go

Monthly intention: Breath

Today’s meditation: Meditation for letting go 

Your journal prompt for today is: Where do you feel most blocked? What small thing can you do today to release that? 

If you found a connection to yourself from listening to this podcast, please rate, review, subscribe, and share it with your friends.

Add a yoga class to your practice today from my YouTube channel, Yoga with Katie.

Find more from me @iamkatiearnold and visit my website iamkatiearnold.com for more tips for your practice, to learn about my virtual yoga and meditation studio, Studio Connection, live events, and more. 

Freebies:

Square Breathing Meditation + Journaling

Monthly intention: Breath

Today’s meditation: Square Breathing Meditation

Your journal prompt for today is: Where are you grasping trying to find control in an uncontrollable situation in your life? What can you actually control right now? 

If you found a connection to yourself from listening to this podcast, please rate, review, subscribe, and share it with your friends.

Add a yoga class to your practice today from my YouTube channel, Katie Arnold Yoga.

Find more from me @iamkatiearnold and visit my website iamkatiearnold.com for more tips for your practice, to learn about my virtual yoga and meditation studio, Studio Connection, live events, and more. 

Freebies:

Benefits of Breathwork

Today, I want to dive deeper into our intention for the month. As you know, our focus is all around our breath. We’ve spent our meditation practices focusing on our breath, using our breath as our anchor, letting our breath guide our practice, and helping achieve a certain outcome for our meditation. I’m sure you’ve noticed that our breath is a powerful tool. And this is true not just inside of our meditation practice, but also outside of our meditation practice and into our lives. That’s why today I want to talk about some of the benefits of a Breathwork practice. 

The practice of controlling our breath in various ways to achieve a certain desire is called pranayama. It literally translates to “breath control” and chances are you’ve heard this term used in your yoga practices as well. (Spoiler: if you’ve taken my classes in the Studio or on YouTube, you definitely have.)

In a vinyasa style practice, we move poses with our breath, finding growth and expansion on the inhales, and finding contraction and grounding on the exhales. You may have heard the terminology of ujjayi pranayama, or ocean breath. This is where we inhale and exhale through the nose with a slight constriction at the back of the throat. This breath sounds like ocean waves floating in and out of the shore. It’s also a warming breath and will warm your physical body from the inside out.

In a slower practice like a restorative or gentle class, we still use our breath but often can be in a much slower and more passive capacity. Letting our exhales release and create a little more space and allowing our inhales to be nourishing. Sometimes I will pair a relaxation breath meditation into a restorative class as it’s so cohesive and a great way to sneak meditation into our class without anyone realizing they are meditating since they’re in a relaxed state already.

So what are some of the benefits of breathwork and why may this be something you choose to bring into your own life on a greater scale?

  • Reduced rate breathing can stimulate rest and digest, parasympathetic nervous system state to help with sleep, stress, and anxiety.
  • Rapid, pulsed breathing stimulates a sympathetic nervous system response to increase energy, prepare for exercise, or boost the body’s natural defenses.
  • Strengthen cardiovascular health and build respiratory capacity. Some respiratory conditions like asthma can be successfully managed by increasing CO2 levels in the blood.
  • Breathing can help reduce the fear of public speaking, improve digestion, reduce insomnia, lower stress, anxiety, and overwhelm.
  • Balance and help release suppressed emotions
  • Release stress and manage chronic pain
  • Calm the mind and improve concentration

In my own life, I’ve been incorporating more breathwork practices and found it very useful. My favorite is Nadi Shodhana or Alternate Nostril Breathing. This breathwork practice helps lower stress and anxiety, bringing a sense of calm as the hands are alternating opening and closing of the nostrils. We’re giving the mind something to think about which helps keep it from wandering toward worries and to-dos.

I’ve also been enjoying Kapalabhati breath or Breath of Fire, which is a Kundalini practice said to cleanse the lungs and sinuses, energize the body and mind, and help the body to heal and build strength. This is an advanced breathwork practice as it uses a forceful exhale and contraction of the abdominal muscles and a passive inhale. What I love about this breath is that I’ve been able to see my improvements and ability to maintain this breathwork practice for longer periods since incorporating it into my practice more. 

I do need to mention that some breathwork practices, including breath of fire, are contraindicated for pregnant women and certain health conditions, so always speak with your medical provider. 

But there are a whole slew of breathwork practices that we haven’t even talked about this month that can be utilized in your life, including Nadi Shodhana or Alternate Nostril Breathing and Breath of Fire that I just briefly mentioned, then there’s also Bee Breath, Sitali breath, Sitkari breath, Belly Breathing, Bellows Breath, Lions Breath and many more. We’re not going to dive into these today, but if you have really enjoyed our breath intention this month, then you may want to look deeper into the practices of breathwork. I’d also love to know if this is something you want to learn more about as I’m working on some additional breathwork training after finding it so helpful in my own life so I hope to bring more of this to you all in the future whether on the podcast, over on my YouTube channel, or in my virtual studio, Studio Connection. So come find me on Instagram @iamkatiearnold and let me know how you’re feeling about breath. 


Monthly intention: Breath

It’s time for a bonus episode! Instead of our usual meditation and journal prompt, today we’re going to dive deeper into our intention for the month and talk about the benefits of breathwork. 

If you found a connection to yourself from listening to this podcast, please rate, review, subscribe, and share it with your friends.

Add a yoga class to your practice today from my YouTube channel, Yoga with Katie.

Find more from me @iamkatiearnold and @soulconnectionpodcast visit my website iamkatiearnold.com for more tips for your practice, to learn about my virtual yoga and meditation studio, Studio Connection, live events, and more. 

Freebies: