Choose one room of your house and for one week try leaving no trace that you've used that space. The bathroom or kitchen works best for most people. If you've been doing something in that room, cooking a meal or taking a shower, clean up in such a way that you leave no signs that you've been there, except perhaps the odor of food or the fragrance of soap. (From the book "How to Train a Wild Elephant- and other adventures in Mindfulness"  http://www.amazon.com/How-Train-Wild-Elephant-Mindfulness/dp/1590308174

The exercise puts a spotlight on our tendency to be lazy. The word lazy is a description, not a criticism. If we live less than wholeheartedly, we often leave messes for others to clean up. We enter and leave rooms completely unconscious. We are always rushing, rushing, rushing----buried under our massive, unrealistic to-do lists.  It is so easy to wash the dishes but not put them back in the cupboard. It is so easy to skip our meditation or prayer when our life gets hectic, without even skipping a beat. This practice demands us to fully begin and end our tasks----to uni-task. We often are juggling multiple activities in every moment, unable to efficiently complete any of them.  It makes us feel stressed and insane! So much peace can be gained from simply devoting our self fully to the task at hand and completing it through till the end.

First practice leaving no trace. Than practice leaving things better than you found them.

Mayuri Gonzalez teaches yoga, mindfulness and meditation classes, workshops and trainings at Prasanthi Studio-Family Yoga & Wellness in Pelham, NY. (www.prasanthistudio.com) She is also the Director of the School Yoga Project for Little Flower Yoga, bringing yoga and mindfulness programs to school children throughout the greater NY area. (www.littlefloweryoga.com)  For more information or to schedule a private session, email mindfulmayuri@gmail.com or call 914-380-4668. 

The 2/1 count meditation is similar to the 10-count meditation, but instead of counting to 10 with each inhale, you will internally say 2 and with each exhale say 1.

This technique is great because it keeps you present without feeling like you are trying to finish something. It is easy to get caught up in the counting and the 2/1 practice allows you to soften a little deeper into the Self, while supporting your mind with “something to do.”  Starting with the 2 count on the inhale goes against the natural tendency enough to keep us present without feeling like there is an endpoint to accomplish. Try to sustain this practice for 5-20 minutes daily.

For classes and programs with Mayuri, please visit www.prasanthsitudio.com.


     Find yourself in a crowded location like a bus stop, train car, restaurant, supermarket, or a park bench. Sit comfortably, relax and bring your attention within, wherever you are. Close your eyes, and begin by breathing down deeply into your belly, down into your feet and into the earth. Bring your attention into the heart region of your body. Sense the rhythmic pulsing and beating of your heart. Breathe into it, fill yourself with love and exhale.
     Open your eyes and really look around you. Look at each person you can focus on clearly, one at a time. Look into their eyes, watch their expressions, their gestures, listen to their voice and really see them. Look at them without judgement, without criticism, aversion or desire; just take them in. Take in their presence of being. Allow yourself to focus on their heart. See their human body cradling this human heart. Allow a sense of compassion to build up within your heart for that person. Breathe into this compassion allowing it to expand and grow, and exhale and release it. Without words or movement, imagine a beam of energy running from your heart to theirs. Send them love, ever so simply. Send them love and release it without expectation or the need for recognition. Just send them love. Complete the exercise here or move onto another person.
     When you've had enough, close your eyes and return to your own heart, nestled deep within your chest at the very center of your being. Offer yourself the same simple compassion and love that you offered the other person. Breathe into it to send it deeper. Breathe into it, fill yourself with love and exhale.