Vikings actress Maude Hirst reveals how mindfulness changed her life - plus her top tips for beginners MAIN

Vikings actress Maude Hirst reveals how mindfulness changed her life – plus her top tips for beginners

Maude Hirst

Is mindfulness just a trend or does it have the power to change your life for the better? Vikings actress Maude Hirst reveals how she discovered mindfulness plus her top tips for beginners

I’m Maude Hirst. I’m an actor (playing Helga in the TV series Vikings), a meditation and yoga teacher, a theta healer and the founder of EnergyRise, a bespoke company with a goal to make mindfulness accessible to everyone.

What is mindfulness?

For me mindfulness means bringing awareness to the present moment, to your thoughts, feeling and physical sensations of the body in order to feel empowered in your life.

In short bringing the unconscious into your consciousness in a non-judging way.

Mindfulness means bringing awareness to the present moment

Once you have this awareness – you then have choice.

We spend much of our lives unconsciously acting and reacting to our circumstances, and mindfulness can give you a way to become conscious of yourself, so you can change the things that are not working in your life.

And how can it help you?

My path into mindfulness started two years ago following a traumatic break-up. I felt terrified of the uncertainty of what was ahead but there was something inside me saying despite the fear, there was a world of new possibilities to be discovered.

So while in this chaotic state (which many people find themselves in after a breakup) I decided to head off to a yoga retreat.

It was whilst practicing yoga that I had some huge insights. I hadn’t been listening to my body for a long time and when I started to tune in, I realised that I hadn’t been happy long before my breakup.

But I wasn’t aware enough to do anything about it.

With this new mindful discovery, I turned my attention onto a new question – ‘What truly makes me happy?’

And so I began the journey into training in yoga and meditation. Mindfulness has taken me from total uncertainty, to a place of clarity, focus, joy and love for people, travel and life.

Through my teaching, I plan to help others re-tune away from the stresses of everyday life and find their inner truth.

outdoor yoga mindfulness healthista

Benefits of mindfulness

Giving yourself the time to inwardly reflect and become present in the moment, whether it be in a physical or seated mindfulness practice (for example yoga or meditation), allows you to distinguish between what is working and not working in your life.

It allows you to focus on what you really want and to develop the confidence to trust those feelings and begin to make changes.

Also having a regular practice in your life allows you to make clearer decisions by listening to yourself before asking others for opinions.

Mindfulness practices such as yoga and meditation are a positive way to bring calm back into your life, to eliminate stress and anxiety.

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Here are my top tips on how to begin…

Set your alarm 10 minutes earlier in the morning and carve out this time to bring awareness to your thoughts, feelings and physical sensations in the following ways:

Option 1

Sit up straight, either with your legs crossed or on a chair with your feet firmly on the ground. Set an alarm for ten minutes.

Close your eyes and begin to bring awareness to your breathing. Notice the cool air as you inhale and the warm air as you exhale.

Whenever the mind wonders (which inevitably it will) keep bringing you awareness back to the breath.

That’s all you have to do for the whole ten minutes. Notice the impact on your body that just bringing awareness to the breath can have.

Option 2

Coherent breathing: Changing your breath can be the most powerful tool to change how you feel.

This breathing technique is scientifically proven as a way to bring you out of fight and flight mode (stressed state) and back into balance.

Sit up straight, either with your legs crossed or on a chair with your feet firmly on the ground. Set an alarm for ten minutes.

Close your eyes and begin to bring awareness to you breathing – inhale for six seconds and then exhale for six seconds. Notice the impact on your body.

You might like to listen to either of these tracks to assist you.

Music to assist:

Option 3

Guided meditations. It is often helpful for beginners to be guided into a meditation. You can find some free ten minute guided meditations on the meditation section of my website.

Option 4

Bring movement into your life, especially if you’re someone that needs movement to help switch off from the brain chatter.

We experience and feel things in different ways. My invitation to you is to try different paths into mindfulness until you find one that feels right for you.

Regular practice will then feels like a wonderful addition to your life, rather than an added stress. There are many different types of meditation, yoga, movement and body awareness practices so know that there is something out there for you.

Just experiment until you find it.

Maude Hirst

Maude Hirst is a born and bred East Londoner, best known for her role as Helga in the hit TV show ‘Vikings. She is an actor turned mindfulness teacher on a mission to create a bespoke path into mindfulness for you.

Discovering yoga and meditation has totally changed her life for the better and she believes it can do the same for you.

Following a traumatic breakup a few years ago, Maude has been on an extraordinary journey of healing and training – discovering the power of mindfulness.

Maude is trained in yoga, meditation, intuitive movement meditation, Theta Healing and Reiki and has created her company EnergyRise to bring you an array of mindfulness practices in order to cater to your individual needs.

Instagram: maudehirst

Twitter: maudehirst

Facebook: maudehirstyoga

More Healthista content:

From depression to body image – 7 mindfulness meditation videos for mental health

How yoga helped me overcome bulimia

This guided meditation will improve your relationships

Tired All the Time? 7 signs you need an energy makeover

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