Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Mindfulness Exercises for a Complete Yoga Practice

Yoga originated in India in the pre-Vedic age, developing into the modern form as we know it today in the 5th and 6th century. It is the perfect mixture of physical exercise and spiritual enlightenment. Swami Vivekananda introduced the western world to yoga in the 'late 19th early 20th century since then many other Indian gurus have followed his path and have helped to make yoga extremely popular in the west.  The two main benefits of yoga are that it keeps our body in shape and makes our mental health stronger.

If you've been to yoga classes before, you'll know that frustration can be a universal emotion to feel in the middle of practice. There you are, trying to hold a pose like a downward-facing dog for several seconds when you begin to get agitated as you tire from holding up your body with your arms.
You start to resent your teacher and her instructions to hold the pose, as your breathing becomes labored and your body continues to ache. It gets to the point where you can no longer stay still, and like a house of cards, you mentally check out and give up.

Alternate Scenario
But what if you could change that? Imagine yourself holding the downward-facing dog and feeling the same sensation of fatigue in your arms, having the same thoughts of anger, impatience, and stress.
However, instead of reacting with frustration, you acknowledge your feelings and remember that the pose you're trying to hold is like any obstacle you encounter in life and that it too will pass. You shift your thoughts from irritation to gratitude—yes gratitude—for having the opportunity to be in yoga practice and being able to set aside time devoted to your well being and health.

yoga-pose

The Difference
The difference between the two scenarios? The answer is mindfulness—the awareness of the moment, and the acceptance of what's happening without making a reaction or judgment. It's what many newcomers to yoga fail to understand, as they focus only on the physical aspects of the practice, and not so much its mental and spiritual side. Mindfulness is something many styles of yoga teaching and something many yogis and Buddhists continually strive to achieve.

Go Beyond the Pose
The great thing about mindfulness is that you can train yourself to develop it. Mindfulness is just a state of mind, one that you can apply to any yoga class. Still, certain poses and forms of yoga are more conducive to developing mindfulness than the rest. For instance, Yin Yoga, consisting mainly of seated and prostrated poses, presents the perfect opportunity for mindfulness exercises, as many of the poses are uncomfortable and tend to force yogis to want to exit a pose.

Below are two yoga poses perfect for mindfulness training that you can try out right now:

Savasana
Savasana is lying down on the floor, with arms and legs slightly spread out. It's the pose you usually start and end your practice with and one where meditation happens. The key to being mindful during this pose is to be aware of your breath, feeling the air move into your mouth and lungs, spreading out to the rest of your body. Don't try to manipulate your breath, instead, observe each breath and all its details, whether it's slow and deep, shallow and quick, or uneven or smooth.

savasana_pose_yoga

Cat-Cow Pose
Begin with your knees and hands on the floor, with the hands positioned directly below your shoulders, and the knees below the hips. Exhale and bring your stomach up, round your back, and feel your tailbone rise along with the breath. When inhaling, arch your back, tilt your pelvis forward, and lower your tummy towards the floor—the backbend should be gentle, not painful.

Repeat this sequence a few times, and let your breath set your pace. You'll notice your mind beginning to wonder because of the repetition—don't make it. It's a typical reaction impedes your journey towards mindfulness, tricking you into thinking that repetitions are tedious.


About the Author: Carol James is a writer and senior editor at writing service, so you can order qualitative essay from EssayLab. She has MA degree in social sciences and writes articles, reviews on the different actual subjects. So, if you have any questions regarding the writing, feel free to ask her.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent practice tips .this is exact what i am looking ,thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete

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