Yoga for Mind­ful­ness

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Is­tarted yoga merely as a medium to trans­form my­self from fat to fit. Slowly I learnt there is much more depth to it, which not only makes you ap­pear fit but brings you mind­ful­ness. This re­al­iza­tion is the point when my tryst with yoga truly started.

It is very es­sen­tial for a be­ing to be con­scious of what they do, by liv­ing in the mo­ment. Mind­ful­ness yoga makes one con­scious of what they are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing with­out hav­ing to op­er­ate on au­topi­lot. It blocks fluc­tu­a­tions of Citta (Con­scious­ness com­pris­ing of mind, in­tel­li­gence and ego) thereby, mak­ing you fo­cused. For­tu­nately, there are many yo­gic tech­niques avail­able to prac­tice mind­ful­ness which will help you live and feel the mo­ment.

To prac­tice mind­ful­ness ev­ery move­ment of the body must be co­or­di­nated with the breath. Close at­ten­tion to be given to all sen­sa­tions in the body with­out any judg­ment or ex­pec­ta­tions by re­spect­ing your boundaries with self-com­pas­sion and kind­ness. If the mind wan­ders, use the breath as an an­chor. This im­me­di­ately fo­cuses our at­ten­tion in­wards, away from the chaos and dis­trac­tion of the out­side world. We feel more con­nected with our own bod­ies and sen­sa­tions, with our in­nate, nat­u­ral rhythms and through an aware­ness of our phys­i­cal align­ment, be­come more con­nected with the nat­u­ral flow of en­ergy in our sys­tems. This gives a more bal­anced, fluid and grace­ful qual­ity to our phys­i­cal pres­ence. At the same time, it al­lows us to ac­cept our phys­i­cal bod­ies for what they are, with­out judg­ments based on so­cial norms. We de­velop a qual­ity of com­pas­sion to­wards our own phys­i­cal selves with­out get­ting lost in van­ity or anx­i­ety. Through this qual­ity of self-re­gard, we move from the phys­i­cal to the men­tal plane, be­com­ing more deeply aware of the fluc­tu­a­tions of thoughts and feel­ings. By fo­cus­ing on them with­out get­ting mired in them, we learn to achieve a cer­tain ob­jec­tive dis­tance. Ul­ti­mately we be­gin to see them as sur­face dis­tur­bances on the ground of the true Self. This is when we can go be­yond the mind, be­yond emo­tional up­heaval, and be­gin to look from within. We can again look out­wards at the world, with a qual­ity of de­tached com­pas­sion and un­con­di­tional Love. Through sus­tained prac­tice, we jour­ney to­wards the state of bliss, ‘ananda’, that the an­cient sages spoke of.

It is im­por­tant to re­al­ize that this state of bliss is not only the pre­serve of a few en­light­ened ones, but is the true, nat­u­ral state of be­ing for all of us – our birthright. Af­ter a mind­ful prac­tice one will def­i­nitely have a deeper aware­ness of the na­ture of your thoughts and feel­ings, re­sult­ing in clar­ity that would aid ev­ery in­di­vid­ual’s learn­ing, de­ci­sion mak­ing, cre­ativ­ity and pro­duc­tiv­ity. Thereby, mind­ful yoga would make you a hap­pier and bet­ter per­son to your­self and others. We will thus be able to live in har­mony with the ex­ter­nal world with­out be­ing over­whelmed by it, and at the same time be grounded in our true Self, re­al­iz­ing our full hu­man po­ten­tial.

(Con­trib­uted by: Jugnu)

Jugnu is a cer­ti­fied yoga teacher from Ban­ga­lore (In­dia), ed­u­cated un­der Mas­ter teach­ers from Bi­har School of Yoga. Her teach­ing in­te­grates dy­namic vinyasa flow (link­ing move­ment with breath) hatha, prayanama with the ap­pli­ca­tion of pre­cise align­ment, vi­su­al­iza­tion, in­ten­sion and prayers to cre­ate an in­ner jour­ney to­wards heal­ing and em­pow­er­ment. She likes to blend clas­si­cal yoga and mod­ern tech­niques along with med­i­ta­tion prac­tices to es­tab­lish op­ti­mal health, well­ness, and spir­i­tual aware­ness. She be­lieves personal sad­hana and svad­haya helps one grow more than any­thing else in their prac­tice and jour­ney. Her in­cli­na­tion to art helps her grasp more from na­ture and keeps her free spir­ited.

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