Yoga for Mindfulness
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.