Yoga & Mindfulness
From research we can see that when we incorporate mindfulness practice into our daily behaviours, it can help renew our thoughts and develop the quality of our life experiences. Mindfulness is very easy to integrate into day-to-day daily activities and it can be improved with practise.
According to meditation teacher Guy Armstrong:“mindfulness is knowing what you are experiencing while you are experiencing it. It is moment-to-moment awareness, has the quality of being in the now, a sense of freedom, of perspective, of being connected, not judging”
What does mindfulness mean in yoga
Imagine standing in Virabhadrasana I (Warrior Pose I). You actively reach through the arch of your back foot and consciously acknowledge your tailbone fall away from your lower back as your arms stretch up to the ceiling. Holding the pose feel your front thigh burning, your breath becoming affected and your shoulders tense. Still holding you feel more tense, your breath shallows and you wait for the relief of the teacher’s instructions to move out of the pose. You wait and wait, still holding. You decide that you are never coming back to yoga. As your thigh starts to shake, you mentally give up. Irritated, you drop your arms and look around the room.
Now imagine this: You're standing in the same pose and notice the same sensations, physically pushed, tense, tired, irritated. Now instead of reacting, you simply observe your thoughts. You know that this pose like everything else in life will end and remind yourself not to focus on the negativity you are feeling but in the midst of feeling irritated while your thighs burn, appreciate the pureness of the moment. You may even feel grateful that you have the time and privilege to have time to yoga. Then you bring your awareness back to your breath and witness the on-going sensations and thoughts until the teacher guides you out of the pose.