Yoga has numerous definitions; however, in Sanskrit, it means “a state of connection and a body of technique.” Yoga originated in India approximately 5,000 years ago. It is one of the ancient systems of self-culture. Yoga helps in maintaining a peaceful mind and a healthy lifestyle.
Mindfulness is training our mind to focus on the things happening around us at that particular moment. It helps increase concentration, reducing stress, chronic pain, blood pressure, anxiety, and depression. Mindfulness may act as a major transformational tool for personal and spiritual development. The art of combining both the mindful technique and the body is known to be mindful yoga.
What Is Mindful Yoga?
Mindful yoga combines the mind and the body through asanas rather than concentrating on the exact physical posture of the asanas. It is a process of bringing awareness and focus on the things done at that moment, thereby converting that moment into meditation. A unique characteristic of this form is “observing” rather than “reacting.” In this yoga, the physical poses of yoga are not given greater importance.
What Is the Best Approach to Mindful Yoga?
The best approach is to apply the Buddhist technique on the four foundations of mindfulness while one works on it initially, and as one practices it regularly will come naturally.
Mindfulness of Body: The body is a collection of many parts, such as the eyes, skin, teeth, heart, lungs, and all other parts. These parts are small “entities” present within the larger entity referred to as the “body.” In mindfulness practice, we observe each part rather than the whole body, making mindfulness more attainable. The body can be called “selfless” as it is a physical form. The body maintains a constant awareness of sensation, breathing, or specific movements in this practice. It also helps us to learn that the body is temporary; it can be injured, become ill, and cease to exist.
Mindfulness of Feeling: It refers to a person’s sensations and emotions of the body. Here Buddha asks us to view “the feelings underlying the feeling.” As the body is subdivided similarly, the feelings are also subdivided. Every feeling should be acknowledged appropriately, whether pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. Feelings usually dissipate. Buddha marks these feelings as being “selfless.” It is similar to the mindfulness of the body, as it helps us to learn to observe the feeling and not form any opinions.
Mindfulness of Mind: Mindfulness of mind refers to consciousness or awareness, which is not a single object, but a series of instances of mind. This premise teaches us that the mind's consciousness changes from moment to moment and depends on the information from any senses and the mental state. One’s state of mind depends on internal and external conditions.
What Are the Benefits of Mindful Yoga?
Helps One to Face Challenges: Mindful yoga practice increases tolerance and decreases the reactivity rate of a person in all situations. This increased level of patience helps a person to avoid arguments, and in the long run, it helps to stop and reflect before we react. These modifications enhance an individual’s life in all spheres, such as work, relationships, and social life.
Acceptance: Mindful yoga practice makes us accept things or situations as they are. It helps us ease negative situations, neutralize and easily navigate them. Practicing acceptance prepares one to face real-life situations where one does not have the luxury of predicting what will happen in the future.
A High Sense of Compassion: Mindful yoga helps increase compassion, kindness, and understanding. As it increases the awareness of the body, mind, feeling, and dharma, it helps to recognize more of goodness and one’s self and in others. Regular mindful yoga practice helps to let go of negative thoughts. Certain yoga poses also heal emotional blockages.
Why Do Yoga and Mindfulness Go Together?
Both yoga and mindful practice aim to increase the connection between the body, mind, and spirit. Yoga is always associated with the practice of mindfulness, without which yoga is incomplete. Both yoga and mindfulness help to form a strong connection between the body and mind. It improves the patience level of a person, in turn, helps an individual accept the situation as it is.
Mindfulness helps the body prepare for better yoga practice, whereas good yoga helps in mindful meditation. Therefore, mindfulness and yoga are interconnected and go hand in hand.
What Is Mindful Yoga Poses?
These yoga poses are simple as they are done before meditation. These are all effortless stretches that help increase the energy level. They are purposefully uncomplicated as they slow down the breath, calm the mind, and increase concentration which prepares the body for meditation.
The ultimate goal of mindful yoga is to prepare the body and mind for meditation through asanas. Mindful yoga poses seem to be simpler than the other physical postures, as they reduce breathing, calm down heartbeat, anxiety, and stress, and provide awareness about our body. Combining mindfulness and yoga gives a huge benefit rather than being performed separately.