Mindfulness is an active practice. One that often goes by the wayside in our busy day to day lives. There is a vast difference between simply going through the motions of your day and practicing pure presence. “Pure presence” is the simple way I define mindfulness. Devoting yourself fully to each moment of your day. Whether you are brushing your teeth, sitting in meditation, or at your desk at work – giving your unwavering attention to the particular task at hand. This life long practice also entails being conscious of where your mind goes while engaging in said task. Being conscious and aware of those thoughts without judgement. This is a practice that can be cultivated on your mat through asanas and pranayama in efforts to take it with you off the mat and into your daily life.
How can we do this through the physical practice of yoga?
Have you ever sat in a class and the teachers opens by saying “start by bringing awareness to your breath.” If you are new to the practice you might be think well that’s silly, I’m clearly breathing, what does that mean? It literally means just that, being so present that your full focus is solely on your inhale and exhale. Asanas give us the opportunity to practice observing our thoughts without judgement. Try this next time you are in a posture and your legs are burning, you don’t think you could possible hold it for another moment! Instead of having your mind go of track to a place where all you can think of is when are we going to be queued out of this posture, taking yourself out of your experience and allowing yourself to become frustrated. Instead, bring yourself into that moment. Back to your breath, observing your mental patterns, allowing yourself to feel a sense of gratitude to have a body that can sustain that posture.
That is the practice. Taking that concept with you into every aspect of your life can result in a better relationship with yourself, as well as your peers and loved ones. There will be an undeniable shift in your physical and mental state.
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way;
in the present moment, and
Mantras for cultivating mindfulness:
“Be here now”
You can practice mindfulness and Yoga in one of our Yoga Retreats. Check it out, we have for sure the perfect retreat for you!