The Energy of Yoga & Mindfulness
“Yoga is a journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” ~ Bhavagad Gita, Hindu Scripture.
In this definition, yoga can be understood as a self-inquiry framework that provides some answers to our curious tendency to ask: who are we, where did we come from, what’s our purpose in life, and where do we go after we die.
Yoga can also be seen as a union between the mind, body, soul and spirit. When one of these facets disconnect from one another, we end up in a cycle of physical, mental or emotional illnesses.
But because all these facets except the body are non-tangible, it is easier to start working with the body through a combination of yoga asana (postures) and pranayama (breath work), as a doorway to get to the deeper, more intricate layers that make up our complex human experience. Over time and with consistent practice as our view of yoga deepens, we might begin to understand ourselves better and how we relate to the world around us.
Mindfulness is “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).
Mindfulness is our ability to be fully engaged in what is happening in the present moment, from noticing where we are in space, what we’re doing, how we’re feeling in our body and emotions, and becoming aware of the recurring thoughts inside our head.
A recent scientific study shows that we have between 60,000 - 80,000 thoughts a day.
By consciously and intentionally turning our attention to an object such as the breath, a sound, a kind word, or a burning candle, we train the mind to come back to our present moment space whenever we start drifting. It is an invitation to suspend judgment and give way to our natural curiosity about how our minds work, while looking at the experience with kindness and warmth towards ourselves.
Mindfulness is not something we practice exclusively while sitting on our yoga mat, but it can be experienced at any given moment during our day. We can enjoy the energy of mindfulness while walking, eating, washing the dishes, listening to people, or even lying down.
It is not a practice that asks you to change anything but to meet yourself exactly where you are; right here, right now.