What is Mindfulness Based Yoga?
‘Recognizing where you are right here, right now.’ Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness based yoga is a combination of breathing, some yoga postures, meditation and active awareness (mindfulness). The yoga component is based on a handful of simple yoga moves as found in a gently yoga class such as cat, cow, baby cobra, plow and series of stretching. Mediation and mindfulness occurs between each pose as you return to the savasana position and while breathing, reflect on the sensations in your body, how you feel right now in the moment. Mindfulness and breathing also occurs during each pose. You hold the poses longer than you would during a flow yoga class to experience not only how you feel physically but also how you are responding to the position, possible discomfort, and racing thoughts.
This is not yoga or exercise for weight loss or strengthening, although you can experience both. It is rather a way to become in tuned with your thoughts and your body as you move through various positions.
Beneficial for stretching, flexibility, strengthening your muscles, deep breathing, massaging your organs and increasing blood flow in the body. Also recommended when you are feeling anxious, stressed, and depressed or any state or mental angst, this will assist you in decreasing your heightened negative state, allowing and reminding yourself to breathe as your move through the poses.
‘Using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain and illness’ Jon Kabot-Zinn
Mindfulness yoga helps you to develop strength and flexibility of not just your physical being, also your mental state as well. Strength in your mind to realize you can do these poses, and although you may not enjoy every moment and your mind will wonder or perhaps think about it being over and the lists of things you have to do, over time you become more flexible in allowing yourself to accept your discomfort and just be present in the moment as you return to the breath.
Developing strength and flexibility physically and mentally is extremely beneficial in all aspects of your life. Bringing care and attention helps the natural healing process and gives you time to work on yourself. Are you someone who gives up when feelings of discomfort or dislike arises? Can you allow yourself to just be and stay in the moment, not trying to change it but recognize how you feel. Discomfort and dislike is natural state, how you choose to handle your thoughts is up to you and through mindfulness you can become more present and instead of reacting as your normally would, you bring awareness to your thoughts and reflect, just be in the moment.
Any form of meditation and yoga can incorporate mindfulness.
You can try Mindfulness Yoga through Jon Kabot-Zinn CD at home or perhaps explore and find your own instructor. You can even add mindfulness to your already existing yoga practise but just tuning in to your thoughts as you move through each pose.
Of course in which ever method you chose to do recognize where you are at and accept and mostly give yourself credit for taking the time to take care of yourself, mind, body and spirit.