Yoga and Mindfulness
From sunrise to sunset we are beseeched with everyday images, sounds and the voice of our own intuition, each clamoring for our attention. The influence of these sometimes causes us to be endlessly caught drifting from one thought to another without a point in sight.
Sometimes our spirits need this wandering to recoup from our hectic lives. But how do we manage this when we are seeking to focus our awareness?
Perhaps this is why you chose to commit to a yoga practice? How do we become more mindful of our thoughts and deeds?
Recently an article in Shambala Sun titled “ Doing the Buddha’s Practice” by Jack Kornfield reminded me how the discipline of being present in our thoughts has such a direct relationship with a yoga practice. Sometimes we are halfway through a class before we have settled our rambling thoughts, and then we are playing catch-up for the rest of the class.
Our yoga practice (whichever form you prescribe to) gives us the opportunity to practice quieting our minds with the intent of accepting and releasing any unhealthy disturbances, both physically and mentally. As an intermediate student, I am constantly challenging myself in this area. And my question is “Are there ways to better prepare myself prior to a class, in order to advance my understanding both physically and spiritually?”
In the aforementioned article by Jack Kornfield he generously lays out the four principles of mindfulness, which are Recognition, Acceptance, Investigation and Nonidentification in an open and accessible way. Each of these areas addresses how we manage our experiences and in what ways we choose to allow them to dictate our emotions. Much of what I read spoke to the goals we all have in connecting with our breath and body in order to achieve a higher awareness of our selves.
In reading this article I felt that it offered an additional tool of mindfulness exercises that will bring additional awareness and support to my yoga practice.