Mindfulness can be defined as the psychological process of purposely bringing one’s entire attention and cognitive thinking towards experiences occurring in the present moment without judgment which one develops through the practice of yoga and meditation. Yoga for mindfulness allows us to be free from all sorts of swirling and tangled thoughts, devoid of any judgment or distraction. In teaching the mind to be in the present we teach ourselves to be living more perspicaciously. Mindfulness also advocates the feeling of not being held back to reactive thoughts and feelings, which disrupt the balance of the chakras and render being restless
Mindful meditation or Yoga for mindfulness is a systematic procedure of mental training that works towards slowing down negative thoughts, detach from ambient negativity and toxicity of mind and instil a sense of complete awareness of the present. It also advocates being mindful of where we are and how we are reacting to a situation and what is the reason behind it. This technique of meditation usually involves breathing practices, mental imagery, awareness of mind, and muscle relaxation as well. Other physical ailments such as Blood pressure, heart diseases, chronic pain are also known to be relieved by the same.
Benefits of Yoga For Mindfulness:
- Reduces Stress level :
The kind of lifestyle that we have today, the amount of work pressure and the physical strain that we undergo daily has pushed almost all of us towards a state of extreme stress. For some of us, this stress becomes the new normal while for the others, frequent bouts of the same are experienced.
Yoga for Mindfulness has proven to be the greatest stress-buster of all. It helps to reduce hormonal cortisol (stress hormones) which is known to have detrimental effects on healthy sleep cycles and normal blood pressure.
- Amplify empathy:
Yoga promotes a sense of harmony and oneness through its practices. Various techniques to mediation help to develop the cognitive skills of bringing in affinity and brotherhood for fellow beings. The deep state of flow facilitates to build social connectedness and make us more affectionate and generous.
- Improves cognition:
A relaxed and lightened mind has always proven to be a prudent decision-maker in most cases. Research has proved that those who practice meditation and yoga in their daily routine are prone to witness improved cognitive skills, which in turn, boosts their professional career.
- Promotes Emotional Well being:
Mental health proves to be an indispensable part of the overall wellbeing of a person. Self-awareness and self-worth are very important aspects of life, which need to acknowledged by every individual.
Meditation envisages various self-actualization techniques, which helps in abandoning various depressive and mood-related complications.
- Increases attention span:
A complete state of self-awareness, coupled with a high level of concentration, helps a person to absorb at the moment. Mindfulness Meditation provides for such experiences and reaches a ‘flow state’, where the mind is entirely in harmony with itself. Studies show that even people who meditate for shorter span exhibited more focus than individuals who didn’t meditate at all.
Yoga Poses for Mindfulness
The Corpse Pose (Shavasana)
This poses traces its roots from the ancient times of Lord Buddha. It is one of the four main meditation poses taught by Gautama himself. Savasana requires us to lie on the back with feet about 12-18 inches apart and arms side just a few inches from the torso, with palms facing up. It allows the body to surrender to gravity. It is an essential yoga for mindfulness asana, as it brings in a sense of tranquillity and calmness within the body.
The Eye of the Needle Pose:
It is an exceptional yoga pose, which promotes mindfulness and observes how the sensations change as we maintain the pose. It is also an extension of the Corpse pose. Here we bring our feet near to our buttocks, hip-width apart. Place the outer right shin on the left thigh, drawing the left knee toward our chest. We then reach between our legs, clapping our hands under our left leg. There may be stretching sensations in the right hip and we may feel some resistance from them. We will continue to do the same on the other side and try to find the difference between each side without judgment.
The Cat-Cow Pose:
Cat-Cow Pose is a gentle ‘yoga for mindfulness’ asanas for easy flow between two poses that warms the body and brings flexibility to the spine. You are required to start on your hands and knees with wrists directly under your shoulders and hips directly under the hip. Center your head in a neutral position and soften your gaze downward. For the Cow Pose, inhale as you drop the belly towards the Yoga Mat. Lift your chin and chest and gaze up towards the ceiling. Next for the Cat Pose, as you exhale, draw your belly to your spine and round your back toward the ceiling. The pose should look like a cat stretching its back. Make sure the transition between the two poses is seamless.
The Downward Facing Dog Pose.
This is another useful ‘yoga for mindfulness’ pose, in which, directly from the cat-cow pose, we should tuck our toes under, lifting our hips and straightening our legs. Stay in the pose for 15- 20 breadths. Notice if the mind wanders and tries to bring it back to the breaths. Moment by moment and breath by breath, the posture will recreate itself, which in turn, helps in promoting mindfulness.
Mountain Pose (Tadasana):
An ideal warm-up pose activates the core of the body and improves blood circulation. In this position you need to stand on your feet flat, keeping the spine erect and facing the palm towards the body. While inhaling, try lifting the ankles and standing on the toes with the eyes facing the ceiling. Repeat the asana at least 10 times.
Half Moon Pose( Ardha Chandrasana)
The moon has a rich symbolic significance in yoga mythology, which is considered as an embodiment of serenity and calmness. Ardha Chandrasana has proven to be effective in cooling down the distressed and unstable mind, bringing in a sense of rejuvenation and energy. It exhibits calm and soothing energies which help in improving Co-ordination and sense of balance. It opens up the body, encouraging better posture and improved self-esteem.
Halasana Pose( Plow Pose)
This Asana has proven to be very effective to calm the nervous system reducing stress & fatigue and thus helping in relieving stress and relaxation of mind. It is also said to stimulate the thyroid gland improving mood & energy levels. It is highly recommendable for people who are suffering from the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
It is an amalgamation of twelve yoga positions, each having a major impact on the body. The forward and backward bends allow stretches, while the deep breathing performed, detoxifies the entire body. It provides a sense of sense and living at the moment and thus providing for mindfulness to be instilled in our minds.
Vrikshasana ( Tree Pose)
It is a classic ‘yoga for mindfulness’ pose which is primarily concerned with finding a balance between mind and body. In this pose, you are required to keep the left foot on the right leg straight and find the balance. While inhaling raise your palms to your head and bring them together. This gives a sense of grounding.
The challenging dynamics of the modern world have proven to be tormenting for people to cope up and thereby leading to anxiety and stress. A generous serving to physical and mental anxiety has become the new normal of today.YOGA has proven to be the greatest stress-buster of all. It helps to reduce hormonal cortisol (stress hormones) which are detrimental to sleep cycles and blood pressure. So grab your yoga mats and get started. Also, the practice of mindfulness results in an expansion of perspective and understanding of who you are. With mindful Yoga, one can become astutely aware of habitual patterns of reactivity and thus provide for a keen observant mind.