20 Jun How Yoga Can Help You To Become More Mindful
How do you become more mindful?
Mindfulness is a personal journey completely unique to you with no exact starting point….
You can’t just copy somebody else’s route or find a map on Pinterest.
But practising yoga can help you to define your mindfulness path and help you to decide what you want to achieve.
For yoga students the mindfulness journey is much easier as yoga and mindfulness are so in tune.
If you’re wondering where to start or you’re confused by the idea of becoming mindful, beginning yoga could be your first small step in the right direction.
Here are 5 ways yoga can help you to become more mindful:
#1. Mindful Breathing
There is no universal step by step guide to becoming mindful but if there was the first step would be to start practising mindful breathing.
Breathing is the most important thing you do but it’s unlikely you’ve ever really been aware of it.
Learning to understand and control your own breathing can help you to understand and control your mind, emotions and thinking.
Pranayama, the breathing exercises taught in yoga help you to free the breath that gets trapped inside you, which in turn opens your body and your mind.
#2. Creating awareness Of Your Mind
As you begin to take control of your breathing you should start to feel more at peace.
For most yoga students this feeling of peace allows them to start shutting off their mind and beginning their meditation practice.
The meditation practices taught in yoga are perfect for learning to free your mind from distractions.
To become mindful you need to be mindful of your environment and how your lifestyle is affecting your thinking.
Being part of a supportive and positive yoga community can really help you to begin to rid yourself of negative thoughts and influences.
#3. Creating Awareness Of Your Body
It’s not just your mind that needs to be nourished.
Mindfulness is both a mental and physical journey so it is important you maintain a healthy body.
Although yoga does not have a strict diet or lifestyle plan you will yourself drawn to eating better and looking after your body more.
This is because yoga makes you more aware and in sync with your body.
You’ll feel more sensitive to your body’s needs and be more considerate in your lifestyle choices especially the food you eat. (click here for our great article on eating for yoga!)
Yoga is also an incredibly conditioning exercise which tones and nourishes your muscles without straining meaning your body will always be well looked after.
#4. Releasing Tensions
To be mindful is to be free of tensions.
A mindful person does not hold mental tensions like negatives thoughts or worries in their minds or physical tensions like aches and strains in their bodies.
Yoga is one of the best ways to release tensions in tired or over used muscles.
Many students find that yoga releases tightness in muscles that they didn’t even know they had!
It’s also a great way to release thoughts that have been sitting in your mind and preventing you from moving on.
#5. Teaching Movements
To become mindful is to become aware of everything you do within your body.
The fluid and natural movements we make in yoga as we move from each pose teach us how to be aware and in control of your body.
As you learn to support and work with your body rather than against it you begin to learn how your body works and how your movements affect it.
A mindful person does not over exert themselves or forget to use their body to it’s full potential.
As yoga can be practised so easily by students from any background it is a good way to become active and look after your health.
The most important thing about becoming mindful is that you keep it up!
Mindfulness is not just a hobby you can pick up for a few weeks and then put back down when you lose interest.
At Yoga Harmony we offer weekly Mindful yoga classes (which you can book here) if you need to refresh.
In between classes it is best to keep switched on and a part of the yoga community. Always be aware of events and workshops that are happening around you.
And don’t forget to be kind to yourself, you’ll never understand a new thing straight away…
Do you have any mindfulness advice? Let us know in the comments below…