Moving into mindfullness – Your present moment
Do you know what your breakfast tasted like this morning? Were you aware of your journey to work/taking the children to school this morning (the scenery around you), the sun or rain on your face today? Think of other experiences you may have missed because you were either thinking about the past or future or you didn’t pay attention. When you apply mindfulness to your daily activities from when you first wake up to when you go to sleep your life becomes a moving meditation-because you’re aware of the present moment and what you are doing. Once mindfulness is at the top of your mind you will be surprised at how much of life you have really missed. “Those who are awake live in a state of amazement” Practice mindfulness during your daily living to encourage you to stop and to smell the roses.
Mindfulness is focused awareness of the present moment. Mindfulness lets you be fully conscious of a simple sensation like the warmth of sunlight or of the complex interplay between your thoughts and feelings.
It’s said by many that in order to practice yoga you don’t have to be flexible or strong-you just have to be awake! Mindfulness is the core of your yoga practice. It is what separates practicing asana (postures) from just another stretch. Mindfulness means fully experiencing what happens in the here and now. It’s the art of becoming fully aware of the present moment. Mindfulness means doing one thing at a time-whether it’s your yoga practice, driving your car or talking to a friend-so you can be awake in that moment. When you’re mindful –you’re not missing what’s happening now by thinking about the past or the future. Your inner focus is in charge; distractions stay on the periphery of your mind, your focus stays intact and your immediate experience is fully realized. The emotional benefits of mindfulness are boundless-it helps you to turn down the noise in your head – feelings of anger, doubt, worries about tomorrow or clinging to the past are all put to the back of your mind. Research suggests that mindfulness meditation can have benefits for health and performance, including improved immune function, reduced blood pressure, and enhanced cognitive function. In your yoga practice mindfulness begins by feeling your posture come to life- sensing the response of your breath, being mindful of stretch, length and balance as well as of your boundaries.
Yoga is the method by which the restless mind is calmed and its energy directed into constructive channels. Be mindful because this moment will pass. If you are somewhere else, you will not have lived it. (Based on an article by Nancy Gerstein on Mindfulness)
Do not dwell in the past.
Do not dream of the future.
Concentrate the mind on the
present moment. Buddha
The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers. Thich Nhat Hah
Don’t forget my yoga summer school a day of yoga and meditation on August 4th 2012 –focusing on mindfulness.