Yoga for mindfulness simply means allowing yourself to take a moment to breathe and truly be present with yourself and your surroundings. We go around our day and we have so much chatter going on in our minds. We worry about work, life, children, family and sometimes we just need to stop our minds from all the chatter.
We need to breathe relax and dedicate some time for our own wellbeing and state of peace. Even for just 15 minutes allow yourself to practice yoga and stay present in the moment. Allow all the thoughts of fear, negativity, worry, and stress simmer down. Release what no longer serves you and breathe in positivity and love.
Yoga improves your concentration. Part of mindfulness is having the control to stay on task and not let your thoughts wander. By focusing on your breath in yoga you are strengthening your focusing skills, which will enhance every area of your life. To practice yoga mindfully you must bring your attention back to your body and to your breathing. If you are tense the whole way through your yoga workout then you were not being mindful and you can actually build more stress this way.
Here are some poses and exercises that assist in cultivating a state of mindfulness
Breathing Exercise – Come onto your yoga mat in a seated position and cross your legs in a pose called easy pose. Close your eyes. Take your hands onto your ribcage, close your eyes and just start by breathing into the belly into the ribs then exhale feeling those ribs contract. Inhale again while deepening that breath. Exhale release. Repeat this process thinking about fling your lungs with oxygen. Bring your awareness to this present moment on your mat. Let all those thoughts clear away.
Reach your hand up to the sky on an inhale and take a big side stretch. Make sure that both sit bones are grounded and feel a nice lengthening sensation through the side of your body. Repeat on the other side. Remember to focus on the breath and staying present with your body.
Mindful Child’s Pose – Fromtabletop pose bring the big toes to touch. Press the mat away from you, pull the belly in and reach the arms straight out in child’s pose. This is a great pose to ground a very busy mind. Focus on releasing all the weight down towards the floor.
Bound Angle Pose – Take your stress into your own hands with this next exercise. Sit up on your mat and bring the soles of the feet together. Interlace your fingers and slide them underneath the feet or grab the ankles. Make sure to widen your collarbone. Take the top of your shoulders and roll them back and down. Bring the chin parallel to the floor.
Neck Rotations – Maintain the length of your spine as you gently draw the chin in towards the chest. On your next exhale gently roll your head, letting your ear move towards one shoulder. Inhale back to center and then roll the opposite ear to the other shoulder. Repeat these half neck rotations to let go of any tension in this area. Pause anywhere that you feel tension and actively send the breath to these places to relax that muscle and negative energy.